Since 2002, Advancement Project has been at the forefront of building a national right-to-vote movement. In 2008, we published a strategic report entitled, In Pursuit of an Affirmative Right to Vote. Thereafter, we continued our signature focus on work in support of our partners in communities of color while litigating the Pennsylvania right to vote, advocating for rights restoration in Virginia, defending the right to vote in Missouri, and collaborating on communication efforts, including national opinion pieces and Op-Docs.
N.Y. TIMES OP-DOC: The Right to Vote (Aug. 29, 2012)
In recent years, we have expanded our right-to-vote work at the grassroots level in Florida and Louisiana. Nationally, we have continued to advance forward-thinking legal strategies in collaboration with a circle of the nation’s foremost scholars, litigators, and organizers. In 2015, we convened both legal strategy and organizers’ meetings.
The following are other highlights of our recent national work:
Defending the Power of Communities of Color to Effectuate Local Criminal Justice Reform
“If [Florida Governor Rick Scott’s] executive orders are allowed to stand, then the voices of the people . . . who seek reform, particularly Black and Latino people whose communities are most impacted by the broken criminal justice system, are effectively silenced.” — Advancement Project’s amici curiae brief in support of Petitioner, State Attorney Aramis Ayala, Florida’s first African American State Attorney, in Ayala v. Scott
In April 2017, Advancement Project filed an amici curiae brief on behalf of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP, The Dream Defenders, Florida Immigrant Coalition, SEIU Florida, New Florida Majority, and other groups in support of State Attorney Aramis Ayala for the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Florida, arguing Governor Scott’s removal of 23 cases from her office undermined the will of the voters, particularly Black and Latino voters, to effectuate progressive criminal justice reform. More information about Ayala v. Scott can be found here.
Teach-In with Bob Moses and Professor Peggy Cooper Davis of NYU Law
In Fall 2016, we collaborated with Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) civil rights veteran Bob Moses and Professor Peggy Cooper Davis and her students from the Constitutional Personhood Project at NYU Law. Our work culminated in a Teach-In presentation by Mr. Moses in St. Louis as part of our National work and the #DontTouchMyVote campaign. The Teach-In included remote participation by Professor Davis and her students as well as support from the Black Law Students Association, Public Service Advisory Board, American Constitution Society, and the Community Justice Clinic at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Professor Davis and her students also prepared a pamphlet for the Teach-In entitled, “Who Are We The People?“
We the People: Race & The New Fight for the Right to Vote
In June 2016, Advancement Project sponsored a standing-room only symposium entitled, We the People: Race & the New Fight for the Right to Vote. The symposium, moderated by Advancement Project National Office Executive Director Judith Browne Dianis, included Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), AFL-CIO National Vice President Tefere Gebre, Jamala Rogers of the Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis, Nayyirah Shariff of the Flint Democracy Defense League in Michigan, and Courtland Cox of the SNCC Legacy Project. The program was also broadcast live on social media and seen around the country.