As the nation begins to set its eyes on the 2022 midterm elections, a critical set of Senate, Gubernatorial, and House races are fast approaching. Hip Hop Caucus, one of the top national organizations known for rallying Black voters to the polls and is launching their national nonpartisan Respect My Vote! Campaign again ahead of the midterm elections.
We saw the realities of voter suppression firsthand in 2020. Now, not only do we know what we’re facing – we have the tools to fight it. Over the last 17 years, the “Respect My Vote!” campaign has mobilized hundreds of thousands of Black voters. Their 2022 midterm campaign kicks off on Monday, November 8th, 2021, to rise to the challenge of combating voter suppression and mobilizing young and disenfranchised voters.
“Black voters decided the election in 2020, and they will be just as critical in 2022,” Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President, and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus said. “In a democracy, there are no off years―all of the issues which matter most to us are on the line: combating the climate crisis, protecting voting rights, and standing up for economic justice. This is why we must ensure wherever elections are happening, Black voters are given the resources they need to show up. Every fight we are fighting relies on our ability to vote.”
The campaign launch will be spearheaded by the Respect My Vote!“All Politics is Local” Virtual Summit– a 90-minute Livestream packed with panel discussions, artistic performances, personal testimonials, current events, comedy, and calls to action. The summit will showcase how Black people and Hip Hop culture have shaped – and continue to shape – America in innumerable ways. The event is set to draw in an estimated 50k-100k live virtual attendees, and feature a number of notable guests including Tezlyn Figaro, a regular contributor to BNC and Fox News, a senior public policy consultant to attorney Benjamin Crump, and senior advisor for the George Floyd Foundation; Rev. Nelson Pierce, Jr., a grassroots activist that helped Congresswoman Cori Bush win in St. Louis, and Dr. Roger Mitchell, Hip Hop Caucus Board Member.
The summit will explore a range of topics, underscoring the importance of the midterm election in the political process, highlighting how what happens at the state and local levels impacts federal policy, and educating attendees on the breakdown of the ballot.
During this election cycle, a key demographic targeted by this campaign is returning citizens — those who have previously been incarcerated or convicted of a felony. A number of Americans believe they have permanently lost their ability to vote due to past felony convictions, when in fact they do have the right to vote in their state. A history of incarceration does not automatically result in ineligibility. Hip Hop Caucus’ new Respect My Vote! voting tool is geared toward helping those returning citizens to determine if they are eligible to vote.
This tool is designed to inform individuals by aggregating laws on voting rights for all states, walks each user through their potential eligibility, and provides resources to register. If the user is not in fact eligible to vote, the tool outlines and explains exactly why that is the case.
This tool is the first of its kind to provide information that is updated in real-time in accordance with changes to the laws. The voting tool allows users to enter their personal, but not traceable or recorded, details in order to determine if their specific circumstances allow them to vote. It offers the most comprehensive data of existing voter eligibility resources and includes all U.S. states and territories.