CBC and Black Clergy Occupy the Vote
This week, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with several hundred clergy leaders from the Conference of National Black Churches to discuss new voting laws and their potential impact on African-American voters.
At a time when the hard-fought right to vote is threatened across the country by regressive and discriminatory laws, churches have a role to play in educating voters, helping them to register and finding a way to get them to the polls on Election Day.
Lawyers were on hand to help guide the clergy members about the law. As Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Emanuel Cleaver - himself a United Methodist pastor - said, "The day is over when they could just stand in the pulpit and say 'Go vote. It's your duty.' They've got to now be equipped with some sophisticated information to help inspire a turnout and protect parishioners from some of the schemes that are out there."
Since last year, at least 15 states have passed, and 38 states are considering regressive voting laws, including photo identification requirements, restricting voter-registration drives by third-party groups, curtailing or eliminating early voting, eliminating same-day registration and disenfranchising convicted felons who've served their time.
The new laws could deny as many as 5 million people - most of them minorities, elderly or low-income - the right to vote.
We enthusiastically applaud the CDC and the black clergy for their vital efforts to OCCUPY THE VOTE. To register to vote, find a polling place, report a problem or get answers to voting questions, call the Voter Empowerment Hotline at 1-866-MYVOTE-1.
It’s your right, your voice, your vote.