African American leaders meet about AAVREP
African-American Voter REP Launches Campaign to Register 25,000 Voters before Presidential Election, Engage Public on Propositions 30 and 32
Los Angeles— The African American Voter Registration, Education and Participation (AAVREP) project this week formally launched a campaign to register 25,000 voters statewide in advance of this November’s election. AAVREP is also urging voters to vote yes on Proposition 30, Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to save California’s schools and public safety services, and to vote no on Proposition 32, the corporate-backed attack on union members’ voice in the political process.
“With voter-suppression schemes and corporate spending threatening to drown out the voice of working Americans at the ballot box, it is critical that we come together, as our community historically has, to empower individuals to exercise their constitutional right to express their political will by voting,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the founder of AAVREP. “The African-American community will play a significant role in the outcome of the 2012 election, just as it did in 2008. AAVREP’s work will ensure that our community is educated, motivated and empowered to make its voice heard on November 6.”
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas joined California Black Legislative Caucus Chair Senator Curren Price and African American elected officials from across Southern California this week in a strategic organizing session at AAVREP’s headquarters in South Los Angeles. In addition to its voter-registration, education and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) activities, AAVREP will engage voters on two statewide ballot initiatives: Propositions 30 and 32.
“I and other members of the LBC weren’t elected to slash services to California’s most vulnerable populations while cutting funding to schools and local governments,” State Senator Price said.
Proposition 30, known as The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act, will prevent devastating education cuts and college tuition hikes, and ensure that local law enforcement agencies can continue to protect our neighborhoods. It will temporarily increase income taxes on the wealthiest Californians—families with incomes over $500,000 a year—and place the revenue raised in a special fund that cannot be touched by the Legislature. If the initiative does not pass, California will face $6 billion in education cuts this year alone, which means schools will be forced to shorten the school year, lay off thousands more teachers increasing class sizes, stop buying text books and raise community college tuition even higher.
“Passage of Proposition 30 is critical to our effort to protect school funding and public safety,” Price continued.
Proposition 32, The Special Exemptions Act, is a thinly veiled corporate attack on working Californians’ voices. It will limit unions’ ability to speak out on behalf of their members. The corporate special interests backing the measure are proposing phony reforms, which actually give corporations even more power to write their own rules. These backers, which include Big Oil companies, are working to pass Proposition 32 as part of a larger conservative agenda to win more tax breaks for corporations, while the middle class pays the price. AAVREP stands with a broad coalition of good government groups in urging Californians to vote no on Proposition 32.
“Propositions 30 and 32 are fundamentally questions about whether we are willing to stand up for the promise of California: that all of us, not just millionaires, have the right to a first-class public education and safe neighborhoods for our families,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “
AAVREP is the largest organized effort targeting African American and urban voters in the state of California in more than 20 years. Founded in January 2002 by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, AAVREP’s mission is to increase African American and urban voter registration, education, and participation through outreach to targeted communities. Since that time, AAVREP has registered more than 135,000 voters and trained more than 2,500 community-based team members in voter registration and mobilization. This work builds on the legacy of the African American community’s unique role in making the promise of U.S. representative democracy genuine.
The last day to register to vote is October 22, 2012. To register to vote, check your registration status or learn more about AAVREP, visit “http://africanamericanvoterrep.org/”http://africanamericanvoterrep.org/