15th Amendment – 145th Anniversary

15th_Amendment

 

The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “racecolor, or previous condition of servitude.” It was ratified on February 3, 1870, as the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments.

In the final years of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era that followed, Congress repeatedly debated the rights of the millions of black former slaves. By 1869, amendments had been passed to abolish slavery and provide citizenship and equal protection under the laws, but the election of Ulysses S. Grant to the presidency in 1868 convinced a majority of Republicans that protecting the franchise of black voters was important for the party’s future. After rejecting more sweeping versions of a suffrage amendment, Congress proposed a compromise amendment banning franchise restrictions on the basis of race, color, or previous servitude on February 26, 1869. The amendment survived a difficult ratification fight and was adopted on March 30, 1870.

United States Supreme Court decisions in the late nineteenth century interpreted the amendment narrowly. From 1890 to 1910, most black voters in the South were effectively disenfranchised by new state constitutions and state laws incorporating such obstacles as poll taxes and discriminatory literacy tests, from which white voters were exempted by grandfather clauses. A system of whites-only primaries and violent intimidation by white groups also suppressed black participation.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

"The first vote"  A.R. Waud.  Wood engraving. 1867. Prints & Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-19234
“The first vote”
A.R. Waud.
Wood engraving. 1867.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:
LC-USZ62-19234

Our Documents, 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, National Archives and Records Administratio

American Treasures of the Library of Congress – The Fifteenth Amendment

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Greensboro Sit-Ins – 55th Anniversary

Greensboro WoolworthGreensboro sit-ins

The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of nonviolent protests in 1960 which led to the Woolworth department store chain reversing its policy of racial segregation in the Southern United States.

While not the first sit-ins of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the Greensboro sit-ins were an instrumental action, leading to increased national sentiment at a crucial period in US history. The primary event took place at the Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth store, now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

In August 1939, African-American attorney Samuel Wilbert Tucker organized a sit-in at the then-segregated Alexandria, Virginia library. In 1942, the Congress of Racial Equality sponsored sit-ins in Chicago, as they did in St. Louis in 1949 and Baltimore in 1952. A 1958 sit-in in Wichita, Kansas also was successful.

On February 1, 1960,at 4:30pm four students from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University sat down at the lunch counter inside the Woolworth store at 132 South Elm Street in Greensboro, North Carolina.The men, later known as the A&T Four or the Greensboro Four, went to Woolworth’s Store, bought toothpaste and other products from a desegregated counter at the store with no problems, and then were refused service from the segregated lunch counter, at the same store. Following store policy, the lunch counter staff refused to serve the African American men at the “whites only” counter and the store’s manager asked them to leave.

The four university freshmen – Joseph McNeilFranklin McCainEzell Blair, Jr. (later known as Jibreel Khazan), and David Richmond – stayed until the store closed.

The next day, more than twenty African American students who had been recruited from other campus groups came to the store to join the sit-in. Students from Bennett College, a college for African American women in Greensboro, joined the protest. White customers heckled the black students, who read books and studied to keep busy. The lunch counter staff continued to refuse service.

Newspaper reporters and a TV videographer covered the second day of peaceful demonstrations and others in the community learned of the protests. On the third day, more than 60 people came to the Woolworth store. A statement issued by Woolworth national headquarters said the company would “abide by local custom” and maintain its segregated policy.

More than 300 people took part on the fourth day. Organizers agreed to spread the sit-in protests to include the lunch counter at Greensboro’s Kress store.

As early as one week after the Greensboro sit-in had begun, students in other North Carolina towns launched their own sit-ins. Demonstrations spread to towns near Greensboro, including Winston-Salem, Durham, Raleigh, and Charlotte. Out-of-state towns like Lexington, Kentucky also saw protests.

The movement then spread to other Southern cities including Richmond, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee where the students of the Nashville Student Movement had been trained for a sit-in by civil rights activist James Lawson and had already started the process when Greensboro occurred. Although the majority of these protests were peaceful, there were instances where protests became violent. For example, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, tensions rose between blacks and whites and fights broke out. Another city where sit-ins occurred was Jackson, Mississippi. Students from Tougaloo College staged a sit-in on May 28, 1963. The incident is recorded in the autobiography of one of the members in attendance, Anne Moody. Moody described the treatment of the whites who were at the counter when they sat down, as well as the formation of the mob in the store and how they managed to finally leave the store.

As the sit-ins continued, tensions grew in Greensboro and students began a far-reaching boycott of stores that had segregated lunch counters. Sales at the boycotted stores dropped by a third, leading the stores’ owners to abandon their segregation policies. Black employees of Greensboro’s Woolworth store were the first to be served at the store’s lunch counter. This event occurred on Monday, July 25, 1960. The entire Woolworth was desegregated, serving blacks and whites alike, although Woolworth lunch counters in other Tennessee cities, such as Jackson, continued to be segregated until around 1965, despite many protests.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greensboro_sit-ins

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National Park Service
The F.W. Woolworth Building on South Elm Street (the Northeast Shopping Center) is part of the Downtown Greensboro Historic District. The building currently houses the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.  http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrights/nc1.htm

Smithsonian photos
Freedom Struggle – Sitting for Justice: Woolworth’s Lunch Counter

International Civil Rights Center & Museum
55th Anniversary of the Sit-Ins Gala
Saturday, January 31, 2015, 6:00 PM ET
Joseph S. Koury Convention Center, Greensboro, NC

http://www.sitinmovement.org/

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US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1863-1963 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2009 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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24th Amendment – 51st Anniversary

Jim Ivey 1964 cartoon titled, "Here's another one for you" making fun of the poll tax
Jim Ivey 1964 cartoon titled, “Here’s another one for you” making fun of the poll tax

The Twenty-fourth Amendment (Amendment XXIV) prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. The amendment was proposed by Congress to the states on August 27, 1962, and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964.

Poll taxes appeared in southern states after Reconstruction as a measure to prevent African Americans from voting, and had been held to be constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in the 1937 decision Breedlove v. Suttles. At the time of this amendment’s passage, five states still retained a poll tax: Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi. The amendment made the poll tax unconstitutional in regards to federal elections. However, it was not until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6–3 in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966) that poll taxes for state elections were unconstitutional because they violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24th_Amendment

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With new year comes new obstacle to voting in Texas

12/31/14 08:06 AM By Zachary Roth – msnbc

Texas has among the lowest rates of voter participation in the country. And, starting midnight Wednesday, those looking to change that will face yet another obstacle.

To register voters in the Lone Star State, you have to be certified by your county—a process that includes attending a training session. And at the start of every odd-numbered year—that is, this Thursday morning—those certifications expire, meaning anyone who wants to continue to do voter registration must go through the time-consuming training process again.

That requirement, combined with other strict rules governing registration imposed in recent years, adds an enormous hurdle for groups conducting registration drives.

“No other state requires volunteers to jump through these hoops, just to register voters,” said Jenn Brown, the executive director of Battleground Texas, a Democratic group that’s working to register and mobilize new voters in the state. The restrictions, Brown added, “seem designed to keep eligible voters away from the polls.”

To understand just what those hoops are, you have to consider the full range of requirements the state imposes on those simply looking to help their fellow citizens register and vote.

Since the 1980s, Texas has required anyone registering voters be certified as a Volunteer Deputy Registrar (VDR), and be re-certified every two years. After the passage of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which aimed to make registration easier, many states dropped those certification requirements as inconsistent with the spirit of the federal law. Texas didn’t.

Then in 2011, the state made the process even trickier. First, Republican lawmakers passed new rules barring non-Texas residents from doing voter registration, which made it harder for outside groups to come into the state and run registration drives. They also added a training requirement to the VDR certification process, and imposed criminal penalties for any group that pays registrars. This was the same legislative session in which lawmakers passed the strictest voter ID law in the country—later struck down as a poll tax by a federal judge—as well as a redistricting plan that was found by a court to have intentionally discriminated against Hispanics.

For more: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/new-year-comes-new-obstacle-voting-texas

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US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1863-1963 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2009 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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Congressional Progressive Caucus

2014 Congressional Progressive Caucus
2014 Congressional Progressive Caucus

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) consists of one United States Senator and seventy five members of the United States House of Representatives, and is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus. Established in 1991, the CPC reflects the diversity and strength of the American people and seeks to give voice to the needs and aspirations of all Americans and to build a more just and humane society.

The Co-Chairs of the CPC–U.S. Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) and Keith Ellison (MN-05) . For entire list of caucus members: http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/caucus-members/

CPC Caucus members promote a strong, progressive agenda, what we call “The Progressive Promise–Fairness for All”. The Progressive Promise is rooted in four core principles that embody national priorities and are consistent with the values, needs and aspirations of all the American people, not just the powerful and the privileged. They reflect a fundamental belief in government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

The four, core principles of the Progressive Promise:

1. Fighting for economic justice and security for all;
2. Protecting and preserving our civil rights and civil liberties;
3. Promoting global peace and security; and
4. Advancing environmental protection and energy independence

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Congressional Progressive Caucus’ Priority Issues:

For more: http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov

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Liberals Don’t You Dare Give Up!

37% Voted on Novemeber 4, 2014 - DID YOU VOTE FOR OUR FUTURE?
37% Voted on Novemeber 4, 2014 – DID YOU VOTE FOR OUR FUTURE?


Yes, we Dems got beat this election. I DID NOT appreciate it that campaigning Democrats dissed President Obama.  Enough young and minority Democrat voters stayed home and the GOP voters came out in full force to vote. Now there is a GOP majority in the House and Senate.

The new GOP Congress will spend their time trying to repeal Obamacare for the 50+ time, repealing voters rights and other civil rights, crippling EPA laws, trying to passing stricter immigration laws, keeping things like phantom issues in the forefront instead of passing legislation to help the 99% [when they actually are in town and at work in Congress], blocking presidential cabinet and department appointees and blocking the appointment of liberal judges.

Whom ever becomes president in 2016 [HRClinton or E. Warren] will also have those GOP Senator winners of last night to deal with in their presidency four years.

Now we Democrats have to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and get back on our feet! Think of our forefathers who fought and died for your democracy!

We have to thank all the Democrat volunteers and voters who worked so hard.

We can appreciate that the US has fared way better then most countries economically coming out of that recession because of actions of President Obama.

We have to start becoming more politically involved and keep up with the news.

Every election creates change for you, your family, your community and your nation. We can start to prepare and vote for Democrats in every election

Work to Take Back Congress!

Aloha,

CR who is proud to be a Democrat!

Proud to be a Democrat

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The Right to Vote

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VOTE Make a Difference

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“The vote is the most powerful instrument, the most powerful non-violent tool in a democratic society.”

U.S. Representative John Robert Lewis

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Democrats have a long and proud history of fighting for voting rights that continues to this day. And while we’ve made significant progress in securing the right to vote for all eligible Americans, many voters still face difficulties in the voting process, from registering to casting a ballot to having their votes counted. Those often disproportionately affected are communities of color, young people, the elderly, low-income individuals, and disabled voters, as well as military members and veterans. In many parts of the country, voters are underserved by a lack of polling places, outdated voting machines, and unnecessarily complicated laws.

As Republican politicians try to make it harder to vote, Democrats are working to expand access to the polls. And we won’t stop working to promote a system of elections that is accessible, open, and fair — a system that ensures that every eligible person can cast a vote and that every lawfully cast vote is counted.

To learn more about why voting rights matter, visit: www.votingrightsmatter.com.

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Homeless People’s Voting Rights 202-462-4822

US Election Assistance Commission 866-747-1471 (toll free) or 202-566-3100

US Acerca de la EAC  866-747-1471 (teléfono gratuito) 202-566-3100

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Polling Place Locator http://pollingplaces.democrats.org

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VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014

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US Voters Deciding on Money for Wildlife Conservation

VOTE_buttonVote for Conservation 2014

US voters deciding on billions for conservation

10/30/14  By JASON DEAREN – AP

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Voters across the nation are deciding whether to set aside billions of dollars for parks and preservation in what some environmentalists are calling one of the most significant elections for land conservation in American history.

Pollsters say it’s one of the few places on Tuesday’s ballots where voters of all kinds can find common ground.

The most money at stake is in Florida, California and New Jersey.

“These are highly developed and dense states, and they are watching the good natural places disappear,” said Will Rogers, president and CEO of the Trust for Public Land, which tracks and raises money for the ballot measures. “People know if they don’t step up and protect it, it will be gone.”

Nationwide, it adds up to more than $15.7 billion overall in taxes and bonds for land and water conservation, the most in a quarter-century of elections, according to the trust’s data, which was independently verified by The Associated Press.

Other states with significant conservation funding on their ballots include Utah, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oregon. There are local measures, too: voters in Larimer County, Colorado could renew a sales tax to generate $131 million over 25 years for open spaces.

“One of the things we see in this hyper-partisan age is that support for these measures can extend across party lines,” said Lori Weigel, a pollster in Denver, Colorado, who has been tracking voter preferences on this year’s measures. “There’s something appealing about conserving these natural areas, whether that’s for sportsmen like hunters or environmentalists.”

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/us-voters-decide-billions-conservation-143430202–politics.html

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Polling Place Locator http://pollingplaces.democrats.org

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