Brittney Ermon KSTP
A national bus tour made its first stop in Minneapolis to encourage the Black community to vote, one month away from midterm elections.
The national Arc of Voter Justice Tour chose north Minneapolis as the location for the event because of low voter turnout.
“It’s election season. It’s voting time. Get excited,” said Daryl Jones, a member of the Transformative Justice Coalition.
It’s a push to get Black voters in the know and out to the polls.
“What really motivates us is the need to make sure that African American voters know it’s time to vote and that they understand that they have the right to vote,” Transformative Justice Coalition member Barbara Arnwine said.
The national bus tour is riding across the country, pushing for Black voters to exercise their right to vote.
“We don’t say how to vote right or who you should vote for or anything like that,” Jones said.
Members set up shop in north Minneapolis drawing the community to the area with music, food and books.
The African American Policy Forum gave out 14 free books that are being banned by school boards across the country. The group is traveling on the tour with the Transformative Justice Coalition.
“The African American Policy Forum has joined the tour to raise awareness about censorship. It’s a problem that’s happening in this country with more books being banned in school districts than at any prior time in the last 50 years,” Kimberle Crenshaw, African American Policy Forum executive director, said. “We see the links between efforts to repress the right to vote and efforts to erase history as being deeply connected.”
“I think there’s a lot of groups beyond just the parties and the candidates that are trying to communicate directly with voters,” said Neil Kraus, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Kraus explained there have been close elections in the past, but this time around the stakes are high for different reasons.
“We haven’t had a situation where many elected officials, many powerful individuals are actively trying to undermine faith in the system. I think that’s what that’s where we’re at right now,” Kraus said.
Kraus said it’s important for everyone to exercise their right to vote and have their voice be heard.
“We can’t have a democratic government, really representative government if people aren’t going to get out and vote,” he said.
The next stop on the national bus tour is Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The bus tour will end in Jacksonville, Florida.
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