- Afropunk Army
- Community Control
- Confederate Symbols
- Cop Watch
- Corporate Accountability
- Criminal Justice Policy
- Drop/Bring Charges
- Economic Justice
- Employment Discrimination
- End The War on Black People
- Environmental Justice
- For-Profit Colleges/Universities
- Gulf Coast
- Housing Rights
- Media Accountability
- Music Industry
- No Guns in Schools
- Open Internet
- Police Accountability
- Political Power
- Pop Culture
- Private Prisons
- Reproductive Justice
- Right Wing Racism
- School-to-Prison Pipeline
- Voting Rights
- Wrongful Imprisonment
Calling for the Removal/Resignation of sitting U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of MississippiSenator Cindy Hyde-Smith's comments on November 2nd, 2018, regarding her willingness to sit “on the front row” at a “public hanging” if invited are not only deeply offensive, they provide further evidence of her blatant disregard for her oath to uphold the Constitution. Senator Hyde-Smith’s failure to stand up to the injustice of hanging deaths in the past and her approval of such violence presently, should bar her from serving as a U.S. Senator or in any government position in the state of Mississippi. She has refused to acknowledge the insensitive and deeply offensive nature of her remarks. A leader who cannot thoughtfully reflect on her actions and their potential harm is unfit to lead.
Keep Your Promises to Black Voters!The people of New Jersey need your help. In 2017, 94 Percent of Black voters cast their ballots for Governor Murphy. Without this support from the Black community, it is unlikely that Phil Murphy would be New Jersey’s governor—53 percent of white voters supported his opponent. But nine months into his administration, Governor Murphy has not focused on critical issues facing the 94 percent: 1) Transforming New Jersey’s youth justice system: New Jersey has a shameful system of youth incarceration in which a Black child is 30 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white child—the highest disparity in the nation. 2) Restoring the right to vote to people with criminal convictions: New Jersey denies the right to vote to nearly 100,000 people who are in prison, on parole, or on probation. Although Black people make up 15 percent of New Jersey's total population, Black residents represent over 60 percent of the people who lost the right to vote due to a criminal conviction. 3) Closing the racial wealth gap: In New Jersey, one of the wealthiest states in America, the median net worth for New Jersey’s white families is $271,402—the highest in the nation. But the median net worth for New Jersey’s Black families is just $5,900. We must ensure that Governor Murphy keeps his promises to the Black voters that put him in office.
Extend Florida Voter Registration till After the HurricaneFlorida Secretary of State Kent Detzner is playing politics while the people of Florida need to make sure they are safe. No one in the state of Florida should be forced between preparing for the storm and being able to vote in November. Instead of announcing confusing policies and half-measures demand that Secretary of State Detzner extends the voter registration deadline for everyone in Florida. Hurricane Michael is the strongest storm to make landfall in Florida in 13 years. But, a hurricane shouldn't also wipe us out of the democratic process. Folks in Florida already navigate an election system deliberately designed to discourage their participation. Now, the state of Florida is forcing Black folks and other potential voters to choose between their personal safety and their right to vote. By choosing to not extend the voter registration deadline for all Floridians, the Secretary of State excludes eligible residents from the normal number of days they should have had to register if it weren't for the unusual and unpredictable hurricane weather. This means the state of Florida is forcing Black folks and other potential voters to choose between their personal safety and our right to vote. Don’t let voter disenfranchisement be yet another hurdle faced by Florida residents post-Hurricane Michael. By signing our petition you are going to tell Florida Secretary of State Kent Detzner that the state of Florida and the rest of the nation are watching and will not allow him to play politics with people's lives. Officials like Detzner depend on anonymity, and bluster from people like Trump to hide their role in keeping Black voters away from the polls. Tell Detzner that this storm shouldn't deny Black people their freedom to vote. Demand Secretary of State Detzner to extend voter registration until October 16th so that Floridians hit by the storm aren’t also wiped out of the democratic process. The time Floridians had to register to vote was cut short by this hurricane. Sign now and demand voters be given a fair amount of time to register.
Reinstate Bishop Talbert SwanBishop Swan was a strong voice of resistance against racism, white supremacy, and in justice. He was an uncompromising in challenging hypocrisy and advocating for the most vulnerable. Twitter suspended his account without notice because of the complaints of right wing racist and Trump supporting bots and trolls would choose to him of racism for his candid condemnation of bigotry. Bishop Swan had over 70,000 followers and was a leading voice of the resistance. He had a verified account and was an influencer on the social media platform.
Tell Amazon & Apple: Reject Racism and Say No to North Carolina’s Racist Attacks on Voting RightsApple says, “The best way the world works is everybody in. Nobody out.” And Amazon says, “It’s not only that diversity and inclusion are good for our business. It’s more fundamental than that — it’s simply right.” But if they’re willing to move their headquarters to a state that makes a habit of discriminating against eligible Black voters, it’s clearly just a talking point. THE NCGA'S VOTER ID OBSESSION IS RACIST. Prior to 2013, North Carolina had been an example of expanding the freedom to vote. Black folks were gaining political power and increased in participation in successive election after elections. But then in 2013 as part of the "monster voter suppression law" passed by the NCGA, voter ID was required, which Black voters were least likely to have – and that's what they're trying to make part of the constitution now. That 2013 law also eliminated the first seven days of early voting - the exact period that it was used most by Black voters. It cut Sunday voting, a "souls to the polls" tradition used by Black churches to get folks to vote. It eliminated out-of-precinct voting, a rule that allowed working Black voters who couldn't get to their home precinct to at least vote in the same county. In 2014, the NC GOP even moved polling locations further away from Black neighborhoods! Making it harder for Black people to vote wasn't an accident, it was intentional. IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL. When a U.S. federal court struck down the voter ID law in 2016, it said: "If discriminatorily motivated, such laws are just as abhorrent, and just as unconstitutional, as laws that expressly discriminate on the basis of race...the General Assembly unconstitutionally enacted the photo ID requirement with racially discriminatory intent.” IT'S BAD BUSINESS. Apple and Amazon both articulate a belief that having a diverse set of perspectives on the team ultimately benefits their company’s ability to do business. If they are hoping to attract Black workers at their new HQs, they should pick a state that thinks their Black workforce deserves the right to vote. Millennials and Gen Z workers care about what their employers stand for and want to live in states that reflect the diversity and inclusion they value. THE BOTTOM LINE I want North Carolina to be a home for both of these wonderful companies, and in addition to taking this step, there are many ways both Amazon and Apple can show true commitment to our communities.* One way Amazon and Apple can demonstrate a real commitment to espoused values of diversity is by making it clear that they won’t move their headquarters to a state that is rapidly sliding backward on racial oppression and voting rights. In 2018, we need to demand that major companies stay on the right side of the law - and the right side of history. ABOUT WILLIAM MATTHEWS William Matthews was raised in Raleigh, NC. William is known around the world as a singer - songwriter and popular recording artist. William's passion is artistry and advocacy. He seamlessly blends music, cinematography and political messaging around themes like racism and climate change which have been highlighted by CNN & Yahoo. In his music, documentaries and podcast work on The Liturgists, William has interviewed prominent religious and thought leaders, songwriters, scientists and global political figures. You can check out his body of work at WilliamMatthewsMusic.com or follow him on Twitter at @WilliamMatt22. SOURCES https://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/161468.P.pdf https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/us/politics/voter-id-laws-supreme-court-north-carolina.html https://www.apple.com/diversity/ https://www.geekwire.com/2016/jeff-bezos-email-reaffirms-amazons-commitment-tolerance-diversity-trump-win/ https://www.fastcompany.com/3046358/millennials-have-a-different-definition-of-diversity-and-inclusion *https://medium.com/@acrecampaigns/amazons-racial-inequality-prime-fe6ba15fe2d5
Stop Children from Dying During Divorce and Custody ProceedingsA mother who is a veteran had to return home from Iraq and fight the battle for her children. The children were taken from her safe and sustainable home, and 50/50 custody order. The mother was falsely arrested. The charges where dismissed but the ramification lingered. Nine years later the mother and her children have no relationship. The children were forced to live full-time with their abusive father leaving them vulnerable to mental, physical and emotional abuse at critical developmental stages in there lives. The court's decision has traumatized the mother and placed the children in danger. As of September 24, 2018, at least 657 children have been murdered by a parent involved in a divorce, separation, custody, visitation, or child support situation in the U.S. since 2008. Abusive parents are often granted custody or unprotected parenting time by family courts—placing our nation’s children at ongoing risk. Researchers who interviewed judges and court administrators following some of these tragedies found that most believed these were isolated incidents. Needed reforms have not been implemented. Many court-related child homicides occurred after family courts granted dangerous parents access to children over the objections of a protective parent. We recognize that the women's right's movement is still a work in progress. Marginalized women face multiple oppressions, and we can only win freedom by bringing awareness on how they impact one another. The women of color need a national movement to uplift the needs of the most marginalized women and children. As women of color we need to stand for our human rights to parent the children we have in a safe and sustainable community.
Support Voting In Jail! Eligible voters should be able to vote.There are approximately 20,000 people detained in jail pre-trial in Illinois. Those who are citizens have the right to vote in elections. However, without a formal process in place, voting in jail is nearly impossible for people awaiting trial. This bill requires county jails and election authorities to collaborate in creating a process that ensures people on pre-trial can cast their ballot during elections. In any given year, there are approximately 30,000 people who return from prison. Those who are citizens are eligible to vote in Illinois upon release. Yet many of these citizens do not register to vote because they believe that their past criminal conviction disqualifies them. This bill requires the Illinois Department of Corrections and each county jail to provide eligible citizens released from their custody a voter registration application. There are approximately 4 million residents of Illinois who have a past felony conviction, all of whom are eligible to vote. Yet, many of these individuals are not aware of their right to vote. This bill requires the Illinois Department of Corrections to provide citizens released from their custody detailed information about their voting rights. Chicago Votes, Illinois Justice Project, The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, ACLU, and 38 supporting organizations ask Governor Rauner to support this historic piece of legislation. www.chicagovotes.com #HB4469 #CCJVotes
Veto Bill to Fund Militarization of Florida SchoolsThe state of Florida needs change to prevent more tragedies, but it will not come with more children staring down the barrel of a gun. Three weeks ago, 17 students and school staff were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Florida was shaken to its core. The Florida legislature followed Governor Rick Scott's lead in drafting "solutions" that involve filling Florida schools with even more guns. Our state's elected officials have approved a bill that provides funding to arm school staff, including teachers, coaches, librarians and counselors, while dramatically increasing funding for police and high level surveillance security in schools. At Governor Scott's direction, this bill will make Florida schools a lot scarier for students, particularly students of color, across the state. After Columbine, 10,000 school police officers were hired to prevent another mass shooting. Two decades later and more police presence in school has not proven to be an effective solution and has not stopped a single mass shooting. Instead, police in Florida have locked up 1 million children, mostly black children, for routine behavior disruptions, like talking back to a teacher or getting into schoolyard scuffles. The proposed bill allots $400 million to make our schools feel more like prisons when they should feel sanctuaries. This bill will have catastrophic consequences for insurmountable numbers of black, brown and poor youth in Florida. Our representatives have a responsibility to act in a way that keeps all Florida children safe. Tell Governor Rick Scott to veto any bill to allocate resources for more police and guns in schools. Supporters Dream Defenders Power U Center for Social Change Advancement Project National Office Color of Change Florida’s Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199 New Florida Majority Miami Worker's Center Alliance for Education Justice National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Support the Secure Elections Act: Paper ballot back-up to preserve valid electionsOur election process is threatened by our election records not being backed up with paper ballots. Our digital ballots could potentially be hacked leaving our system vulnerable. History has shown us election outcomes coming under question leads to Black voter freedom being attacked and restricted. When Trump distracted from questions about his election he did so by accusing Black communities of voter fraud and launching a commission designed to substantiate his lie and restrict Black people's freedom to vote. The "Secure Elections Act" has been introduced by a bipartisan group of Senators led by Republican Senator James Lankford, and Democratic Senator Kamala Harris. It will provide states with the funding they need to make sure ballots have paper records that can't be hacked and we are able to be audit our elections. With this legislation, we will make sure that our election results are legitimate and Black voters are more secure in their freedom to vote. To ensure the validity of our elections, we need to safeguard the ballot by having paper records for elections. Without this, we will have widespread doubts about the validity of any election we hold, and history has shown that Black voter freedom will be targeted for restriction. As Congressional testimonies have shown the government has done nothing to secure our elections. While we ignore the common sense calls to move to paper ballots states like Arkansas are passing updated voter ID laws. Instead of working to push the lie that we need to Voter ID laws aimed at Black voters, we need to pass legislation aimed at the actual threat to our elections. The Secure Elections Act is the bare minimum we could do if we want to make sure our elections are secure against actual fraud. Donald Trump has done absolutely nothing to make Americans feel more secure about their elections instead he has been pushing a narrative to throw them further in doubt, it is time for the Senate to act. Black people understand the importance of free and fair elections as we are still fighting to have our freedom to vote fully recognized. Tell the Senate to pass the "Secure Elections Act" to safeguard the ballot we are still fighting for.
No voter suppression-don't make people vote in police stations!The recent decision from the Janesville city council to move polling locations into police stations will decrease voter turnout from Black people and other marginalized communities. Throughout the country, conservatives have done everything they can to suppress turnout from Black voters. They have attacked Black people's freedom to vote through laws like voter ID, prosecuting volunteers, and organizations who register Black voters, and administrative moves like changing polling hours, and providing inadequate resources in polling locations Black people use. Janesville city council is following this formula by moving polling stations to police stations in the 3rd and 4th wards of Janesville. This decision to place these polling places in police stations is not any mere coincidence. This is the hometown of Paul Ryan. Speaker Ryan is now facing a strong challenge to his seat in a manner that he never has. With Speaker Ryan's re-election moving from a foregone conclusion to an uncertainty is very important context for our city council's decision to place these polling places in a location that would suppress voters from marginalized communities. There are also two Black people running for city council and Janesville is not a city that has seen Black people regularly elected. Black turnout will be very important in the next election and several elections afterward. Moving the polling place of Black voters from city hall to a police station is sending a message of fear and intimidation to potential Black voters. We have seen conservatives across the country send mailers to Black communities stating that they will be picked up for warrants if they attempt to vote, we've seen conservatives criminalize organizations that register Black voters through raids and arrests, this latest move from the Janesville city council continues in this spread of voter suppression aimed at attacking Black people's freedom to vote. The city council has thus far disregarded appeals from representatives of the NAACP and League of Women Voters to find a less fraught location. Instead of listening to the concerns of the people of Janesville the city council has decided to feign ignorance and ignore their constituents. Our city government should be doing everything in their power to create more voters instead of working to reduce them. While we understand there is a hot race to unseat Paul Ryan in his next re-election and turnout is very important, it is even more important for our city to be able to trust that its leaders aren't attempting to suppress their votes for their preferred candidate.
We Demand Representation! Call A Special Election for Michigan's 13th Congressional DistrictGov. Rick Snyder is denying the people of Michigan’s 13th Congressional representation. Instead of valuing the right to representation of the people living in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District Rick Snyder has decided it is too expensive to respect their right to representation, he has cited costs as his reason to delay any special election for this congressional district. In 2012 Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed legislation calling for voter ID in Michigan, earning praise while Michigan was redrawn into one of the most gerrymandered states in the United States. Our voting power was diluted to the point that a voter ID law wasn’t necessary to suppress our power. Now Gov. Snyder is following in the Republican model and simply refusing to hold an election because he believes he wouldn’t like the outcome. Everyday we are not represented, we are without an advocate for the needs of our community. Our tax dollars are being collected while without a representative of the people to have any input in how they are to be applied. Constituent services are not being carried out to answer the needs of Black people who must interact with any number of federal agencies here in Detroit. We need a representative who will advocate for our community in the face of an unprecedented assault. We must show Gov. Snyder that we will not quietly allow him to deny our right to representation and force him to call a special election now. Gov. Snyder’s decision to deny the people of the 13th district of Michigan representation is un-democratic. We continue to see Republicans across the country bend, break, or simply invent rules to try and create a political system where they can’t lose. We have fought for our right to voter freedom throughout every iteration of these bigoted attacks and we will not stop now. Together we will send a message to Gov. Snyder and the entire nation, our voices will not be silenced.
Our Voices Matter! Appoint Monique Baker McCormick, Wayne County Commissioner District 6Our voices Matter! We Matter! Our belief is that the ultimate authority in government whether it be national or local lies with the people. It is our understanding that the Wayne County Commission District 6 seat will be vacated by the Hon. Commissioner Burton Leland and an appointment will be made without public input. The people in Wayne County should have a voice on who governs us. We want someone who will stand-up for us like Monique Baker McCormick . She is the most qualified and experienced person for the position of Wayne County Commissioner in District 6. Ms. McCormick, a veteran of the U.S. Army is a lifelong resident and business owner in District 6 and for over 10 years has supported District 6 and fought for working families, for students and seniors, for jobs and small business growth and development in Detroit. In 2011, Detroit Public Schools (DPS) Emergency Manager tried to close down Ms. McCormick childhood school and one of the best middles schools in the State of Michigan, Ludington Middle School. Ms. McCormick, two daughters also attended Ludington and as President of the parent organization she organized and lead a protest of hundreds of parents and students to successfully keep Ludington open. Most recently in 2016, as President of Cass Tech Parent Title-One Organization, Ms. McCormick joined a class action lawsuit compelling DPS to improve conditions in all Detroit Public Schools. Additionally, Ms. McCormick has challenged voter and civil rights issues in Wayne County all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court. Ms. McCormick, has a wealth of community, social and political experience that would be of great value to this county. She is a member of Peace Peddler (army vets and police officers) and an honorary member of the Tuskegee Airmen. She is a graduate of District 6 Henry Ford High School and earned her Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from Davenport University and has a Master Degree in Business from Walsh College of Business and Accountancy (1996). In 2015 as a rising star in the Democratic Party, Ms. McCormick was nominated by Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence to represent the 14th Congressional District in the prestigious Congressional Black Caucus Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. In addition, as a Young Democrat she worked for the Kerry-Edwards Presidential campaign helping win Michigan and was elected 13th and 14th Congressional District Vice-Chair. She has been an elected Precinct Delegate in the 13th Congressional District for over 15 years. Ms. McCormick has been actively involved in numerous boards and organizations, Matrix Human Services, Detroit Repertory Theatre Board of Trustees, Walsh College Alumni Board, Pathways Development Board and the Community Coalition. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Women Informal Network, Coleman A. Young American Legion Post 202, Citadel of Praise and honorary member of the Tuskegee Airmen. Our voices matter! Appoint the best person to the Wayne County Commission! Appoint Monique Baker McCormick as Wayne County Commissioner in District 6.