FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Nonpartisan National Commission for Voter Justice to Hold First Hearing in Michigan
The first stop on the nonpartisan National Commission for Voter Justice (NCVJ) nationwide listening tour and investigation into the scourge of voter suppression will be
Saturday, January 27, 2018
1 PM – 5 PM
7707 West Outer Drive
Michigan was hard hit by voter suppression schemes during the 2016 presidential campaign and other barriers to the voting booth. The state ranks 48th out of 50 states, according to the Center for American Progress, in accessibility to the ballot.
The commission, co-founded by civil rights icon, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and voting rights attorney, Barbara Arnwine, will take testimony from those most impacted by the anti-democratic practices of voter ID laws, gerrymandering and other suppression schemes – the American people.
“The right to vote is the crown jewel of our democracy,” says Rev. Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “The Commission for Voter Justice will be a vital voice in protecting that most fundamental right.”
The stakes are sky high. Control of the United States Congress is in the balance with the 2018 mid-term elections rapidly approaching.
Secretary Hillary Clinton won three million more votes in 2016 than President Trump, a fact Mr. Trump continues to stubbornly attribute – with zero evidence – to widespread vote fraud. His most high profile attempt to prove his baseless allegations ended in abject failure just three weeks ago. On Jan. 3, Mr. Trump disbanded his so-called Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity when state after state refused to cooperate with the probe.
“Almost every study says vote fraud is an insignificant issue in American elections,” Rev. Jackson says. “In other words, it’s fake news.”
The evidence of voter suppression, however, is overwhelming. On Jan. 22, Pennsylvania’s State Supreme Court declared the political districts drawn by Republicans in 2011 violated the state constitution and ordered them redrawn. It was one of several partisan Republican gerrymandered redistricting maps that have been declared unconstitutional recently, including Wisconsin and North Carolina.
In 2012, Democrats won 1.4 million more cumulative votes than Republicans but Republicans maintained control of the U.S. House of Representatives by more than 25 congressional seats because of partisan political gerrymandering across the nation.
Rev. Wendell Anthony, pastor of Fellowship Chapel, will be one of the Detroit-area commissioners taking testimony during the Michigan hearing. Rev. Anthony, a longtime civil and voting rights advocate, was recently elected to an unprecedented 8th term as president of Detroit Branch NAACP, the largest branch in the country.
Other local commissioners include former Detroit City Council member, JoAnn Watson, and City Council member Mary Sheffield.
For additional information please go to http://nationalcvj.org/
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.
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