In a follow-up to yesterday’s mid-term election results, Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, co-founders of Black Voters Matter, offer the following statement:
“Despite ongoing efforts to dismantle Black voting power, Black voters were, in fact, a critical piece of the wall that stopped the red wave. Black voters impacted several key senate races, including Pennsylvania and Arizona, as well as key congressional districts in Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia.
“Our actions prove that Black community organizing works, in spite of racist voter suppression tactics, the ongoing attack of basic human and civil rights – including women’s reproductive rights, and affirmative action – negative messaging and racist narratives on Black voter turnout at the polls, and a lack of investment in progressive organizations, coalitions and movements that actually help turn out voters of color.
“Black Voters Matter distributed over $9 million directly into the hands of local partners to provide on the ground resources to support GOTV, voter protection and education efforts to help minimize the impact of voter suppression across the country. This year, Black organizations carried much more of the burden to close funding and engagement gaps that were necessary to win elections. And Black voters fought back against the odds by casting their votes. But Black voters and Black organizations cannot be solely held responsible for saving a democracy in crisis. It is – and will always be – a collective responsibility. This point about collective responsibility is particularly important in this moment, as all eyes are once again on Georgia for a Senate runoff election.
“As we look ahead, we will continue to raise the alarm about the need for the progressive ecosystem to deepen their support. This includes investing in on the ground efforts to mobilize voters, holding state legislatures accountable for fairer, equitable approaches on social issues, and prioritizing the passage of national voting rights legislation that expands access to the ballot and restricts interference by vigilantes and law enforcement in the voting process.
“All who believe in the freedom to vote, including the president and members of congress, must start creating a roadmap for 2024 now. Voter suppression – in all of its forms – cannot become normalized. Our challenge is not just about securing candidate seats, but about the constant abuse of power and privilege that we are seeing across the country which will be fatal to our democracy.”