CEO Connection: Step Up in September

HEY NGP FAM!

Nsé here with a quick (well kind of quick) “This Month in History” rundown and look into some big things taking place in the state.

Did you know that this month marks the 39th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan nominating Sandra Day O’Connor to be the first woman Supreme Court justice in U.S. history? On September 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously approved her appointment to the nation’s highest court; and on September 25, 1981, she was sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger.

Sandra Day O’Connor faced the sexist systems of private law firms before turning her talents to the public sector where she worked as a deputy county attorney for San Mateo, California. During her time on the bench, Justice O’Connor was known for her dispassionate and carefully researched opinions and was regarded as a prominent justice because of her tendency to moderate the sharply divided Supreme Court.

This month also marks the 57th year since the September 15 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Committed by three former Ku Klux Klan members, this act of domestic terrorism and hatred is sadly not far from the inhumane, racist acts we are seeing today. At NGP we are working to ensure that our children can live in a society free of violence, including racialized violence and other domestic terrors.

Please join me in a virtual moment of silence as we remember the young black girls stolen too soon in this bombing: Addie Mae Collins, 14; Denise McNair, 11; Carole Robertson, 14; and Cynthia Wesley, 14.

Georgia Leaders Continue to Play Politics

Even while we memorialize four innocent young girls killed in the bombing, we are faced with modern day enemies to our democracy and voting rights. A few weeks ago, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that about 1,000 Georgians face investigation for voting twice in the state’s June 9 primary.

What Brad failed to relay is that these voters are not criminals. They were acting in good faith, not intentionally breaking the law or trying to game the system.  These Georgians were doing what they thought was right to ensure their voices were heard and their votes counted —something Brad and his office failed to do!

This large-scale allegation of fraud eight weeks before Election Day is yet another desperate and disheartening attempt of Georgia leaders leaning on black and brown people to cover up for their mistakes. As a result of the state’s failure to do their jobs and their playing politics with people’s lives, 1,000 innocent Georgians could face double-voting charges, which is punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. It is absolutely ridiculous!

My advice to Brad: Stop pushing voting conspiracy theories and disinformation and start promoting the safety of all voters. Work to improve the state’s defective processes of checking and canceling absentee ballots for voters who came to polling places on election day. Because (as we all remember from this year’s primary) voting records weren’t always updated and poll workers weren’t able to get through clogged phone lines to confirm that an absentee ballot had been returned. Perhaps the Secretary of State’s Office should work on that instead of working to destroy futures with criminal records and further suppress votes of the marginalized!

To those facing possible litigation: NGP is here for you! Should these cases go forward, we are committed to all Georgians and will provide free legal representation in the cross hairs of these lawsuits. Please email us at legal@newgeorgiaproject.org.

Finding Wins & Celebrations

September’s silver lining? Earlier this month a federal judge ruled that absentee ballots should be counted if they’re postmarked by Nov. 3, Election Day, and received by county election officials within three days. This is big news, as this decision invalidates a state law that required absentee ballots to be received by election day. Of course, the Secretary of State’s  Office has appealed that decision. Stay close to NGP for updates on this case.

Let’s bring a little levity to this conversation with the celebration of National Hispanic American Heritage Month, which started on September 15. Did you know today marks the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua? This month of celebration is special to NGP because Georgia is home to nearly 1 million Latinos/Hispanic residents, who account for 9% of the state’s population and are a large part of the New American Majority that we serve daily.

Plug into our social media channels over the next month as we pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

Stay alert. Stay ready. Stay active.

 
 
-Nsé