Although their respective seasons are over, Sparks forward Reshanda Gray and Lakers guard Danny Green continue to galvanize marginalized communities in Los Angeles by encouraging citizens to vote for the November 3rd election.
They joined California Secretary of State Alex Padilla at the Staples Center on Friday to talk about the different ways people can cast their ballot. The Staples Center is one of the many voting centers in Los Angeles. It has been one of 118 voting locations that were open to the public since October 23.
Gray expressed how people in the past has fought so that every American has the right to vote.
“Let’s rally up around the city,” Gray said. “We’re the people that put the people in the office, so we’re the people that dictate what we want.”
Being a native of Los Angeles and an alum of Washington Prep High School, Gray was honored to tell fellow Angelenos their vote has power.
“We’re turning all the odds down and rising to the top,” she said. “Just how we came together as a city and supported the Lakers and supported the Dodgers, I hope that we can come together as a city and go vote.”
The Staples Center also provided voters with masks and encouraged social distancing. After each person votes, voting machines were wiped down in order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. The vote center is set up in the lobby, people can also drop off their mail-in ballot there. Padilla noted that California has record registration and turnout.
“We surpassed 22 million voters on the rolls in the state of California,” Padilla said. “That’s more than the population of any other state in the nation except for Texas.”
The vote center at the Staples Center is backed by the organization “More Than A Vote.” The organization battles against voter suppression; LeBron James and other Black celebrities and athletes created More Than A Vote.
“We’ve been pushing the narrative the whole time we’ve been in the Bubble,” Green said. “Make sure you get your vote in because your voice will be heard and your vote counts.”
On the weekend before election day, there were 790 vote center locations throughout Los Angeles County, according to L.A. County Registrar, Dean Logan.
“I want to thank secretary Padilla, he pointed this opportunity out to us quite a few months ago,” said Kings COO Kelly Cheeseman. “He said there’s a real need that we need to make an impact in the middle of this pandemic.”
As of October 29, L.A. County surpassed two million votes cast.
“We need another two million-plus votes still to be cast in this election to really represent this community,” Logan said. “Make sure you have that opportunity to be heard and to participate in this election.”