CHARLESTON ACTIVISTS PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL JOHN LEWIS VOTING RIGHTS ADVANCEMENT ACTION DAY “VOTERCADE”
Local Activists Join Local Groups to Host Massive 100+ City Mobilization In the Streets Via Votercades To Defeat Voter Suppression Efforts and Promote Democratic Reforms
WHAT: On Saturday, May 8, 2021, at 3:00 PM, Charleston voting rights advocates and community organizations will join activists across West Virginia and nationwide to host a John Lewis Voting Rights Act “Votercade,” departing from Municipal Auditorium. A “Votercade” is a presidential-style motorcade of voters that is usually escorted by law enforcement, to raise awareness of the urgent need to protect our voting rights and our democracy.
In advance of the “Votercade,” at 2:00 PM, local leaders will host a press conference in front of the Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse. The press conference will feature Rev. Ronald English, President of the NAACP Charleston Branch and retired pastor of First Baptist Church in Charleston. The press conference will also include music by local musicians and voter registration efforts.
The nationwide Votercade Series will address the preservation of voting rights through the enactment of the For The People Act (HR1/S1), the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR4), the Washington, D.C. Admissions Act (HR 51) and addressing the filibuster.
Additional details for times and locations can be found below.
BACKGROUND: Following the record-breaking Black, Brown and Youth voter turnout in the Georgia Runoff election, state legislatures across America have released an offensive onslaught of undemocratic legislation designed to specifically suppress the vote of communities of color and youth voters.
These actions were made possible in many states due to the erosion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder (2013). Meanwhile, the Citizens United v. FEC (2010) Supreme Court ruling has allowed special interests and Billionaires the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections.
The John Lewis Good Trouble Votercade Series, created and utilized to address voter turnout, was successful across America during the 2020 General Election and Georgia Special Runoff Election.
WHO: Local voting rights advocates and community organizations including RiseUp WV, NAACP Charleston Branch, Simpson Memorial United Methodist Outreach/Witness Team, and local chapters of the Divine Nine/Pan-Hellenic Council and Kanawha Valley NOW; as well as WV Citizens for Clean Elections, WV Citizen Action Group, WV Working Families Party, Young West Virginia, ACLU of WV, WV Indivisible and others.
WHERE: Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse, 300 Virginia St E, Charleston, WV 25301-2523, United States
WHEN: Saturday, May 8, 2021, 1PM-4PM
1:00 PM – Participants will meet at 244 Virginia St. E, Charleston WV 25301, the Charleston Municipal Auditorium parking lot, to decorate the cars with signs and get instructions for the Votercade prior to the press conference. People can walk across the street to the press event at the courthouse where there will also be music by local musicians and voter registration in addition to the speakers.
2:00 PM: A press conference will take place in front of the Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse (300 Virginia St., E, Charleston, WV 25301). Speakers will include Rev. Ronald English, who was licensed and ordained into the ministry by Drs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sr. at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga. where he served as Assistant Minister and offered the prayer at the funeral of Dr. King.
3:00 PM: “Votercade” will depart from the Municipal Auditorium, passing Senator Shelly Moore Capito’s office, and then travel throughout Charleston to pass by Senator Joe Manchin’s office.