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Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Host Community Summit
By Sentinel News Service
Published October 9, 2014

 

More than 50 Deltas from 13 Los Angeles Alumnae chapters appeared before City Council to declare Sept. 30. as Delta Day in Los Angeles 

President Herb Wesson hosted members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration of Sept. 30 

 

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Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson hosted members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration on Sept. 30 for a community summit about voter’s rights. 

More than 50 Deltas from 13 Los Angeles alumnae chapters appeared before City Council to declare Sept. 30 as Delta Day in Los Angeles.  This day was modeled after a similar “Delta Day” in Washington, D.C., where sorority members use the day to advocate social awareness on issues that effect minorities. After their declaration, over 100 LA residents, community leaders, educators and Civil Rights Leaders attended a summit geared towards voters. 

A panel discussing why Blacks should vote consisted of President of Baptist Ministerial Alliance Xavier Thompson, NAACP Board member & President Ron Hasson, Co-chair and member of Ethiopia Creates Negest Legesse, Field Rep. for CA District 26 Joy Masha, and former Delta Commissioner Pat Reid Cunningham.

The community summit addressed the matters of voter stabilization among African and African American voters, plus the issues that may prevent minority voters from actually participating in the election process. Organizers and activists hope to inspire a 20% bump in voter turnout for upcoming elections on November 4th.

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For the 2012 Presidential Election, African Americans voted at a higher rate than other minorities in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the White turnout for the first time, according to an Associated press study. Census data show that Whites and Blacks will remain the two largest racial groups for eligible voters for at least the next decade.

Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Chair of Social Action Committee and Delta Days in LA County, believes that once people in the community set examples for family members and friends about setting a standard for voting others will follow.  “This effort is a new beginning for an old need. Projections of low voters have demoralized our people, creating apathy and the predicted outcome. Just as we said, ‘heck no’ with our action in the 2012 election, resulting in an estimated 70% voter turnout among African-American, we believe that can happen in 2014,” Walker said.

The biggest issues in minority communities become the most vocal for residents to protest and speak clearly against; however, voters’ turnout for minorities dwindles during different parts of the year when it comes to city or state elections.  

“I think we are now negating the importance of our civic participation. We have to be as intentional about it as we were to get our right to vote and continue to encourage people to vote,” Walker said. “If we want to see change in our local community we have to be just as active as we are when it comes to voting for the president. There are some critical things on the ballot for our state that’s crucial for our people like Prop 47. Voting and be aware of things in the city is a good way to educate our people. ”

 

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