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Campaign launches to boost black voter turnout

Posted at 6:30 AM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 06:50:09-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. — On Saturday, several organizations gathered in East Lansing to launch the Black The Vote campaign.

Their goal is to increase the number of black voters in this year's election and beyond.

Organizers also say the campaign is about informing first-time voters and the inconsistent ones, in the black community.

"Throughout the news and throughput history our vote has been suppressed, so this is to bring people out. To bring artistry to the for front to bring voting to the forefront and really to bring voter education to the forefront," Florence Alexander, Justice project fellow said.

Florence Alexander and so many people over at Black The Vote say this event is significant for the black community, especially with the upcoming election.

The event will also feature music performances by local artists and dialogue circles for community members to voice their priorities for community change.

"It's all about making sure that black community issues are represented at the polls and also understanding how candidates are viewing the issues that matter to them the most," Sarah Gettel, Coordinator said.

Community members say it means a lot for them to be able to get this information.

"This is not a political candidate trying to get my vote. This is people of my community who care about me, care about my needs, who understand my needs," Krystal Davis'Dunn, Community members said.

"There's also not enough education that is promoted to be able to give people the access to know what's going on and what they can do," Brandon Tyus, Community members said.

Community members say they believe that's just another reason there's a lack of black voters.

"We have been given the short end of the stick multiple times and I would say the main reason there's a lack of black voters is that there's a lack of trust between the communities and the government officials," Tyus said.

Organizers say it's for that reason, they'll continue.

"This is the big launch, but then we're going to table events like in Ann Arbor and Detroit and Lansing and Saginaw. All those places and get people excited about Black The Vote," Alexander said.

Organizers say they'll continue to do events like this, all over Michigan, until the issues that affect the black community, are reflected at the polls.

The campaign is set to begin in twelve other Michigan cities, including Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Benten Harbor and Metro Detroit areas.

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