BUT SUPPORTERS CAN’T TAKE THEIR FOOT OFF THE GAS
BY C.C. Campbell-Rock
A desperate Donald J. Trump, Sr. has filed eight lawsuits in an attempt to stop ballots from being counted. Trump wants to postpone the inevitable final result of the presidential election of 2020. Ans the President said while the election was underway that “The courts will decide the election.” Political analysts had already predicted that the rush put Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the U.S. Supreme Court was for that specific reason. Barrett would be the fifth vote on a lopsided, far-right Republican-majority Supreme Court. And that court would hand him a second presidential term.
Trump will do everything and anything to cling to power. Unfortunately, the Trump lawsuits mean the American people may not know the final results until late November. Legally Trump’s shenanigans must be resolved.
A New America
President-Elect Joseph Robinette Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris usher in a new America. Democrats now represent an expanding multicultural, diverse population of America. Latinos, Blacks, and a majority of white liberals form this new coalition of Americans.
History will record this moment as a victory for a New America. An America wherein the U.S. lives up to its true nature. America is a melting pot of cultures and not the “tribal” groups that some pundits ascribe to it. The tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters signaled the beginning of America the multicultural.
After the post-election celebration is over, those who have fought and continue to fight for civil and human rights can’t take their foot off the gas. All politics is local. So, local justice advocates must remain vigilant and watch what local, state, and federal governments do.
Much Work Remains
One thing is certain, even after Trump is out of the Oval Office, Trumpism will persist. There is reason to suspect that Republicans on Capitol Hill and in state houses will gridlock. They will continue to block legislation and policies that can help struggling Americans.
Nonetheless, nonprofits and grassroots activists have a long To-Do List of issues.
Climate Change and Environmental Racism,
Affordable Housing and Education,
Criminal Justice Reform
Gun Safety Laws
Coronavirus Stimulus Aid
Eviction and Mortgage Assistance
Fair Redistricting Maps
In New Orleans and Louisiana, several grassroots groups have lobbied local, state, and federal governments to address these issues. And they are actively fighting for civil and human rights for citizens.
Here are a few groups that are working to increase the quality of life in New Orleans. They all need volunteers. Given the challenges faced by the black community, they all invite volunteers to help achieve their goals:
LOCAL JUSTICE GROUPS
A Community Voice (ACV) is a grassroots group whose members have been busy since the pandemic. They are organizing to bring change for working and poor people not just in New Orleans but across the state. The organization enjoys a wide range of support for its fight against the Florida Avenue freeway. The proposed project would run through the 7th, 8th and 9th wards and remove hundreds of homes. The freeway would increase housing insecurity, increase flooding, and drop property values in historically black neighborhoods.
Debra Campbell, chairperson of ACV, says the freeway would also create noise and reduce the life expectancy in the area.
“It is straight up discrimination against the black residents who live along Florida Avenue and the surrounding communities. We learned from the I-10 that spans the historic Treme neighborhood, how costly and long-lasting the impact is of running freeways through Black neighborhoods.”
AVC members organize through weekly conference calls at 6:30 pm each Thursday night. Call 941-2852 to sign up for the calls or contact AVC at email@example.com
ACV is a coalition pillar of Justice and Beyond (J&B), the state’s preeminent open table coalition, which works on issues related to environment justice, civil rights, voting rights, and government accountability.
Justice & Beyond is a multicultural coalition of groups that meet weekly. The coalition’s goal is to give voice to the African-American community on issues affecting them. J&B’s weekly pillar’s planning meeting occur every Tuesdays at noon, via Zoom due to the COVID19 emergency. The coalition’s moderators include Gregory T. Manning, Sylvia McKenzie, and Myron Miller. During this election cycle, J&B held candidate forums and presented a slate of issues that need addressing relative to the candidates’ office. Contact J&B at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ) works to build power and voice in traditionally disenfranchised communities across Louisiana. The coalition’s mission is to organize in impacted communities, educate and turn out voters, and fight for policies that create a more equitable and just system in Louisiana. The PCEJ’s member organizations joined together to offer rides to the polls recently. The coalition has worked with partners on voting rights cases, advocates for unemployed workers, and labor unions, and offers several resource guides.
“Your local, state, and federal elected representatives make decisions that impact your everyday life, like economic opportunity, healthcare, schools, roads, and so much more. The makeup of a district can significantly influence how and whether elected officials respond to a community’s needs,” according to the PCEJ. Contact Ashley Shelton, Executive Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, (225) 802-2435, email@example.com, for more information or to volunteer.
Step Up Louisiana is a community based organization committed to building power to win education and economic justice for all. Along with its sister organization, Step Up for Action, Step Up Louisiana works with multiracial and intergenerational Louisianans to “Step Up” by campaigning, organizing from a racial justice perspective, and holding public officials accountable.
Co-directors Maria Harmon and Ben Zucker co-founded Step Up Louisiana because they saw the need for an independent organization with a racial justice analysis that could win on education justice and economic justice issues. To that end, Step Up members have formed an Economic Justice Committee and a Parent Union in New Orleans.
HousingNOLA is a partnership between community leaders, and public, private, and nonprofit organizations working to solve New Orleans’ affordable housing crisis. The data indicates the need for 33,600 additional affordable units in the city by 2025 and the data clearly shows that wages have not come close to mirroring the dramatic rise in housing costs.
HousingNOLA is an ongoing 10-year initiative to collectively remind New Orleans and its elected officials of the issues New Orleanians face and guides policy makers in determining what funding and policy for housing should look like, based upon what New Orleanians want.
“Since responsibility of this plan goes beyond the realm of our elected officials, this plan will live on even as mayors, city councilmembers, and other elected officials come and go. It’s our job to hold our next leaders accountable to the recommendations we make in HousingNOLA,” says HousingNOLA Executive Director Andreanecia M. Morris.
VOTE is a growing nonprofit organization. Vote is a group of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people who advocate for crime survivors rights; employment rights; housing rights; medical rights and voting rights.
“Our organizing covers a wide variety of intersecting issues. We strategically develop formerly incarcerated leaders to be the champions of our reforms through community education, civic engagement, and policy advocacy. This is how we pave the path to truly ending mass incarceration,” the group proclaimed on its website. Norris Henderson, a wrongly convicted man who won his freedom, is the founder and executive director of VOTE. Contact VOTE at firstname.lastname@example.org 504.571.9599
Would your organization like training on building power and fighting racism, contact: The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond: www.pisab.org or 504-301-9292.
Are you a young person who wants to tackle the climate crisis and inequality with a just & green economy, contact Sunrise Movement New Orleans: email@example.com www.facebook.com/sunriseneworleans
If your family is affected by youth incarceration and needs assistance, please contact Ubuntu Village: (504) 267-4294 or go to: ubuntuvillagenola.org.
There are many more organizations working to improve the quality of life for New Orleanians, including the NAACP-New Orleans Branch, Greater New Orleans Urban League, and the SCLC.