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National 'Protect Our Power Weekend' Set To Kick Off Aggressive Get-Out-The-Vote Campaign

Article Editor: Christopher Laird Simmons

Coalition Determined To Make Sure Voters Know Their Rights At The Polls

WASHINGTON, DC - September 16, 2004 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- Determined to galvanize the Black community and create a massive movement for civic participation, the Unity '04 Voter Empowerment Campaign announced today a Protect Our Power Weekend, October 1-3, when a coalition of over 160 organizations will coordinate activities across the nation in an effort to boost Black voter turnout and make sure each vote is counted on Election Day.

The weekend, which coincides with the anniversary of the historic swearing in of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, marks the end of voter registration for the 2004 cycle and kicks off the Unity '04 get-out-the-vote drive.

"We're inviting organizations across the country to join us as we gear up to make history in this election. It's about empowerment - by making sure that people are registered and understand what their rights are at the polls we are protecting our power," says Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League and co-chair of the Unity '04 Campaign.

The coalition will be out-and-about registering the last of the eligible voters, and, attempting to avoid the drama that occurred in 2000, they will distribute materials explaining voters' rights at the polls. Volunteers will urge voters to call their state board of elections to verify their names on state voting lists, and also promote 1 866 OUR VOTE, a voter intimidation hotline that offers legal assistance for people experiencing problems at the polls.

Currently over seven million African Americans are not registered, and 45 % of those registered did not vote in 2000. If the Unity '04 Campaign reaches its goal of increasing voter participation by 5% it would not only make history, but it would have a major impact on the outcome of this election.

"This is a critical election," says Patricia Ford, Unity '04 co-chair, and chair elect of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), convener of the Unity '04 campaign. "The administration elected on Nov. 2, 2004 could appoint up to four Supreme Court Justices whose decisions will have an impact for the next century on such issues as affirmative action, racial profiling, mandatory minimum sentencing, and abortion."

In addition to a media campaign, volunteers from over 160 organizations will canvass neighborhoods and attend local Black churches, businesses and events to underscore the critical need for the Black community to turnout in record numbers on Nov. 2.

UniverSoul Circus will be in Jackson, MS and the BET Black College Tour will be at the RCA Dome in Indiana and Alabama State University "Protecting Our Power."

Events are planned in the 10 states where the Unity '04 Campaign has voter registration operations, and, the National Urban League and the National Pan Hellenic Council of Presidents, an organization of nine Greek fraternities and sororities, will coordinate participation among their affiliates nationwide. The Tom Joyner Sky Show will "Protect Our Power" from Dallas, TX and on the Unity '04/Tom Joyner Voter Empowerment Hotline.

(c) NCBCP logo For a complete schedule of events call 202-659-4929 or go to www.unity04.net

Convened by the NCBCP, a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, the Unity '04 Campaign is a non-partisan initiative determined to increase Black voter turnout and ensure all votes are counted. Participating organizations include the National Council of Negro Women, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, UniverSoul Circus, and the NNPA.



• Previous Articles about National Coalition on Black Civic Participation



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