Fifteen Events Featuring Family Fun for Patriotic Duty
Plantation – Thousands of congregants from dozens of faith organizations joined together today to celebrate the progress our country had made and ensure their community has a say in our future. At 15 Souls to the Polls events across the state, family fun, speeches and marches, among other activities, helped to ensure the last day of the popular Early Voting was a success.
The events this weekend were built and supported by the congregations and faith leaders along with the organizational support of For Florida’s Future, Faith in Florida, AFSCME Florida and SEIU Florida. Today’s events built upon successful voter registration, organizing and turnout activities over the past several months to ensure voters of faith have their voices heard loud and clear in 2016.
Each event was an opportunity for friends and family to gather and celebrate their faith and our democracy through voting, live music, game and other family entertainment that kept spirits up and voters coming to the polls.
“Many of us are still just a few generations from those who couldn’t vote, know of people who risked their lives to be able to vote, and too many of us know returning citizens who are needlessly kept from voting. So for all they sacrificed, for what they build and for those who cannot have a voice we must vote,” said Bishop Victor Curry with New Birth Baptist Church. “There is no more powerful way to show the power of our community than to organize together and march together as we make sure our united voice is heard in this critical election.”
“This is an opportunity for our community to come together to push for change by combining action and faith,” said Elder Lee E. Harris with Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist Church in Jacksonville. “The stakes are much higher than before, and voters in the I-4 corridor can have an enormous impact on this election, so we’re trying to make it easy for the members of our community to get to the polls. There is no excuse for them not to exercise their right to vote and move our country forward.”
“We know that there is too much at stake in this year’s election for any of us to stay home,” said Pastor Derrick McRae with The Experience Christian Center in Orlando. “Voting is the most powerful tool we have to improve our country and to move forward with all of the progress that President Obama made. Collectively we can show the power of our community, showcasing just how much of an impact we can have when each of us uses our vote as our voice.”
“In the past 3 years I have been educated about the critical role that Tallahassee played in the Civil Rights movement via the Bus Boycott of 1956. Citizens moved mountains that had been previously unmovable. Those Souls put their Soles on the pavement until changes were made. Now we need all of our Souls to take their Soles to the Polls,” said Dr. Elijah Cole with Tallahassee’s Russell Road COGIC. “The church is perfectly suited for this type of effort because of our unique calling in this world. The scriptures refer to us as Ambassadors of Christ (2 Co 5:20). Generally speaking, an ambassador is a respected official acting as a representative of a nation. Sent to a foreign land, the ambassador’s role is to reflect the official position of the sovereign body that gave him authority. Though we are in this world we have the opportunity to make sure that God’s interests are represented in this world. This is especially true for the faith community. ”
“We’re raising our voices this election to end mass incarceration, keep immigrant families together, and raise wages and benefits for working people,” said Apostle Tony Woods with Tampa’s El Shadai Ministries. “Souls to the Polls is truth in advertising – we get our souls there so we vote for the progress and equality that can only be won at the ballot box.”