As African-Americans in the United States, we are often left out of major decisions and events that involve our lives. We sometimes miss the crucial hurdles in policies and activities as a result of not voting in America. The NAACP was created for Black people in America to hold positions of power within our own communities where they reside and organize together through a collective force of resources and mobilization to change the very core of systemic racism through Black excellence, social justice, financial and educational reform, and so much more.
The Santa Clarita NAACP held an election last week where only 39% of our members voted. This means that 61% of our members did not vote. We can not afford to miss life-changing events like the inception of our branch vote for executive officers to lead our community in support of African-Americans in our community.
In 1965 the Voting Rights Act was an “act to enforce the 15th amendment to the Constitution.” It was signed into law 95 years after the amendment was ratified. In those years, African Americans in the South faced tremendous obstacles to voting, including poll taxes, literacy tests and other bureaucratic restrictions to deny them the right to vote. They also risked harassment, intimidation, economic reprisals and physical violence when they tried to register or vote. As a result, very few African Americans were registered voters, and they had very little, if any, political power, either locally or nationally (ourdocuments.gov).
On Bloody Sunday, the late John Lewis with other activists marched across the Edmond Pettus Bridge in March 1965, at which time Alabama state troopers violently attacked them.
This is no longer our story. Vote NAACP Santa Clarita Valley.
Fast forward to March 2021, when House Democrats passed a landmark bill that would expand voting rights and another key piece of legislation on police reform through the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
People have suffered and died simply for the right to vote locally, or nationally. Please do not let this happen. Your voice matters in this community. We can not sit idle waiting for others to plan and implement the much-needed change Santa Clarita so richly deserves. You will vote again in one short year. Please answer the call, Santa Clarita NAACP, and vote. Your community is at stake.
I would like to thank our community members who did vote and supported our cause as the work is just beginning. We do not thrive by attacking one another. It is counterproductive to our fight. It is misdirected. We literally need each other to heal our community of institutional racism.
Please get involved. Also, I would like to recognize our leaders who stood up for you to present amazing ideas for programming with decades of experience in our valley. They include: Gloria Locke, a multimedia writer; Jeffrey Thompson, diversity director at The Walt Disney Co.; Cecile Harper, accountant and the CFO of the Santa Clarita Christian Fellowship Church; Jeffrey Forrest, the director of outreach/workforce development at College of the Canyons; as well as myself, a credentialed educator and administrator, Thea-Marie Perkins. This was a dream team with amazing insight to benefit our community.
I apologize if you did not receive a ballot in this election. Please reach out to me if you were one of the dozens and dozens who, while a paid member, did not receive your ballots. We must also address this matter. Please vote, Santa Clarita Valley NAACP.
Creator, NAACP Santa Clarita Valley