The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is committed to increasing civic participation in communities to make emphatic, positive differences. How do we do this? One powerful agent of change is exercising our right to vote. Informed voting that equips us to make choices that affect the course that our nation takes is necessary.
Voting is D.E.E.P. Voting outcomes define our options and we must define how we engage the church in facilitating better outcomes for our people. Voter education is one vehicle that must be used to equip us to exercise our right and duty to vote while voting in our best interests. Through voter education people are empowered to do what is necessary for positive change while engaging others in the process. We must diligently protect our right to vote. While information is power, voting is the actual catalyst to ignite this power. Therefore, we can conclude that “Voting is D.E.E.P.” --definitive, educational, empowering, and protective. We are the Freedom Church; a people of faith who seek social justice for all. By influencing policy and electing candidates who believe in equity and working to do all they can to level the playing field, tangible gains can be made. We can end deliberate acts to prevent or make it difficult for the marginalized and people of color to vote. It is our right to vote.
Despite a myriad of challenges--voter suppression via voter ID requirements, closing voting places, and other discriminatory practices, we persist. One example of these practices was the one Florida attempted to implement that would withhold the right to register to vote for those previously incarcerated owing court fees. All of the aforementioned tactics and others are present day Jim Crow laws , such as the poll tax, which emerged in some states of the United States in the late nineteenth century to restrict voting rights for African Americans. We can facilitate change. We must be vigilant in getting out the vote, educating on how to be an informed voter, facilitating people getting to the polls and helping people exercise their right to vote. We must be vigilant in protecting our right to vote and working to eliminate every practice preventing us from putting this right into action.
The A. M. E. Zion Church has a responsibility to teach why it is important and necessary to vote. Legislators across the nation come together at the local, state, and national levels and set policies that determine what we can and cannot do, where we live, how we live, the quality of education for ourselves and our children, and even impact the environments where we dwell, work, and play. It is essential that our communities know that policies impact us in ways that will influence, not only how we live, but will impact generations to come. Who we elect will determine whether policies established are fair or unfair. It becomes our duty, it becomes the expectation, and becomes our moral obligation to do all we can to get all of our societies actively involved in getting out the vote for the 2020 election.
Project 100 proposes that 100% of every local society in the A. M. E. Zion Church will actively participate in the voting process for the November 2020 election. July 26th will mark 100 days until election day on November 3, 2020. In this time frame we must work untiringly to engage all of our charges to affect change through the ballot. Outlined below are strategies that our churches can adapt to make certain that we are effective in determining the outcome of this election and beyond not just for our sake but for future generations
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