The media and the newspaper continually indicate that in order to make a difference in the coming elections, the African American population must vote in large numbers in 2016. We need to increase the numbers that voted in 2008 and 2012 when parents, grandparents, and churches prepared their families and other African Americans to vote and assisted them to get registered, fill out a Mail-in Ballot or get to the polls to vote. We cannot sit back and do nothing!
Since the church is still the focal part of the African American community, “We must “step up” this time or our lives will dramatically change for the worse in the future. We cannot listen to someone who is not African American trying to convince African Americans of our plight and telling us how to vote. We know what we need to do. We cannot be fooled.
We know that we cannot tell people who to vote for because we must be non-partisan, however, we can assist in the voting process.
Every church in the African American community should implement most or all of the following strategies:
- Every church and organization should form an Election Committee and that committee should implement strategies to get the African American vote out.
- Every church in each geographic area should have an Election Forum and invite surrounding churches and organizations to attend. There should be a panel consisting of candidates for office and other community leaders. We should ask the panel questions like: A. What are the plans for each candidate to unite the country? B. What are the plans for each candidate to continue to improve the economy? C. What are the plans of each candidate to stop the shooting of young Black boys and police officers? D. What are the plans of each candidate to stop terrorism?
- Provide volunteers and select times to help all voters to call (954) 357- 7055 to get mail-in ballots which require no post-age. We could have telephone partners to assist the voter in calling to request the mail-in ballots. Mail-in ballots must be mailed or dropped off at either the Main Office or a Branch Office in time to arrive at the Supervisor of Elections Office before the closing of the polls on Election night.
- We should encourage voters to get Mail-in ballots be-cause if it is storming or there are illnesses, deaths in the family etc. on Election Day, their Mail-in vote will still be delivered and counted.
- If it is legal to use church buses and vans to transport voters to the polls during Early Voting, before Bible Study, on Sunday after church, and on the General Election Day, then we should do it. If it is not legal to use church buses and vans to take voters to the polls, we should use our own vehicles to “carpool voters to the polls”. You should have automobile insurance and should transport others at your own risk and expense.
- Schedule a day to wear the colors red, white and blue to support unity in our country.
- Wear stickers that say “All Lives Matter”.
- Continue to register voters until the time expires.
- Explore ways to help people get picture ID’s in the event they do not have one. (Example: Help your family members learn to drive so they can get a driver’s license containing a picture ID).
- Since national speakers, for example: Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, are not very visible at this time; we must encourage local African American speakers to speak for and to the African American community about voting.
- Continue “Souls to the Polls” by utilizing cars and/or walk groups to walk from the church to the nearby polls to vote on Early Voting Days and on Election Day. Even if you have already voted, walk with them to show your support.
- It is our responsibility to those who died to make voting possible, for all voters to vote in all elections, which include all Primary and General Elections
Please implement these strategies in your churches and organizations. These strategies should be implemented all over America through the Black news networks like the Westside Gazette, Miami Times, the Pittsburgh Courier; radio personalities like Tom Joyner, Rodney Baltimore, etc.; through leaders like Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson; and through conferences and convention affiliations.