Hip Hop Caucus
By Jack Barnes
The Hip Hop Caucus, a national non-profit that makes change happen by empowering the Hip Hop community to participate in the civic process, has launched its non-partisan voter registration and education campaign, Respect My Vote! for the 2016 general election. Charlamagne Tha God, radio personality of nationally syndicated Power 105 “Breakfast Club” and Star on MTV2 “Uncommon Sense” will serve as a spokesperson for the campaign. Respect My Vote! targets voters in urban communities and on college campuses, ages 18-40 years-old, to register and get out to vote. Enjoy this video stream below after the jump.
Respect My Vote! is a national Hip Hop culture-based campaign that reaches the disenfranchised with celebrity spokespeople, social media influencers, and community leaders. People can register to vote at www.respectmyvote.com, and join the campaign by pledging to vote, signing up to volunteer in their communities, and spreading the word through their social networks online. Starting in the month of May, Respect My Vote! will implement on-the-ground voter registration drives in cities and on campuses across the country with emphasis on states such as Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado, Nevada and North Carolina. The grassroots drives will be active through voter registration deadlines and then will become major voter turnout drives to get voters to the polls for early voting and on Election Day.
Respect My Vote! impacts those disenchanted with the political process who don’t fully understand how exercising your right to vote influences policies that impact their daily lives. The campaign also educates the public on voter laws including how ex-offenders are able to vote in most states across the country. Debunking the myth that if convicted of a felony, you permanently lose your right to vote.
“The soul of the country is at stake in this election. All that is going on socially, economically, and environmentally right now is very serious for communities of color. Respect My Vote! is the inspiration that disenfranchised communities can look to for how and why their vote is crucial to make needed change,” said Charlamagne Tha God. “I’m honored to be a spokesperson for the 2016 Respect My Vote! campaign, and to be a part of a movement where the community of Hip Hop can come together to promote empowerment through political participation. Furthermore, I am an ex-offender and without initiatives such as Respect My Vote! I and many other people would be unaware of our ability to vote and the steps we need to take.”
This is the third Presidential election cycle Respect My Vote! campaign; it previously mobilized hundreds of thousands of voters in 2008 and 2012, with spokespeople such as Hip Hop stars T.I. and 2 Chainz. Beyond Charlamagne Tha God, many more celebrity ambassadors and spokespeople will be announced this year to showcase how leaders in Hip Hop are getting involved to use their influence to educate and inspire voter participation.
“Respect My Vote! is about how voting is personal and the decisions that elected officials make are personal to us. Justice and opportunity are too often denied to our communities,” stated Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. “That’s why it’s important to get celebrities and influencers such as Charlamagne Tha God involved in the campaign to convey the seriousness and importance of voting as a tool for change. We want to make lifetime voters out of this generation and encourage them to be active in advocacy on the issues that matter to them and their futures.”
For more information about the Respect My Vote! campaign and to get informed on ex-offenders laws from state to state, please visit www.respectmyvote.com.
About Hip Hop Caucus (www.hiphopcaucus.org)
Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.
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