On a 10-point political participation plan for 2016
BY LOUIE OVERSTREET
Preamble: The plan has three fundamental purposes: A) to preserve and protect the constitutionally guaranteed right of all citizens to cast votes in special, primary and general elections — free of all efforts that in any way result in the suppression of this right; B) to reverse, in one election cycle, the historically lowest voter participation percentage since 1942; and C) to restore the direct link of faith to the legacy of the struggle persons of goodwill, who were willing to risk all, engaged in during the middle decades of the 20th Century to have our nation live up to the precepts embodied in some of the most beautiful words ever written.
1. Pledge to subscribe to local black publications and selected national magazines to increase their ability to report on political news.
2. Pastors of black churches must provide the means for obtaining voting rolls from the last election from local Boards of Elections. Then, compare the rolls with church memberships rosters to determine who needs to be registered, along with discovering those who did not vote in 2014 but will pledge to vote in 2016.
3. Commit to having community-based organizations screen documentaries on the civil rights struggle — particularly those that emphasize the contributions of those who gave their lives in the name of progress.
4. Conduct voter registration drives on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities, where over a third of a million students attend school.
5. Work to assure that ex-felons exercise their right to vote. Today, 38 states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books in this regard. These laws impact over 1.2 million black people.
6. Conduct voter registration drives in senior health care assisted living facilities, as well as Department of Motor Vehicles locations.
7. Pressure local school boards to make registering to vote a condition of graduation for students who turn 18 before graduation.
8. Have concert promoters commit to have reduced price of admission for concert-goers who show voter registration cards.
9. Approach owners of local popular venues to, as a condition of admission, ask customers show voter registration cards.
10. Build coalitions with organizations with missions similar to those herein listed.
I will conclude with a question: Ain’t it strange how black politicians come running to black publications for help when they are getting beat up by the white press, yet will not spend a dime to place an advertisement with publications like Black Image Magazine? Look and see for yourself!