Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kappas and Omegas Form Super Pac

The following article is music to my ears. The action taken by these two fraternities is truly groundbreaking and demonstrates the growing political maturity of  our community. Instead of being reactive - showing up a day late and a dollar short - the Kappas and Omegas decided to be proactive. By forming a Political Action Committee and strategically targeting battle grounds states signals, we have a better understanding of the political process and are ready to play ball with the big boys. Hats off to them...

Backed by members of Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi, historically black fraternities that both celebrated their centennials last year, 1911 United aims to raise $1.5 million toward training and organizing African-American voters in key battleground states to re-elect President Obama. Members of the two fraternities joined forces last year, officially forming the committee in December, after seeing that both organizations were running their own campaign volunteer-recruitment efforts at college homecoming events.

"We were thinking about how we could really honor the legacy of those brothers who got together 100 years ago, and we thought perhaps the best thing we could do is help re-elect our president," Sinclair Skinner, committee treasurer, told The Root.

To achieve this goal, 1911 United plans to organize and deploy 10,000 volunteers to register at least 100 voters each and activate them to hit the polls. The PAC is focusing its efforts in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Colorado.

"When it comes to putting down dollars, energy and effort, these are the critical battleground states," said Skinner, 42. "We also chose states where the black electorate represents a percentage of the population that will make a difference in the election's outcome if we don't come out. We're not fighting Republicans; we're fighting apathy.

Another critical aspect of 1911 United's approach is organizing early, instead of the typical model of rushing a last-minute push in the fall. Starting now will be especially important in combating possible disenfranchisement of black voters in the form of photo-ID laws, cuts to early voting and other rule changes in the 2012 election

"Some of this is about our people maturing in the electoral process," said Skinner, who added that too often, African Americans mistakenly view elections as a one-day event. "The issue of voter suppression is not new to us as a people. But getting involved in the process in January will ensure that we're more prepared come November for whatever they try to throw at us. That involvement means making sure that people are aware of all the laws, all the rules, and in a position to address them."  read entire story

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