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Rainbow PUSH and NAACP join forces to register 2 million new voters

7/6/2016, 5:54 a.m.
To counter voter suppression schemes and to protect 50 years of racial and social progress in America, the Rainbow PUSH ...

To counter voter suppression schemes and to protect 50

years of racial and social progress in America, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition

(RPC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

(NAACP) are joining forces this summer to register two million new voters

for the Nov. 8 presidential election.

“If we vote our hopes and not our fears we can win this election,” Rev.

Jesse Jackson, founder and president of RPC, said at a news conference

Saturday, the first day of the human rights organization’s 45th annual

international convention – *A More Perfect Union: From Freedom to Voting

Rights to Economic Justice.*

Cornell Brooks, president of the NAACP, joined Rev. Jackson at the news

conference at PUSH national headquarters, 930 E. 50th Street in Chicago.

Brooks said there is “a Machiavellian frenzy of voter suppression” across

the country, but it is especially bad in the South. He said many of the

schemes target college age voters, calling it “a generational war against

the young.”

“We do not have an hour to waste,” Brooks said. “We have less than five

months to protect” 50 years of civil and human rights victories.

Earlier Saturday, Rev. Jackson and Brooks participated in a panel

discussion about the 2016 election and the urgent need to rebuild urban

American with Georgetown University professor and author, Michael Eric

Dyson, Robert Borosage, of Campaign for America’s Future, attorney Janice

Mathis, Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women, and John

Nichols of The Nation magazine. Award winning journalist, Roland Martin,

of TV One, was the moderator of the discussion that was broadcast live

across the globe.

It was a busy first day at the convention. There was a reunion of the

legendary Operation Breadbasket Orchestra and a performance by noted singer

and actress Melba Moore. There was a youth anti-violence concert in front

of the building, a PUSH Excel national oratorical competition and a room

full of flight simulators and romping, stomping robots, a demonstration of

PUSH Excel’s STEM program and Tech lab.

The convention’s kickoff breakfast and panel discussion Saturday featured

radio producer, writer and television commentator, Santita Jackson, Betty

Magness, Rainbow PUSH Illinois political director, political scientist

Robert Starks, Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and

Budget and economist, Julianne Malveaux, who said, “Voting is not the most

you can do; voting is the least you can do.”

The convention runs through June 29. Convention events, such as the

International Reception and a technology career fair, will be at national

headquarters on Sunday, June, 26. Convention activities on Monday, June 27,

Tuesday, June 28, and Wednesday, June 29, will be held at the Hyatt Regency

McCormick Place.