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GET OUT THE VOTE: Delta’s Red Army Marches On The 2016 election cycle was a smorgasbord of political scandal and drama, served with a side of historical nom-inations and Saturday Night Live parodies. Any voter slightly curious or concerned about the transition of power of the U.S. government’s top office after eight years of the Obama Administration had their ears glued to their satellite radios and HD televisions for every heated debate and political commentary. With so much at stake on the federal level - 34 races in the Senate and seats in the U.S. House of Representa-tives up for election - it could be easy to get distracted by the political veil and neglect the importance of voting on local and state issues and elect-ing officials. Regard-less of the smoke and mirrors of the political realm, the “Delta Red Army” remained vig-ilant when it came to rallying the troops in their communities. Recognizing the diminished ground-swell since the 2008 election, Delta Sigma Theta took to their “advocacy in action” roots and relaunched the National Voter Outreach and Countdown to the Polls. “We are living in a ‘turn back’ era,” said Dr. Paulette C. Walker, National Presi-dent. “Last year, the Supreme Court struck down provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. States are enforcing strict voter identi-fication laws and unfairly gerrymandering housing jurisdictions. It is important now more than ever for women, especially Afri-can American women, to participate in the 6 • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. political process, by going to the polls to cast a ballot in each and every election.” “The Delta Red Army” was out in full force, working in communities prior to state held primaries and the national election. Members heeded to the call and engaged in the electoral process by partici-pating in voter registration, education and mobilization programs. Chapters hosted forums on civic engagement and worked collaboratively with other civic organiza-tions to register voters. Chapters and indi-vidual members provided transportation for senior citizens in their communities, as well as Delta DEARS needing rides to the polls. The Central Jersey Alumnae Chap-ter produced an exceptional promotional video encouraging citizens and students on college campuses to register and vote during the general election, placing special emphasis on important local issues. “The Central Jersey Alumnae Chap-ter’s Social Action Committee prepared a video to emphasize the importance of vot-ing because so many people seemed to be complacent and apathetic about voting,” said Gwynetta Joe, chapter president. “This was particularly evident in communities of color. We decided to focus on four key top-ic areas to convey our message: education, health care, justice and the economy.” In addition to the work of alumnae chapters, collegiate chapters were “fired up” and actively engaged in civic participation. Under the leadership of National Second Vice President Taylor McCain, along with collegiate regional leadership, Delta Sigma Theta launched the National Colle-giate Voter Registra-tion Drive on college campuses using the theme, “Vote: Unbought and Un-bossed: The Chisolm Tour” - an initiative named in honor of civil rights advocate and member of Delta Sigma Theta, the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm. “Soror Chisolm’s book, ‘Unbought and Unbossed,’ tells the story of how she became the first African American wom-an to be elected to Congress,” said Soror McCain. “Our collegiate leadership team selected this theme because we believe that no one can tell (boss) you how to vote, it is your constitutional right. So many African Americans have trail blazed the way for people to vote. We must repay them for their efforts by exercising that right.” The “Unbought and Unbossed” campaign not only mobilized college stu-dents to register to vote, it also challenged By E. Missy Daniels


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