ALTON — Prior to and amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic crisis, the vulnerable black population has always experienced disparities when it comes to losing our loved ones. Decreasing disparities that exist among the Black Indigenous People of Color is (BIPOC) is paramount. That is why Metro East and Southern Illinois groups have long been focused on inequality, inequity, and environmental injustices.

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There is a dire need for a renewable clean energy bill such as the Illinois Clean Energy Jobs ACT (CEJA), a bill that proposes to address BIPOC disparities with equity. By-passing the bill during this Veto session, our elected officials can demonstrate that they are ready to meet the needs of all people.

It is imperative that young voters and adults demand their officials and candidates stand with them to bring about equality, equity, and environmental “Justice for All”. Voter Engagement is one way to make sure your voice is heard. Because “Your Vote is Your Voice”.

This is National Voter Registration Day. This non-partisan, civic holiday, is designed to remind Americans to register to vote or update their voter registrations before state-specific deadlines to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to vote. Since the holiday was first observed in 2012, it is estimated that nearly 3 million voters have registered to vote on this holiday.

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“We are all concerned about health, safety, and the lives of our loved one right now, and that has made it more difficult for everyone to talk with their friends and neighbors in person about registering to vote” said Angelia Gower, Executive Director of Woman of Destiny and affiliate of Area Consortium of Educational Services for Our Youth DBA: ACES 4 Youth. “National Voter Registration Day is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and call on all Illinoisans to confirm they are registered at their current address and make a plan to vote in advance. This election is too important to miss.” We can honor those who have recently.

ACES 4 Youth has been working in coordination with organizations across the Midwest to increase the number of registered voters, educate voters on how to apply for absentee ballots, or how to vote early in-person where available. They have also been urging voters to do their homework and know where candidates stand on issues important to them, like health, education, climate action, and clean energy development.

Resources are available in every Midwestern state to help residents register and develop their plan to vote. For help to register to vote, applying for an absentee ballot, or locating your polling place visit, or google your counties’ name, state 2020 election resources.

You can also report examples of voter suppression or the need for assistance by calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE to connect to a national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process.

“We are not going to tell you who to vote for, but we hope you will take a moment to find out where all candidates stand on health, education, equality, equity environmental justice, climate action, clean energy, and any issues that are important to you and your family,” said Gregory Norris, Executive Director of ACES 4 Youth. “Don’t wait for another day. National Voter Registration Day is the perfect time to kick-off your election plan in Illinois.” Let’s honor the belated House Representative, Congressman John Robert Lewis, and the Associate Judge of the Supreme Court, Honorable Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. They lived their lives protecting our rights. So, vote!

If you would like assistance with registering to vote or developing your plan, contact your county board of elections for help.

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