The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — the corporate "bill mill" known primarily for pushing discriminatory voter ID laws through statehouses across the country — is bleeding members. Since ColorOfChange began drawing attention to ALEC's voter suppression efforts last year, 40 major corporations and 70 state legislators have publicly disavowed any relationship with the group.
In the midst of this PR disaster, ALEC is grasping at straws to try to polish its image. Last week, Executive Director Ron Scheberle tried to convince readers of the San Francisco Chronicle that ALEC is a natural ally of tech startups and small-business entrepreneurs. Scheberle failed to mention that ALEC continually pushes legislation designed to protect entrenched special interests by killing off the competition.
Today, the Chronicle is featuring ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson's response to Scheberle's op-ed, and to ALEC's cynical attempts to whitewash its record.More »
In light of the recent onslaught of right-wing voter suppression laws cropping up across the country, a new report released by the National Urban League entitled "The Hidden Swing Voters: Impact of African Americans in 2012," analyzing the impact of the African American vote in both the 2004 and 2008 elections, brings much-appreciated hope and motivation.
As we mentioned in the first blog post of this series, voting and other forms of political action have deep roots in the Black community. The League's report shows that the Black vote remains crucial in deciding who will be the next president of the United States. The report emphasizes the impact that this demographic shift played in electing the first African-American President. National Urban League Executive Director Marc Morial called the report a "clarion call to reawaken the hidden swing voters in the state of Black America...once is not enough."
A new poll conducted by The New York Times reveals that 64 percent of New Yorkers believe the NYPD favors Whites over Blacks. Concern over police bias comes at a time of intense scrutiny of the department’s discriminatory practice, known as "stop and frisk." So far this year, the NYPD have made nearly 340,000 stops; about 85 percent of the stops involved Blacks or Latinos.
“You know it’s excessive when you see people get stopped who really don’t deserve to be stopped, like kids going to school,” said one of the poll respondents. “The police just jump out, stop them, search them, take their names down, then get back in their car and leave, and the kids don’t know what went on.”More »
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled last week that the legality of the state's notorious voter ID law must be determined by a lower court— the same court that ruled in August not to block the law from being implemented. The hearings began on September 13, during which the ruling judge directly challenged the constitutionality of the law and its effects. The Court ruled in a 4-2 decision that Commonwealth Judge Robert Simpson must revist the case and determine whether or not the law, which is supposed to provide all qualified voters with easy access to the required ID, is actually doing so.More »
New Hampshire has just joined the ranks of the over thirty states whose voter ID laws have passed legal muster. Earlier this month, a federal court found that New Hampshire's voter ID law does not violate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
The law is considered less "strict" in its requirements than those in other states such as Texas, whose legislation was recently shot down in court. If voters do not arrive at the polls with the proper ID they will not be forced to cast a provisional ballot. Instead you they will be able to sign a"challenged voter affidavit" declaring their identity and eligibility to vote before casting an official ballot.More »
We've grown accustomed to seeing historical images of voting lines stretching entire city blocks from the Civil Rights Era. But these images don't live in the past, they still exist today. In 2008, lines like the one pictured here, dense with people of color, could be seen in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and in many other places across the country where Black voters turned out in record numbers to participate.
This photo was taken on Election Day in 2008 at a polling place in Norfolk, VA where some Black folks waited in line for hours to cast their ballot in a powerful reminder of the deep value Black political participation has in our communities.
In a politically telling move the Mitt Romney campaign has placed controversial Florida Representative Allen West at the head of a newly created Black Leadership Council. Tea Party conservatives adore West and he is known as the "movement's political avatar." For much of the rest of the country he is infamous for his outrageously offensive racial politics and shockingly bold language. West once described President Obama supporters as "threats to the gene pool."More »
Today, a slew of attacks on early voting, same day registration, and voter ID laws remind us that voter suppression is alive and well. Yet so are the millions of individuals, institutions and organizations who refuse to relinquish strides made by the Voting Rights Act.
In order to remind folks of all the voices out there working to protect our right to vote, we need you to participate. This month we will be bringing you the first ever ColorOfChange voter registration blog series.
You'll get all the information you need to register, get your friends and family registered to vote, keep up with any information related to the election and (most importantly) share your stories with the ColorOfChange community. Every week we will be calling on you to upload photos, stories, memories, pictures, videos, anything related to your right to vote.More »
As Republicans gathered in Tampa, FL for their national convention, the country once again turned its eyes to a state that has become synonymous with voter suppression efforts which include discriminatory voter purges, strict voter ID laws which create undue burdens on voters, ex-felon disenfranchisement, and a calculated curtailing of the rights of third parties to register new voters in the state.
In an editorial in The Root, ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson highlights the hypocrisy of a GOP convention platform that is rooted in the calculated discrimination of people of color by peppering their speakers' list with high-profile Republicans of color: