Updated: Oct 11
It's time to make your voting plan!
Americans tend to think of voting as something you do on Election Day, a sacred democratic ritual: go to the polls, fill out your ballot in a booth, then wear an “I Voted” sticker to tout your civic virtue. The reality is often messier than that, as we’ve seen every year in the long lines, broken machines, and utter confusion at polling places across the country. In 2020, amid a pandemic, this ritual is not only ineffective—it may also be dangerous. View October as Election Month!
Have you registered in the past? It is good to double check that you have not already registered, if you are a Colorado resident, see link below to verify if you are registered. https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/olvr/findVoterReg.xhtml
If you have never registered to vote here is a link to register in Colorado. https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/home.xhtml
Luckily for us Colorado is one of the easiest states to be able to register and to vote. That is not the same for other states in our country. Please share this link with out-of-state family and friends to assist them with their voting plans. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/08/2020-voting-guide.html
Not a resident of Colorado? https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/register-to-vote/
Jocelyn designed this poster a week before the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of gender equality. Here we are, in 2020, 55 years after the Voting Rights Act’s passage and seven years after a majority of the Supreme Court “terminate[d] the remedy that proved to be best suited to block … discrimination,” as Justice Ginsburg put it. In the absence of that remedy, “vote suppression” — better called voter suppression, because it’s about human beings being blocked from democratic participation — has resurged with a vengeance. Voting rights advocates have lost a relentless ally with Ginsburg’s passing, but she left behind the inspiration and direction to continue the fight. It’s now on us — we the people — to complete the task.
Jocelyn designed this poster based on past leaders that have paved the way for her ability to be able to vote as well as leaders that inspire her to vote so that her voice can be heard and counted.
In 1943, 12 years prior to her refusal to move on the bus in Montgomery, Rosa Parks went to register to vote in Alabama. Because of the Jim Crow laws of the time, African Americans had to pass a literacy test in order to register. Ms. Parks took the test, was told she passed and that she would receive her voting card in the mail. The card never came.
When she went back to take the test a second time, officials told her that she had failed the test and denied her the ability to see her results. In 1945, Ms. Parks went back a third time to register to vote. She again took the literacy test and again was told that she passed and that her card would be mailed. This time, however, Ms. Parks would not be denied; she stayed and hand-copied all of the questions and answers to that test to make sure that she would get her card and if not, she would have proof that she did in fact pass the test.
Ms. Parks finally received her card, but when she went to vote the poll workers ordered her to pay a poll tax of $1.50, not just for that year but for every year that she had been eligible to vote. At the age of 32, that amount came out to $16.50. In 1945 that was quite a lot of money for a young seamstress to pay. Undeterred, Ms. Parks opened her pocket-book, paid the money and cast her vote. She voted in every subsequent election in her lifetime.
During the summer of 1964, a coalition of civil rights groups and almost a thousand student volunteers converged in Mississippi to register African-American voters. The “Mississippi Summer Project” was met with unrelenting violence: 1,000 arrests, 35 shootings, 30 bombed buildings, 35 burned churches, 80 beatings, and at least six murders. The following year, to sustain the focus on the plight of African-American voters in the South, civil rights leaders marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. On March 25, 1965, the final day of the march, Martin Luther King Jr. vowed to continue fighting for the right to vote, earn, and learn—all without racial barriers. On 6 August 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.
César Chávez was a renowned civil rights leader who fought for fair wages and class equality, particularly within the Latino community. He dedicated his life to community organizing and defending the rights of farmhands and field workers after seeing the injustices that this community faced. Chávez championed the principles of pacifism, and his famous affirmation, “Sí se puede,” is still alive among those who nonviolently defend their rights. He believed that all human lives should be treated with dignity and longed for the day that justice and fairness would become a reality for all Latinos.
In 1968, Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress, representing New York’s 12th congressional district for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In the 1972 United States presidential election, she became the first African-American candidate for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule, and in turn inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Today, the power of Gandhi’s words still inspire us to change the world by changing ourselves.