Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I’ve been doing commentaries on our Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression since November, 2013. Because the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, I’ve tried to promote a non-partisan theory of voter enfranchisement. The right to vote is essential to the existence of the United States as a free and open society and shouldn’t be viewed in a partisan prism. The right to vote should be an issue of citizenship, not partisanship. Unfortunately, voter suppression appears to be a partisan pursuit. To provide a balanced presentation of world-wide voter suppression, since about September 2013, I’ve been subscribing to Google Alerts,” voter suppression”, a free service. Several times each week, I receive alerts from Google to stories that address voter suppression. Google Alerts aren’t compiled with partisan considerations but selected because they relate to the right to vote. Some of my commentaries are included in Google Alerts.
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The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) today notified 96 Alabama school systems that their enrollment practices violate federal prohibitions against denying or discouraging the enrollment of children based on their immigration status or that of their parents. In many cases, school enrollment forms require a Social Security number or a U.S. birth certificate, without explaining that such disclosure, under federal law, is voluntary and not necessary for enrollment. The SPLC also urged Alabama School Superintendent Thomas R. Bice to ensure that all schools within the state’s 135 districts comply with federal mandates by the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.
Recently, I marched with McDonald's workers from three dozen cities to the company's corporate headquarters outside of Chicago. After they refused to leave the corporate campus of the fast-food giant with its $5.6 billion in profits last year, 101 workers were arrested. I knew I had to come when the workers invited me to share some of the lessons we have been learning in North Carolina about civil disobedience - and moral support. I watched my new friends sit down. I watched the police gather. I prayed with the McDonald's workers as the police looked on and then slapped plastic handcuffs on more than 100 of the workers and arrested them.
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- Download GDN Edition May 29, 2014
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