OPENING ReMARCs - 03/14/12
The National Urban League Wire
Published: Wed. Mar 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Updated: Wed. Mar 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Comments: 0
From the President's Desk: 

Occupy the Vote

New voter ID laws are voter suppression by another name.  The U.S. Department of Justice has deemed that in South Carolina and Texas, where voting rights are under attack, minority citizens who are already registered lack the IDs required by the new laws and are far more likely to be disenfranchised. 

Join us and "Occupy the Vote" TODAY, sign our petition asking to state governors to repeal these new laws and veto any bills that pass the legislature.

If we don’t defend the vote, we don’t have a voice.

Voter ID laws have grown at an epidemic rate and they have a disproportionately negative impact on minority citizens. It is time to stand up for justice by opposing these egregious laws.  

Kansas and Alabama require eligible voters to provide proof of citizenship before registering. Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia have cut short early voting periods. Florida and Iowa prevented all ex-offenders from the polls, disenfranchising thousands of previously eligible voters. Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Mississippi and Idaho all require voters to produce a government-issued ID before casting ballots.

Requiring IDs to vote is not as innocent as it sounds. A 2006 survey found that 7% of citizens do not have ready access to documents to prove citizenship and 11% of citizens do not have government-issued photo identification.  Black citizens disproportionately lack photo identification – 25% black voting age citizens do not have a current government issued photo ID, compared to 8% of white voting age citizens. Voter ID laws are voter suppression by another name.    

U.S. Department of Justice for the first time since 1994 exercised its powers under the Voting Rights Act to block a voter identification law – in taking this action against South Carolina, DOJ stated that allowing the new voter ID laws would cause “significant racial disparities.” DOJ noted that in South Carolina, using South Carolina’s own analysis, 81,938 minority citizens who are already registered lack the IDs required by the new laws and these voters are nearly 20% more likely be effectively disenfranchised.

In Texas,Hispanic voters are 120 percent more likely to lack such identification than were non-Hispanics.

Join us at www.iamempowered.com and sign the petition to defend democracy and Occupy the Vote!

To Be Equal: 

Congressman Donald M. Payne

“New Jersey has lost a noble public servant, and the world has lost an amazing human being.”

- Statement from the office of Donald M. Payne

One of the highlights of our annual trip to Washington for the release of the National Urban League State of Black America report is a chance to meet with our many friends and supporters in the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).  Unfortunately, our arrival in the nation’s capital last Tuesday was greeted by the news of the passing of one of the giants of the CBC, 12-term New Jersey Congressman and past CBC Chairman, Donald M. Payne.

Click here to read the full column.

From the Road: 

Urban League of Hudson County gets $25,000 from the Comcast Foundation

The Urban League of Hudson County (Jersey City, NJ), Inc. has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Comcast Foundation to support a program that develops the technology capabilities of young people and trains them to help others become more technologically-literate.

The grant is one of eight grants totaling $170,000 the Comcast Foundation awarded to eight New Jersey nonprofits to support programs focused on community service, digital literacy and empowering tomorrow’s leaders.

The grant to the Urban League of Hudson County will help fund the group’s “Digital Connectors” program, which trains young people, ages 14 to 18, how to take a computer apart, put it back together again, and introduce others in the community to broad-band technology.

“We are certainly appreciative of this grant because it introduces young people to different opportunities in the field of technology and it will assist them in whatever career path they chose,” Urban League of Hudson County CEO Elnora Watson said.

Click here to read the full article.

Coming Up: 

Early Bird Registration for Annual Conference Ends April 1

Special Early Bird discounts for the 2012 National Urban League Annual Conference in New Orleans are available only until April 1, so register now!  The four-day event, July 25-28, is expected to attract as many as 4,000 registered attendees, and thousands of local community members who will be drawn to free events such as an Expo Hall featuring hundreds of exhibitors, a college fair and an employment fair.

Click here for more information.
 

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