By Star Zagofsky
I recently watched Whose Vote Counts, Explained, a 3-episode Netflix series about voting that should be required viewing for anyone interested in racial justice. The first episode, “The Right to Vote,” starts things off with a long list of eye-opening facts like how, until the mid 1800s, it was common for non-citizens to vote in US elections.
As it turns out, many voting restrictions that seem normal are, in fact, not. Today more than 45 countries permit non-citizens to vote, and in 35 countries either all or most felons can vote, even while in prison.
So why is the US different?
Stripping communities of their voting rights is a centuries-long tool used to silence and disenfranchise people of color — and it must stop now.
The passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 was a major victory of the civil rights era. But in the decades since, attacks on voting rights have been relentless. In California, 162,000 citizens — mostly people of color — can’t vote today, simply because they are in state prison or on parole.
As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.
Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.
In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.
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