FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
L’lerrét Jazelle Ailith
BYP100 Shifting Black Voter Conversation Across the Nation
BYP100 organizers engaging in voter education campaigns to urge Black voters to think critically about the down ballot and elected officials we support
Washington, D.C., November 7, 2016 – BYP100 is currently running 10 voter engagement campaigns across the nation – Washington D.C, Jackson, MS, New Orleans, LA Chicago, IL, New York, NY, Oakland, CA, Detroit, MI, Durham, NC, Virginia and Maryland – in efforts to build Black political power and invest in our people. We are focusing our efforts in educating our community to vote on issues, not candidates – to make sure that we are informed about the ways in which our voting power can shift results of local elections which can lead to major changes in local policies that directly impact our friends and families.
Electoral campaigns and representative politics is not just about the turnout percentages or numbers on Election Day. We register, educate, and protect the rights of black people to vote as a part of and towards our abolitionist political perspective. We ask critical questions about what elections could look like, what a truly representative and reflective political system could look like.
“I’m dedicated to highlighting the relationship between movement work and elections. If we look throughout history, some of the biggest efforts that benefitted Black people have been related to elections, policy, or legislation. We must start thinking of politics as another way in which we work toward Black liberation.” – Katrina Rogers, BYP100 New Orleans Chapter
“Today we had the parade to the polls with Chance the Rapper and had over 1000 people come out to celebrate voting. We had 15 BYP100 members who ended up being official poll marshalls and marched from Grant Park to the bigger supervoting station. We passed out documentation and had conversations with people in the crowd. Some people didn’t vote because of long lines but the incredible part was getting people out to vote early and so now they are well informed about where polling is and how to vote. Black folks know about focusing on local elections and we’ve had a lot of conversations about local elections and judges and how we need to understand the bare minimum. It was amazing.” – Luna White, BYP100 Chicago Chapter
The failure of the presidential candidates to thoroughly address our movement and our issues only speaks to the urgency of the work that we do and we are prepared to continue to engage in our abolitionist political practices to achieve Black liberation. Neither Hillary nor Trump share our common interests so it is up to us to make sure that we can rally our folks to understand that no candidate is a permanent ally and that as long as the system operates as it has been since it’s inception, we must continue to mobilize and agitate. We have to actively push to alter the relations and systems of power (Direct action, policy advocacy, civil disobedience) while building the power we need to get what we want (Civic engagement, training, leadership development).
“This is about what happens on Election Day and after Election Day. This isn’t about candidates and scare tactic messaging. This is about the communities we live, work, and fight in. This is about the independent Black political power we’re building and will be leveraging after Election Day – no matter who wins.” – Jessica Pierce, BYP100 National Chair
To get more information about what we’re doing on the grounds, contact our local spokespeople:
- Detroit, MI – Marcia Black – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Virginia – Cedric Lawson – email@example.com
- New York, NY – Alexis Martin – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jackson, MS – Nat Offiah – email@example.com
- Durham, NC – Mina Ezikpe – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Durham, NC – Courtney Sebring – email@example.com
- New Orleans, LA – Katrina Rogers – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chicago, IL – Luna White – email@example.com
- Chicago, IL – Parrish Brown – firstname.lastname@example.org
- DC and PG County – JeNaé Taylor – email@example.com
- DC and PG County – Joy Ikekhua – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Oakland, CA – Roselyn Berry – email@example.com
- Oakland, CA – Christian Bufford – firstname.lastname@example.org
BYP100 is national member-based organization of Black 18-35 year old activists, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do our work through a Black Queer Feminist lens.