Vol. 9    No. 22
OCTOBER 30, 2014

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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Contributing Writers
Lisa Peyton-Caire, Eileen Hocker,
Alfonso Zepeda Capistran, Theola
Carter, Fabu, Lang Kenneth Haynes,
Heidi Pascual, and Donna Parker

Webmaster: Heidi M. Pascual
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                      You Know What to Do 11/4
What happens every two years in November that sometimes radically alters our lives? No, it’s not a late
autumn blizzard that puts a drastic halt to the warm October weather. No, it’s not a visit by the Green Bay
Packers to play a regular season NFL game in Camp Randall stadium against the Chicago Bears.
It’s Election Day that occurs on the first Tuesday of November. This year, that happens to be next Tuesday,
November 4th.

Now far too many of us think — or act like — Election Day comes every four years when we elect the
President of the United States. According to the Government Accountability Board, approximately 70
percent of the citizens of Wisconsin who were eligible to vote actually exercised that right and gave
President Barak Obama a majority of the votes and therefore he carried the state of Wisconsin. This
happened in 2008 and again in 2012.

In the election occurring November 4, the GAB predicted that only about 56 percent of eligible voters will
cast their ballots. That’s hundreds of thousands of voters whom they predict won’t exercise their
constitutional right to vote. And far too many of them will be African Americans and other people of color.

If only 56 percent of the people voted in 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama wouldn’t have carried Wisconsin
and quite possibly wouldn’t have been elected president. It’s because Euro-Americans are so evenly split
in their electoral preferences that it makes the votes of African Americans and other people of color the
deciding votes in any statewide election. People of color vote in significant numbers and the election
swings this way. People of color stay at home on Election Day and the election swings that way.

To be quite frank, large numbers of African Americans and Latinos voting drives Tea Party Republicans
crazy. When all kinds of Black folks turned out to vote in Wisconsin for President Obama, especially in the
Milwaukee area and put President Obama over the top, it horrified Republicans like state senator Glenn
Grothman. He couldn’t believe that Black folks had basically decided the election and so he was
convinced that it had to be voter fraud that won the election for President Obama. He just couldn’t accept
the fact that African Americans and Latinos held the balance of power in Wisconsin elections and that
white people were not totally in charge.

So Grothman, over the past six years, has made it his mission to disenfranchise voters of color and
others. He and other Republicans in the state legislature along with Governor Scott Walker have
systematically passed measures to reduce African American voting. Anyone remember the poll tax?
They eliminated absentee voting on Sundays when a lot of African American voters would go vote after
church. They drastically reduced the number of hours when absentee balloting could occur. These
measures are in place.

They also passed a voter ID law that would require Wisconsin voters to produce specific forms of IDs to
vote, IDs that a disproportionate number of voters of color, the elderly and students don’t have. Luckily, the
U.S. Supreme Court won’t allow them to implement voter ID in this election. But they may in the future
unless voters put a stop to it.

So to make a long story short, the Tea Party Republicans have placed barriers in the way of many of you
because they don’t want you to vote. If you exercise your constitutional right to vote, a right that many
African Americans died to obtain, the Tea Party Republicans lose and you’ve got the power. But if you stay
at home and disrespect Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others in the civil rights movement who died so that
you would have the right to vote and the Tea Party Republicans win. You will be giving them the power.

The Government Accountability Board and the political pundits are predicting that you will stay home on
Election Day and that could very well give Governor Scott Walker, the Republican who destroyed public
sector unions, took millions of dollars out of our public schools, threw thousands of people out of Medicaid
and refuses to increase the minimum wage for the working poor the victory.

But if you get out there like I know you will to exercise your power, then quite possibly Democrat Mary
Burke will win, someone who isn’t going to prevent you from working and wants to increase the minimum
wage among other measures.

You’ve got the power, so exercise it on November 4th and vote!