By Cliff Walker, Political Director"This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies." – President Lyndon B. Johnson
When Battleground Texas launched three months ago, our mission was clear: to empower voters and expand the electorate. This stems from a deep and abiding belief that the future of Texas will be brighter when more people lift their voices and advocate for change in their communities. Recently, we heard someone give a much different vision for Texas.
At a Dallas event featuring Steve Munisteri, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, Ken Emanuelson, a leader in the Tea Party, said: “I'm going to be real honest with you – the Republican Party doesn't want black people to vote...”
Sadly, this strategy isn’t new. This fits squarely with the decades-long Republican war on voting. Texas Republicans have pushed for:
- Partisan and discriminatory gerrymandering to weaken the voting power of our most diverse and fastest growing communities;
- Manipulating the rules by ramming through voter suppression laws to make it harder for students, the elderly, and the poor to vote.
Enough is enough. All Texans deserve an equal right to vote. Plain and simple.
We believe voting is a right to be cherished, not trampled on, and we must work to encourage more Texans to take part in our democracy, not raise more hurdles to reach the voting booth.
Texas Republicans know that Texas ranks 48th in the nation in voter turnout. And Chairman Munisteri and his friends in the Tea Party just might like that fact. But judging from your excitement and the thousands of hours you have already volunteered for Battleground Texas, it won’t be true much longer.
Like we say in our headquarters, "Don't get angry. Get Active." If these attacks disgust you as much as they disgust me, join us. Volunteer to register new voters, host a phonebank or become a Neighborhood Team Leader.