Ms. Simmons is attending the Democratic Convention
as a representative of BlackCommentator.com. Additionally,
we welcome her as a member of the BC Editorial Board.
The poor were not mentioned
The voter ID issue was on everyone's
mind as the Democratic National Convention officially
opened in Charlotte NC on Tuesday, September 5. Delegates
and politicians alike were in agreement that the recent
attempts at voter suppression were as blatant a move
that had been attempted since the passing of the Voting
Rights Act in 1965.
Pennsylvanians, in particular, had strong
opinions, given the recent voter ID legislation which
was challenged and deemed constitutional there, despite
Although several efforts have been made
as a result to assist those most affected to obtain
the required ID at no cost, and with some relaxing
of normal requirements, there are still strong opinions
about this latest blatant and unrepentant disenfranchisement
effort by Republicans, spearheaded by Tea Party legislators
who rode the wave of 2010 mid-term election victories.
A large group particularly at risk by this cynical
move, although by no means the only one, are African
State Representative Curtis
Jones (D- PA) summarized both what is happening ,
and the proper response to it, mirroring what everyone
at the convention was discussing amongst themselves.
"This is nothing new", he
"Since Reconstruction, grandfather
clauses, dimpled chads and more have been used to
disenfranchise African Americans. There are one million
more Democrats than Republicans in Pennsylvania. We
are launching a marked effort targeting young people
rights for all, regardless of gender and sexual preference,
public sector job protections and a strong focus on
the middle class seem to be trending as the priorities
for this election cycle. And yet, as the 2012 convention opened, aside from some references
and examples noted throughout the evening in some
speeches, there was no mention of the poor, many of
whom are the former middle class or the so - called
is nothing new
The fact that
this group is the most vulnerable to the current voter
suppression attempts, makes a solution imperative.
Without the active participation of the poor and working
poor in this election, all of the most pressing concerns
of the party are in jeopardy.
of voter intimidation must be taken more seriously
or the active campaign by Republican operatives and
ideologues to destroy, discourage and suppress voter
turnout will succeed.
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board Member Amy V. Simmons is a media
professional well respected in many circles; she studied
journalism and communications at Point Park College
in Pittsburgh , PA, and English at LaSalle University
in Philadelphia, PA. The daughter of two lifelong
social justice, community and civil rights activists,
she is a member of the National Association of Black
Journalists, the world's largest journalism organization,
as well as its founding chapter, the Philadelphia
Association of Black Journalists. She is also a member
of the Native American Journalists Association. Click
to contact Ms. Simmons.