First of all let me start by saying thank you all who are able to attend we have some Representatives and some Senators who are on their way, or have other business, there's give it debate going on open the house chamber about the issue with so funds and so going to lack in between but I don't like this particular enervous with this particular issue was so important that I had to stop what my regular routine and come down and really talk about this commemoration so to speak of the 50 anniversary before us. I'm representative Rodney Moore, house district number 99 from Meclenberge county and I would be your facilitator today and I just want to start with a few brief comments, and then I'm going to introduce other speakers to come and talk about the voting rights and all the things, Good afternoon "Good afternoon. " This is a significant day in the history of our nation, on this today August 6th, I965, President Lyndon Johnson signed in law the most important piece of legislation of the 20th century, the voter rights are, we've come on this ocassion to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the greatest achievement, the heir of civil right legislation, I want to frame my remark by underscoring the fact that is not for the passage of the voting right Acts of 1965, I as a man of color I meet with my colleagues, assemble here today with more than likely not be standing before you today, as representatives and senators who have the honor and high privilege, of serving the the citizens the great student North Carolina. I'm Mac Kali stand in solidarity today, because we stand on the shoulders of a precious generation of great and courageous Americans who sacrificed greatly, to ensure that future generations of Americans regardless of race, creed or standing to have the right to exercise the most secret right and just democracy, the rights to vote therefore there representative government. That precious right there's a leash can of of our republic. It speaks to the ideal and all citizen of this great nation are equal through earning computer access to ballot box. We commemorate, and honor those brave models who were attacked by angry mobs, attacked by law enforcement agencies. Thrown in jail all because they stood up, do assure that all have the right to vote, because of their sacrifice the reality over [xx] and at air cold that can be realized. The reality will qualify a word ever broke to be realized. The reality on an African American Commander in Chief, and a personal president Barack Obama could not be realized without the great sacrifice of those who fought for the dreams of a generation they would not see. We owe a great debt to our ancestors and those who paved the way for our dreams being fulfilled. No one can deny that this state and this nation have come a long way since signing of the act in 1965. A few years after a passage of the voter rights act, registration voter activity among minority voters and most southern estates double but African Americans were elected to all levels of local and state government but despite 50 years of positive change, despite 50 years of increased participation and now democracy by people of color, voting rights for all Americans are once again under attack. This new so called laws to stop voter fraud and bring back voter integrity are nothing more than the modern day voter suppression schemes to limit access to the ballot for the youth, the elderly, and people of color. In the year 2015 we find ourselves fighting the same battles that our previous generation fought only our fight is to protect and preserve the rights that we have enjoyed because of their sacrifice. Let us take up the challenge and do all we can to preserve the right to vote to those generations who will inherit our legacy. We must recommit ourselves to the fight for freedom and justice, all of us have a responsibility to do what we can to leave this state and this nation better than we found it.
I intend to do all I can, in words of Dr. King, human progress is not automatic nor inevitable, every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle. The tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals, thank you for listening with this brief comments and at this time I'll bring several speakers up to the podium I will begin first with attoney [xx] from Welmet[sp?] sent to talk about the voters about his project, will be followed by, young man Demitris[sp?] Delouch[sp] young strong brother that's our future here, that's going to be a future leader in the state and then we will have remarks from Reverend [xx] from Charlotte North Carolina Thank you representative Moore, and thank you all of you all for being here, 50 years ago I was a [xx] senior year at [xx] state University, and from that historically black institution, I went on to enjoy an opportunity to get more education, and since 1976 I've been involved in using my, the ranks that I gained from the Civil Rights Movement that started arguably in 1954 but for 50 years, we've been fighting to assure access to the ballot for all people for black people it was a 350 year struggle, before we got there. And what a suppression has been a part of American fabric since 1619 when blacks were first brought to these shores as slaves. And it stuns me because immediately after the civil war doing reconstruction gave us substantial legislation that was passed to give former slaves the right to vote and protections to protect those rights. the reconstruction ended in 1877, and our right to vote was under attack. It remained under attack until the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and as soon as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed the policy that'd be undertook to take away that right, the most precious right of American citizenship. And so for the last 50 years there's been an ongoing concerted effort to roll back the clock, reintroduce second class citizenship. For the last couple of years I've been running the campaign to defeat voter suppression and every week I write an articles that touches on voter suppression. It's just smartness, little opinion, that for us to overcome the power that want to take away our right to vote we have to educate ourselves to the effects voting and democracy actually means we have organized, organized. When I say organized I mean entire communities, [xx] rights it's just not about black people, it's about all people, this is out democracy. So we have to organize in our communities, in our churches, in our whole organizations and we must mobilize because all the education and organization doesn't amount to [xx] if you don't mobilize your voters voters oppression cannot stand if the people come out and vote, thank you. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and thank you all for being here, I stand before you today as a 21 year old African American Who's been blessed with the ability to further his education. I further my education at Sydney State University, majoring in Political Science. I of course heard about the seriousness of casting votes, and I've took it upon myself to act on this encouragement, to make myself accountable, and to go forth and do the civil liberty and both, I would like to present a little known history fact today. Many people haven't always been blessed with the privilege to vote, and many people were never able to have influence on who represented us in government. The 15th amendment was radified in
1870 to staged from denying African American males rights to vote. Acts of discrimination, prejudice, were still utilized to prevent African American males, from exercising their right to vote. However, on August the 6th in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the voter right acts, throughout the history African American males, and females, and the race in general. Form has repeatedly been a victim of heinous acts of violence, in previous turns in the effort to go to the voting polls many were attacked by knife sticks, guard dogs, tear gas, whips, and many were even killed. Understand that African Americans were not the only people who were who have endured struggle and confrontation, women as well of all races and all colors we're also susceptible to violent oppression. It was not until the 1920's that women were allowed to vote for the first time. Selling even though citizens before us endure heinous acts of violence and discriminatory actions, we still still have numerous individuals who refuse to vote. Many people from the past would have given their life just for the opportunity just to be able to go out, and cast their vote for who who represent their needs in the communities and in the world. I stand before you today to urge everyone who is eligible, young, middle aged, elderly. every person who is eligible to please go forth and cast your votes. Many citizens have the desires such as healthcare, scholarships for school and improve education just to name a few and we do not take the initiative to vote for members who represent us and who will fight for our desires. It may be a great chance that we will now receive them. Those who remain after 30 I doing the service to themselves making the Brair slate tears say the efforts of those before us seem futile. Thank you. Good Morning. Good Morning. My name is Reverend Dr. Rodney Saddler. I'm from Charlotte, North Carolina. And I want to say I was not born when the voting Rights Act was passed in 65. I was born two years later in 1967, so I was born into a world in which people that look like me were always able to vote I was able to grow up in a time period where I got to see Jesse Jackson when I was a teenager running to be President of this United States, I lived in city where I got to see African American and Latino leaders as well as white leaders elected. So I got to see the benefits of what the voting rights act was. The Voting Rights Act is a significant piece of legislation passed this day 50 years ago, it gave opportunity for all people, all American people to achieve a part of the American dream to participate in their own governance. It gave people the power to have a voice and to speak in a way that things were done, so that things would be done on their behalf as well. As we live today I have to say that I'm sorry to see that the Voting Rights Act that I have known all my life is now under attack. This status[sp?] ruling a couple of years ago undermined I believe it was section four, and then therefore took out the bottom of section five for the Voting Rights Acts which literally means now that people in states that have been covered [xx] are now less able to vote than they were before. We should not take this sitting down, we should stand up and say something about it, we should work together to make sure that these rights are protected. This was again paid for by blood, blood and death that went into making sure that we would all have these rights. Truth be told I wish we didn't have to have a Voting Rights Act. I wish we lived in a state, in a nation, in a world in which there was no thing called race, no thing that would separate some people and give some people more privilege to others, but the hard reality is that we do live in a racialized state, in a racialized nation, and until we finally deal with such things as unequal opportunity to vote we will need such things as the Voting Right Act. So I ask you all to stand with me today to say that we need to protect the rights that we've gained, we need to protect these rights so that every American is always able to have their voice heard, always able to participate in their own leadership, and that our government would truly be a representative government of all the people for all all the people Amen. Thank you, Reverend [xx] I'll have some colleagues join us since we started, I would like to bring to the podium a mentor, a long
time mentor of mine from afar, and now I have the privilege of serving with him and the general assembly, the dean of the house of the general assembly actually Representative Micky Mitchell from the county Catawba. Glad to see you all here. I'm privileged to I just got off the floor, we had a little argument about what I had to say to cut me off real good but we finally got it in. I'm pleased and privileged to have part in us having come ou tof the movement, having participated and many other things that happened brought about the advent of probably the greatest peace civil rights legislation that ever lived. You can go back to 1854, Brown Versus Board of Education, and Flescher versus Ferguson was overruled, and you can come down to civil 64 which o[ened up pubic accommodation. But the greatest thing that ever happened was to people who had been denied their rights under the 14th and 15tn amendment to cast their votes and elect people of their choice and that was in my estimation, it took everything that we went through during that period of time. That was the culmination of everything we had really fought for, we had died for. I recall on the floor, the many people who were involved in that I went to the third shell I went to Mcglamry match[sp?] that's where I was been involved know Martin King was a very close friend and we talked many times about what had happened and he always said that this was the greatest move that had been done but let me tell you something we are now back in the [xx] of history having to repeat itself, with the legislation that's going on right now, voter ID, doing away with the same bill registration, doing away with straight ticket voting, doing away with early voting, doing away with letting 16 and 17 year olds who are going to be our future leaders not be able [xx] of these things do not [xx] for the future. I have folks that we are repeating history. You repeat history only if you learn from that history that you have repeated so what I'm telling you is this that in spite of everything that's come up I was hurtened on the eve of this circuit called the repeals which is the most concerned and forward repeals in defense. Hanging down and saying to vote voter ID was unconstitutional and send him back to the court for remand in order to do what they had to do, hopefully other sportswriters in this country will see that and eventually you'll see something in court, but, and forgive me [xx] because this to me today is a very special day and folks who died who signed them, those you read about in history books, that I had the privilege of knowing. All of these [xx] on this occasion and so let me tell you one other thing I said too and I feel this very strongly there are people saying, you know, democrats take our votes for granted, but let me tell you something folks and I'm going to be part of this at this point because I have to be, because I have the right recognized, that the republican walked off in 1876 when they turned this nation back [xx] out in the south and turned the south back over to the anti- black democratic party. They were the ones, the democratic party were the ones that throws of segregation Jim Cauhill[sp?], the last black congress man coming out in 1901 George H White who's from North Carolina. The next black congress rule here was [xx] from Chicago Illinois, which was in 1928. But since that time since that time, the democratic party has reversed itself and I'm going to tell you yeah, they can take my vote for granted, if they give, if that's, if taking my vote for granted means that I've got at 30 so members of the North Carolina house of Representative who are my color. If I can, then you know, take my vote for granted, if you can he let a governor, a black governor in his time of Virginia,
Governor [xx], take my vote for granted. If you can elect a white president who and not one but two civil rights payouts. Take my vote for granted. If you can elect a president, my caller who is not a black president but is the president of the United States of America. And who can bring you out of the recession that the Republicans got put in, who can bring truth home from a war that the Republicans lied to get us involved in, who saved the major industry in this country, who has been verified the only reason I can think of it was because he's black. He has been the smartest president, they've tried to do everything they could but if you can bring that to me as a party, and I don't have to go into your office and look at you and see see the resemblance to a white citizen's count to sitting in there, then yes you can take my vote for granted. Well said representative Mitchell we can't disagree with any point that you've made want to speed this up Representative Mitchell it was my feature speaker he took as much gravity as he wanted to now we're going to be comments on the time, we're going to limit comments down to two minutes, and I' going to bring up Representative Garlen[sp?] Pierce who is the Chair of the Legislative Black office. Representative Garlen[sp?] Pierce, a Chair doesn't [xx]. I stand in adequate after hearing Nick Mitchell talk about this issue, but we do stand today let's say black [xx] is recognized, Mickey is saying that the reason that a lot of us are here because of those he rose ans she rose many years ago who on those dark roads and all the things that went on the season we read about many of out stand up here read about Mikky was there along with so many others, and North Carolina has been on the front line for a long time there would time that few registered to vote you could lose a job just so many things taht have challenged as but today we stand as the Black Caucus in full support of this press conference today and just thank all those who have come to be with us today decide as not or we've just begin to fight is still issues that we get to propel our young [xx] those who will come behind need to be made aware of what we've come through to get where we are today so that we will not repeat itself, but we need to vote as much as we can get out lost all politics and locals so with all all starts there and we need to encourage people to get out and vote, the issue is always gets Mickey is when at the voter well as you might have a thousand people registered to vote, but at the same time only go to vote we've got to change everyone got to turn that around let everybody know every vote counts I've seen rules races Mickey by wont vote you are the people stands so we've got to really come again and talk about the importance of voting we have this right [xx] for status right for us not taking advantage of Thank you for allowing me just to share those comments. Thank you representative Pius I guess now we are open up for questions if you have any. Any questions? Any comment on current law suit this working as way [xx] Representative Michelle was a part into that so I'll let him. I guess the only thing we're waiting now for a decision, if you know if you really remember though that the judge took out the voter ID partially which is going to be heard in a different setting, and it's just ironic that the Fifth Circuit came out with the decision yesterday on supporting the district court, ruling the voter ID portion unconstitutional, I think that's going to, it may affect just so that I don't know, but we're just waiting to hear what he's going to say, since he's taking all [xx] basically the suppression portion of it, other than I can't give you we just got our fingers crossed on that. We were saying on the floor you feel like you fighting the same fight you've fought that. It is, it is, it is, it really is and that's what ditch me, because I thought, I never thought I'd be coming back to the streets, I thought that was over with I thought we were doomed, I thought everybody had accepted that, that we everybody deserve that franchise, but what was
the supreme court rule section four on Constitution so that you couldn't effect section five, and that's started all over again, because at that point you're other side came in and rush through all kind of registration to knock down the things that we had built. Any other questions? Let me just say before we call I want to thank colleagues I know you had to pressure yourself to get here know we had a very very important vote on the floor I had to be here, but let me just say this, before we adjourn I want to thank everyone that came, I want to send out, I want to send out a call, I want to send out a call to all citizen's of Goodwill, but more especially I want to send out a call to my African American churches, to my great nine sorority and fraternities, we have to go from protest to action, we are fighting this monstrous law of 589 in the courts, but while we are fighting we also need to be mobilizing so that we can be compliant if we don't get the result that we in court and so I ask everyone under the sound of my voice, ministers, rabbis, imams fraternities this authorities just anyone of good will who cares about this precious franchise that people have fought and died for it is very that Representative Michaux as he said he's fighting the same battle. 50 years from now, a goal that he for it he is fighting we become forward another 50 years of retraction we have to get it right we have to fight we have to take a stand and we have doing that I'm 52 years old I was two years old when the voting rights act was passed, so I don't see myself being here 50 years from now hope that might be, but I don't see even if I am I need young warriors, I need people like young Demetrius and other to bring up to pick up this call and to go forward, so I would hope that all of us become warriors in this fight because this is not a sprint this is a marathon, and we are going to win this battle because we have ride on ourselves and so thank you guys for coming God bless you and be safe.