‘We will not be erased’: Jacksonville community joins campaign to encourage Black voters get to the polls next election

Organizers of the Power of the Ballot Action Fund rallied outside of Mount Olive Primitive Baptist Church Saturday morning to encourage Black voters to get to the polls next election.

“Here we witness resilience, unity, and the abominable spirit of communities coming together to standby and say, ‘No, we will not be erased,’” President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation Melanie Campbell said.

The message was loud and clear from Campbell, who is a key organizer of the Power of the Ballot Action Fund.

Jacksonville is one of the places where they’re doing groundwork to get Black voters to the polls next year.

“We’re launching this power of the ballot national campaign and the theme is we will not be erased. So, we’re starting 2024 now to get ready for the election,” Campbell said. “A lot of times our community says you only show up when it’s time to vote. So, we said this time we’re going to come out.”

Salandra Benton, another organizer of the tour and the director of the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation is also advocating for people to get out and vote.

“Voting, that’s your power,” Benton said. “I always say the richest man on election day and the poorest man, the homeless man across the street have the same power on election day, they get a chance to cast their vote.”

One initiative the organization is taking to get more people to the ballots is starting with college students. They’re going to HBCUs and having students fill out a pamphlet to help get them registered to vote.

“I think it’s critical that we show, not only the state of Florida but the country that Black folks, brown folks, we have a voice,” said Jacksonville resident Carlottra Guyton.

Another resident said she would like to see something done against gun violence.

“I would like to see, for one, more control of people purchasing guns and more on the issue of violence of guns,” said Lateisha Reynolds.

This event was a part of the Power of the Ballot Action Fund’s national campaign and statewide Florida tour.

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