America, the place we all call home, has always prided itself on cultural diversity. We are proud to call Houston home, one of the "most diverse" city in America, a title earned by being a melting pot of cultures. The facts seem to prove Houstonians' point.
Besides being the fourth most populated city in the country, if we were a country we would rank 30th as the world largest economy. In Houston we speak more than ninety languages, a surrogate home to ninety-two foreign consulate office's and much more.
While we all are very different, we all share the common belief that ALL Americans have the right to vote and truing the vote is nothing more than an attempt to disenfranchise Americans.
Earlier this week we learn that our culturally diverse city has become the testing ground for the conservative Tea Party group, King Street Patriots, True the Vote Summit. The True the Vote Summit aims to challenge new voter registrations and makes claims that its efforts are only to "clean up voter rolls."
"Don't Take America Back, Take it Forward!"
While this may sound like a positive step forward, it is nothing more than an innovative tactic in suffrage suppression reminiscent of the days of Jim Crow. The tactics are clear and by in-large prevent certain populations the right to vote.
It is because of these lies and controversies that Good Jobs Great Houston and other community organizations will rally together to let these Tea Party groups know that this will not happen in our Houston. The Not In My Houston Campaign will fight to protect the voting rights of all Americans and educate voters new and old about organizations working to strip us of our right to vote.
We kicked off our campaign with a press conference on the steps of City Hall. The speakers represented Houston residents from all walks of life students, quadriplegics, senior citizens who voted during Jim Crow, an elected official and representation from the Houston Area Urban League. Community members made their voices heard, "Don't take America back, take it forward!"
On Thursday, we will continue our mobilization efforts by watching the movie Mississippi Burning; a film depicting the era of Jim Crow we don't want repeated. On Friday, we plan to unite as a people by forming a Human Chain of Solidarity followed by a prayer vigil at the True the Vote Summit. We will take America Forward! Not back!