Last July, I was pleased to join hundreds of Black Wichitans as we marched up 13th Street in a Black Lives Matter Protest. I loved the passion and activism of the individuals in the march and of those who cheered us on. Across the country, young people have been able to bring the issues of mass incarceration, police brutality and the need for criminal-justice reform to the forefront.
I agree with former Pres. Barack Obama, these young activists and the Black Lives Matter movement opened America’s eyes to a real problem in America. But beyond awareness, we need action.
Action doesn’t come from just hashtags, and or marches down 13th street, it comes from votes.
“Passion is vital, but you’ve got to have a strategy. And your plan better include voting, not just some of the time, but all the time,” said Pres. Obama during a speech last fall at Howard University.
I bring up Barack’s comments here as part of my appeal to voters ahead of the special congressional election to be held on Tues., April 11. I know our community is passionate about the issues. Beyond the march, I can feel and hear your passion in your online posts. My appeal to you, is the same as Barack’s: beyond just sharing your passion for the issue in marches and posts, the only way to get major change is to get changes in laws. Changes in laws come from electing people who support your position.
Voter turnout, especially in the Black community, was down during the 2016 presidential election. We saw the results. These are the same voters who came out and voted for Obama in large numbers. But now, Obama’s legacy is being overturned. Almost daily, executive actions and policies he put into place are being wiped out.
The way to make a difference is to vote. That’s what we did in 2008 and 2012 and, that’s what we must do on Tuesday. Like Barack said, we must vote “not some of the time, but all of the time.”
Vote, PLEASE, on Tuesday April 11.