Early Vote Effort Will Boost Voter Turnout for African-American Faith Community
Plantation – Today, leading faith and labor organizations announced a major effort to ensure African-American voters of faith have their voices heard in this year’s election through a “Souls to the Polls” program during the popular Early Vote period.
“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.”
On Sunday, October 30 and Sunday, November 6, Florida’s Future, Faith in Florida, AFSCME, Florida and SEIU Florida are partnering with the pastors and their congregations across the state to help them make their voices heard.
“Our community has so much at stake in this election. So much progress has been made in the past eight years that we have to protect and build upon that this program is more important than it has ever been,” said Bishop A.J. Richardson, Presiding Bishop of the 11th District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. “Together we are voting our faith, our future and protecting our vote in 2016.”
“We’re raising our voices this election to end mass incarceration, keep immigrant families together, and raise wages and benefits for working people,” said Pastor Derrick L. McRae, The Experience Christian Center (C.O.G.I.C.). “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.”
“This election will determine whether we use our power to build on the progress we’ve made under President Obama or allow the most extreme candidate in generations steal our children’s futures,” said For Florida’s Future State Director Phillip Thompson. “This program is the culmination of our aggressive statewide outreach program that started all the way back in July, energizing voters at churches, barbershops and beauty salons, and through community organizations. We’ve encouraged Vote by Mail through weekly grassroots events, we made strategic investments in African-American newspapers and now we are ensuring they get to the polls during Early Vote.”
“Through Faith in Florida’s ‘Together We Vote Campaign,’ more than 10,000 voters in congregations across seven counties have joined a movement of faith voters rising up in this election season to end mass incarceration and gun violence, to keep immigrant families together,” said Jasmine Burney, Faith in Florida Civic Engagement Manager. “This is building off our successful campaigns to ‘ban the box’ for returning citizens in Broward County, to trigger the Supreme Court review for Automatic Rights Restoration and more as we put our beliefs in a better Florida into action.”