Moments For The Culture – YOUR VOTE, YOUR VOICE, YOUR POWER

by Richard Lallite

In these times of uncertainty, it is increasingly important that we as a community understand the importance of our collective strength and power. There are certain facts that are true regardless of the times we face. One of those facts is that politicians respond to two things, MONEY and VOTES.

In these times of uncertainty, it is increasingly important that we as a community understand the importance of our collective strength and power. There are certain facts that are true regardless of the times we face. One of those facts is that politicians respond to two things, MONEY and VOTES.

Although, as African-Americans we face significant economic challenges, we command $1.6 Trillion in buying power. If we leverage our buying strength with that of other peoples of color, we control a combined total of $4.9 Trillion. Moreover, if we build bridges and find common ground with other marginalized groups, we can truly become a more potent economic force.

What Unites Us Is Greater Than What Divides Us.

As the communities in which we live become larger and more diverse we have also seen a tendency towards “Tribalism”. Oftentimes the common interests of our individual cultural enclaves get obscured by the everyday trauma and divisiveness of the “Outrage of the Day”. We must resist the urge to retreat to our individual cultural bunkers and instead continue to seek the common ground with our neighbors who are in many cases facing the same challenges that our families are facing.

People in general want the same things; Safe streets for our families, a good educational system for our children, affordable and secure housing, good quality and affordable healthcare and the ability to grow older with security and dignity. How can we work together to make sure that we ALL can achieve these goals?

Build coalitions and VOTE in our shared best interests.

ALL elections have consequences.

The groundwork for what we are experiencing now in terms of the erosion of voting rights has been developing for decades. Census participation affects re-districting, and redistricting is done at the local political level. The dilution of our voting strength results in the gradual and not so gradual reduction in our representation. The only way to counteract this trend is to vote in strength in EVERY election. Understanding the power structure of our individual local communities is essential to our survival.

Do Not Give Up Your Voice.

We are not far removed from the time when attempting to exercise our vote was an existential threat to our lives. Many were beaten and murdered to secure the right to vote that we have in this time. Many fought hard legal battles to protect that right from being taken away in the decades that followed. A very steep price has been paid and as a community we cannot allow that to be taken away. Your VOTE is your VOICE. It is our ancestors VOICE. It is our children’s VOICE. By not voting, you allow those voices to be silenced.

HarlemAmerica-Moments_For_The_Culture-Your_Vote_Your_Voice_Your_Power-1
HarlemAmerica-Moments_For_The_Culture-Your_Vote_Your_Voice_Your_Power-2

No Taxation With Out Representation.

Two things in life are certain, paying taxes and dying. We all work very hard to earn a living and provide for our families. A large portion of what we work so hard to earn is collected by the federal, state and local governments to run the country. If you do not vote, you relinquish your say in how those dollars are spent. This means school funding, recreational programs, policing, hospitals, roads and bridges. Improvements in these services can only be achieved by using our collective voice, Our VOTE.

A Change is Gonna Come.

Immediate change can happen overnight, however, the change that really matters, is gradual and sustainable. The rollbacks we now face were put in place gradually and in order to fight back we must have sustained effort to reverse the damage that has been done.  That means we have to remain engaged. We must hold those in power accountable. We must understand that we are playing 3D Chess and not checkers. Keeping in mind that voting alone does not bring about change however without it change is all but impossible. Voting is still the biggest weapon we have against inequality. Apathy is not a luxury we can afford. The challenges and obstacles are too great not to use every weapon in our arsenal. ALL VOICES ON DECK.

Not just for you, but also for them.

Voting today determines the type of society your children will live in. If we want peace and prosperity for the generations to come, those decisions will have to be made by us today. Think about the children and what type of world we leave to them. Will you leave that to chance and rely on others to determine their quality of life? Or will you make you VOICE heard and your POWER felt by advocating now for the best interests of our children?

The time is now to make up our minds that our VOICE will not be silenced. The alternative is too horrific to be considered.

 

For more information about protecting and exercising your right to vote, check out the links below:

https://www.eac.gov/
HarlemAmerica-Moments_For_The_Culture-Your_Vote_Your_Voice_Your_Power-3
HarlemAmerica-Moments_For_The_Culture-Your_Vote_Your_Voice_Your_Power-featured-image

In these times of uncertainty, it is increasingly important that we as a community understand the importance of our collective strength and power. There are certain facts that are true regardless of the times we face. One of those facts is that politicians respond to two things, MONEY and VOTES.

In these times of uncertainty, it is increasingly important that we as a community understand the importance of our collective strength and power. There are certain facts that are true regardless of the times we face. One of those facts is that politicians respond to two things, MONEY and VOTES.

Although, as African-Americans we face significant economic challenges, we command $1.6 Trillion in buying power. If we leverage our buying strength with that of other peoples of color, we control a combined total of $4.9 Trillion. Moreover, if we build bridges and find common ground with other marginalized groups, we can truly become a more potent economic force.

What Unites Us Is Greater Than What Divides Us.

As the communities in which we live become larger and more diverse we have also seen a tendency towards “Tribalism”. Oftentimes the common interests of our individual cultural enclaves get obscured by the everyday trauma and divisiveness of the “Outrage of the Day”. We must resist the urge to retreat to our individual cultural bunkers and instead continue to seek the common ground with our neighbors who are in many cases facing the same challenges that our families are facing.

People in general want the same things; Safe streets for our families, a good educational system for our children, affordable and secure housing, good quality and affordable healthcare and the ability to grow older with security and dignity. How can we work together to make sure that we ALL can achieve these goals?

Build coalitions and VOTE in our shared best interests.

ALL elections have consequences.

The groundwork for what we are experiencing now in terms of the erosion of voting rights has been developing for decades. Census participation affects re-districting, and redistricting is done at the local political level. The dilution of our voting strength results in the gradual and not so gradual reduction in our representation. The only way to counteract this trend is to vote in strength in EVERY election. Understanding the power structure of our individual local communities is essential to our survival.

Do Not Give Up Your Voice.

We are not far removed from the time when attempting to exercise our vote was an existential threat to our lives. Many were beaten and murdered to secure the right to vote that we have in this time. Many fought hard legal battles to protect that right from being taken away in the decades that followed. A very steep price has been paid and as a community we cannot allow that to be taken away. Your VOTE is your VOICE. It is our ancestors VOICE. It is our children’s VOICE. By not voting, you allow those voices to be silenced.

HarlemAmerica-Moments_For_The_Culture-Your_Vote_Your_Voice_Your_Power-1
HarlemAmerica-Moments_For_The_Culture-Your_Vote_Your_Voice_Your_Power-2

“Don’t ever think I fell for you or fell over you, I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it. – Toni Morisson

With all of the many stellar accomplishments that one can attribute to Colin Powell, I think I am most impressed by his six decade long marriage to Alma Powell. They were married in Birmingham, Alabama in 1962, just before he was sent to Vietnam. It is impossible to imagine his greatness without also acknowledging hers in the same breath. Military spouses serve right along with the soldiers they are married to. She not only raised their children and supported his career but has been a formidable force in the world in her own right and by his side. They served side by side as highly respected advocates for children through the America’s Promise Alliance. Colin Powell served as the Founding Chairman of America’s Promise and Alma Powell now serves as Chair.

In an article on CNN.com (Colin Powell’s love story started with an accidental date — and lasted six decades), Faith Karimi wrote, “Throughout his journey as a trailblazing soldier and diplomat, Powell did not walk alone. He had a partner in more ways than one.

No Taxation With Out Representation.

Two things in life are certain, paying taxes and dying. We all work very hard to earn a living and provide for our families. A large portion of what we work so hard to earn is collected by the federal, state and local governments to run the country. If you do not vote, you relinquish your say in how those dollars are spent. This means school funding, recreational programs, policing, hospitals, roads and bridges. Improvements in these services can only be achieved by using our collective voice, Our VOTE.

A Change is Gonna Come.

Immediate change can happen overnight, however, the change that really matters, is gradual and sustainable. The rollbacks we now face were put in place gradually and in order to fight back we must have sustained effort to reverse the damage that has been done.  That means we have to remain engaged. We must hold those in power accountable. We must understand that we are playing 3D Chess and not checkers. Keeping in mind that voting alone does not bring about change however without it change is all but impossible. Voting is still the biggest weapon we have against inequality. Apathy is not a luxury we can afford. The challenges and obstacles are too great not to use every weapon in our arsenal. ALL VOICES ON DECK.

Not just for you, but also for them.

Voting today determines the type of society your children will live in. If we want peace and prosperity for the generations to come, those decisions will have to be made by us today. Think about the children and what type of world we leave to them. Will you leave that to chance and rely on others to determine their quality of life? Or will you make you VOICE heard and your POWER felt by advocating now for the best interests of our children?

The time is now to make up our minds that our VOICE will not be silenced. The alternative is too horrific to be considered.

 

For more information about protecting and exercising your right to vote, check out the links below:

https://www.eac.gov/
HarlemAmerica-Moments_For_The_Culture-Your_Vote_Your_Voice_Your_Power-3
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