Indigenous, Black, Hispanic and Muslim Minnesotans Partner in GOTV for Day of Action
ST. PAUL – October 29, 2018 – The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and ISAIAH partnered for a day of action on Saturday, October 27, 2018. They were out door knocking, phone banking and text banking in a collective effort to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) in communities of color.
NCAI had Indigenous and Native people canvassing and phone banking in Minneapolis and Red Lake Reservation. ISAIAH leaders from Barbershops Creating Change in the Community (BCCC) and the Black Church Collective (BCC) were out door knocking in North Minneapolis. The Muslim Coalition of ISAIAH and ISAIAH’s Latinx Coalition were phone banking throughout the day.
Around 75 people of color committed to this collective effort of 3,400 doors knocked, texts sent, and phone calls made in a single day to get out the vote and have their voices heard, especially in the most impacted and vulnerable communities in Minnesota. This included over 800 conversations had with community members.
“This was a extremely important endeavor,” said Kirinda Anderson, a leader with ISAIAH’s Latinx Coalition. “To have so many people of different races, ethnicities, and religions come together, committed to our communities and one another as Minnesotans is exactly what we needed. We are determined to care for one another, because we are interconnected. A great way to care for each other is through our democracy and wielding our voting power.”
In a 2016 MinnPost article, Minnesota’s other racial disparity: voting, it was noted that while Minnesota consistently ranks at the top in terms of voter turnout in the country, the state is among the worst for voter turnout when it comes to people of color. The large disparity in voting based on race also correlates to additional, massive racial disparity gaps that the state holds. Minnesota is among the worst in the country for racial gaps in education, income and unemployment, as well as housing. All of these issues are often addressed by policies and laws that have substantial implications for communities of color, where voting could provide electoral power.
According to the article, Minnesota must do much more to address the voting disparities in the state, “If it does not, Minnesota risks perpetuation of a second-class citizenship for many of its people.” Doing more includes addressing voter suppression that happens before and during Election Day. A 2018 national poll has recently determined that most voter laws and voter suppression tactics are not race neutral and impact minority voters at much higher numbers. Additionally, voter disenfranchisement laws currently in place in Minnesota prevent restoring the civil right to vote to individuals upon release from incarceration.
The scheduled Day of Action for this people of color partnership was committed to happen, rain or shine. Like all Minnesotans, Minnesotans or color deserve to have their voices heard in their democracy and a seat at the electoral table. This partnership is a shared effort to see that happen.
“It’s been proven time and again, that when we work together, we can move mountains. We did that this Saturday,” said Anderson.
ISAIAH is a multi-faith, multi-racial, state-wide and nonpartisan faith-based community organizing coalition in Minnesota. Our 200 member and partner congregations and mosques create racial and economically equitable communities through intentional, intensive leadership development; collective, faith-based actions; and deep partnerships with grassroots organizations and public servants.
National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
The National Congress of American Indians, founded in 1944, is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.