Tag Archives: Elections
Youth GOTV

Go Forth To the Polls This Election Day and Make Your Voice Heard

We are less than a week away from Tuesday November 4: Election Day 2014.

The election this fall is a very exciting and important time for voters across the country to make their voices heard, with numerous opportunities to weigh in on races for the House and Senate, state legislature, state executive positions, and mayoral and city council races. In addition, 40 states will also be voting on 139 ballot measures, such as Massachusetts’ Ballot Question 4 on Paid Sick Days and Nebraska’s Initiative 425 on raising the minimum wage. Four states will be voting on minimum wage ballot measures this election day. There are also important ballot initiatives happening in other states: Washington State’s Ballot Initiative I-594 which would require universal background checks for all gun purchases, California’s Proposition 47, which would dramatically change California’s criminal justice system, and Tennessee’s Amendment One, which would undo language in the state’s constitution saying that the right to choose is a fundamental right. It is crucial that individuals get to the polls to make their voices heard on these important policy areas!

In some states, it still is not too late to register to vote, as Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia all have same day Election Day registration. This means that if you have not yet registered to vote and live in those places, then there is still time for you to go to the polls or to the Board of Elections office to register, but in most states, the voter registration deadline has already passed.

We are excited to promote voter advocacy efforts and encourage individuals to go to the polls and vote.. The RAC also has a special guide to Get Out the Votea Do’s and Don’ts Guide for Non-Profits for the election season, and materials aimed specifically for first time voters. We also have graphics made to share on Twitter or to make your Facebook profile picture and  Facebook cover photo.

As heirs to a tradition of civic engagement, American Jews must participate in elections to ensure that our country’s policies at the local, state, and national levels reflect our commitment to social justice. Our tradition teaches us that we are collectively responsible to choose our elected leaders, and in this week’s Torah portion, we learn that “God said to Abram, ‘go forth,’” or “lech lecha” (Genesis 12:1). On Tuesday, November 4, make sure that you go forth to the polls and let your voice be heard.

Why We Must Restore Voting Rights for the Formerly Incarcerated

We are less than one week away from Election Day- a day when we will make our voices heard and show politicians what our priorities are. Yet, about 5.85 million Americans will be denied the right to vote next week because of laws that prohibit people with felony convictions from voting. This obstacle to participation in the democratic process is exacerbated by racial disparities in the criminal justice system. As a result, 1 in every 13 African Americans is unable to vote, and in Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia, more than 1 in 5 black adults is disenfranchised. Read more…

All Eyes on Reproductive Rights: Is Tennessee the Next Texas?

On RACblog, we’ve been following the restrictive Texas law that attempted to shut down more than half of the state’s reproductive health clinics. If you’re as appalled as we are by this effort to limit women’s reproductive freedom, I have upsetting news: Tennessee could be next. On November 4, voters in the Volunteer State will decide on Amendment One, which would undo language in the state constitution that defines abortion as a fundamental right. Currently, the Tennessee state legislature does not have the power to enact abortion restrictions, a welcome, if surprising protection in a region with strong opposition to reproductive rights. With the passage of Amendment One, Tennessee lawmakers would have the authority to enforce restrictive policies like those in Texas, like the mandatory 72-hour waiting period in Missouri, or like the 20-week bans that limit abortion access in nine states. Read more…

Not Just the Federal Level: States Can Also Work To Raise The Wage

Earlier this month, we called on Congress to raise the minimum wage on 10/10 (October 10), by passing The Fair Minimum Wage Act (H.R 1010) and The Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 1737), two bills that would increase the minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour through a series of gradual increases.

Yet even though Congress is on recess until November 12, this absence does not mean that individuals are no longer fighting to combat economic inequality. As the conversation on increasing the minimum wage moves from the federal level to the states, there are four measures on the ballot this November that would raise the wage..

Read more…

Homeless youth

Ensuring That A Permanent Home Is Not a Prerequisite to Voting

This week, we will read Parashat Noach, which tells the story of Noah and the flood. In this parashah (Torah portion), as the flood came upon the Earth over the course of seven days, Noah and his family took shelter in the ark, along with all the animals that “went two and two … into the ark, male and female, as God commanded Noah” (Genesis 7:8). Though the rain continues for forty days and forty nights, “Noah only was left, and they that were with him in the ark,” and they were safe (Genesis 7:23). Every animal was represented, and everyone was provided the shelter that would provide them with safety.

As Election Day approaches, we are reminded of the importance of making ourselves heard in our democratic process. It is crucial that as many people who can vote have the ability to get to the polls. For those who are homeless, however, registering to vote and getting to the polls can be especially challenging.

Read more…

Supreme Court

Take Action to #RestoreVotingRights in Light of Major Loss in Texas

With Election Day only two weeks away, there’s no better topic to discuss than voting rights. The civil rights community is calling today #RestoreVotingRights Day in an effort to engage social media in this important conversation. This election will be the least protected election in almost 50 years because of Congress’s failure to act in the wake of the Shelby County Supreme Court decision. Free and fair elections, secured by the Voting Rights Act, are the cornerstone of American democracy, and this issue should be seen in that way. Voting rights is a Jewish issue, a civil rights issue, a Democratic issue, a Republican issue, and an issue for everyone who believes in our democracy. Read more…

A Ballot Initiative That Could Reform California’s Criminal Justice System

The United States has a problem with mass incarceration. Though our country only makes up 5% of the world’s population, we have 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. One in 99 adults live behind bars, marking the highest rate of imprisonment in American history! One in 31 adults are under some form of correctional control, which includes prison, jail, parole and probation populations. In California this November, voters have an opportunity to change that. Read more…

I "Ohio" Voting stickers

Suppressive SCOTUS Decision Reminds Us to Continue to Protect the Right to Vote

With only 16 hours left before early voting was set to begin in Ohio, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to eliminate the first week of the state’s 35-day early voting period last Monday. The decision will restrict voters’ access to the polls by eliminating the only week in Ohio’s early voting period that allows citizens to register and vote on the same day. That week is referred to as the “Golden Week” and civil rights groups have said that Sunday and the evening hours are most important to black and low-income voters and the homeless, many of whom do not have the flexibility in their jobs or daily lives to vote during business hours. Read more…

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