Is Voting a Fundamental Human Right?

It finally stopped raining in NYC today after what seemed like a stretch of weeks & we spent most of the day outside remembering how magical this city is when Mother Nature shines.

Tomorrow we’re headed to Albany with the Poor People’s Campaign’s 40 days of moral action to stand witness to the intersection of racism, poverty & voter suppression.

Do you believe that voting is a fundamental human right that should be equally accessible to all citizens?  As it turns out, there is a direct link between systemic racism, poverty, and voter suppression.  Have you ever considered this intersection? Consider:

  • There are fewer voting rights in 2018 than there were 50 years ago when the Civil Rights Act & Voting Rights Acts were passed.
  • 8 out 10 of the poorest states have enacted voter suppression laws
  • Legislative actions and legal decisions at the federal and state levels have severely restricted the ability of people of color, especially poor Black people, Latinx, and Native Americans, to participate in democratic processes
  • The 2013 Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court case gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act
  • Since 2010, 23 states have enacted some sort of voter suppression law
  • “Tough on crime” politics has led to increased policing of poor communities and a tenfold increase in annual federal discretionary spending on prisons since 1976. You can’t vote if you are in prison.  

*From The Souls of Poor Folk, an Audit by the Institute for Policy Studies.

Image from Common Dreams

I’m still reveling in the black magic, feminism & social justice themes of the Royal Wedding & am so energized by that historic union & ceremony, but I am also very aware that there is much work to do towards full racial & economic equality, and that my family & I have a lot to learn.

Learn more about voter suppression, gerrymandering & how their roots in racism are controlling our democracy with this compelling article. The Karios Center, ACLU, and Repairers of the Breach are also good sources as well as the Audit cited above.  

Again I ask: Do you believe that voting is a fundamental human right? If so, let me know how you’re combatting voter suppression in your community.

 

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