Everlena of Chattanooga, TN writes:
I am an 82 year old African American female and a native of Tuskegee Institute, AL. I was part of the Civil Rights Movement in AL, the bedrock of the Civil Rights Movement. I was personally affected by voter suppression in 1958. I have always been an advocate for justice and civil rights. Following my retirement as a Dean of Health Sciences, I became a Professional Volunteer. I currently serve as an Advocate for Justice and an Advocate for building strong Communities. I live and work in 3 of the 10 East Chattanooga neighborhoods building the needed capacity required to empower residents to address problems and concerns that directly affect their neighborhood. I feel, it will be through civic and social justice education that the changes we desire will be achieved.
It is important to address voter suppression rapidly taking place throughout the U.S. since the 2010 election. This is evident through redistricting; early closure of polling sites in minority communities; the discontinuation of “souls to the poll” by closing polling sites on Sundays; required voter identification, especially for seniors who were born at home and find it difficult to obtained their identification after voting for decades in the past. I feel voting should be a Constitutional Right of every U.S. Citizen. As a result of courses in Civic being eliminated from the curriculum in our schools, we are producing generations of adults who are ignorant about their rights, as a citizen, to vote or why they should even vote. There needs to be a mechanism in place to identify, nurture and support possible candidates for political office at the local, state and federal levels.
It is time for individuals to stop standing on the sideline, arguing among themselves and to “DO SOMETHING!!” Talk without action is meaningless. People need to become informed about their civic duties as a member of society and a citizen of these United States. They should also learn how to make change occur through their action and the action of others!
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