Wednesday, August 7, 2013

50th Anniversary of the March on Washington


Dear Members, Supporters, and Partners:

On Saturday, August 24, 2013 we will gather at 8AM at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC to stand together against the recent attack on voter rights, against Stand Your Ground and racial profiling, and to continue to raise awareness on unemployment, poverty, gun violence, immigration, gay rights and other critical issues affecting our nation. 50 years ago when we marched on Washington it was an historic event that lead to the passage of the very civil rights legislation that ended Jim Crow and began the modern era of civil rights. It brought us our dignity, our humanity and our march to realize the dream that so many had given their lives for.
50 years later we need you as much as we did in 1963. Today, the first African American President in the history of our nation sits in the White House. That would not have been possible without the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court in the final days of its term this year has struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act and thereby have place our right to vote in jeopardy. We must turn out by the hundreds of thousands in Washington DC on August 24th and we need your financial commitment to ensure our success.
This past weekend we held vigils in 100 cities across the nation for Trayvon Martin. These vigils were a huge success because of all of you. Now, it is critical that we harness this heightened awareness of our collective strength to sustain a movement.
Your support will help us to cover increased costs to make August 24th a huge success. Support the March by making a donation to the National Action Network. Your support will ensure that our voices are heard as we continue to realize the dream of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.
(The talking points for the march are below:)

Jobs & the Economy – Jobs are still a major focus of the march 50 years later. Unemployment is still plaguing many communities.  The black community still sees double the unemployment rates of the rest of the country. Youth unemployment is nearly six times higher.
Voting Rights – Voting Rights have been thrust to the forefront of the agenda after the Supreme Court dismantled a crucial section of the Voting Rights Act.    Now, without protections to keep states with a history of disenfranchising voters, those states are left susceptible to new laws that threaten to keep them from the polls.  This after winning crucial battles in 2012 against misleading claims of voter fraud.
Workers’ Rights – Workers’ Rights have been under attack in states across this country.  Low wage earners in certain industries have been banned the right to unionize and collectively bargain for fair pay, benefits and other protections.  Others who have been protected have had their rights attacked or taken away through the introduction and passage of bills that threaten workers’ protections.
Stand Your Ground Laws & Gun Violence – The Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander cases put Stand Your Ground laws under the microscope.  The cases brought to light the inequalities that lie within its interpretation and the fact that it is in place in a majority of states underscores that we must fight to repeal the laws.  Gun violence has been an issue in low income communities for years, but the Sandy Hook tragedy created an urgency to address gun laws.  While Congress failed to act on sensible gun legislation, we must continue to demand action.
Women’s Rights – Women continue to have to fight laws that limit their ability to make decisions about their own health.  Many states have legislation that has either recently passed or that has been introduced that eliminates a woman’s right to choose even in instances of incest, rape or health.  Women are also still making less than male counterparts but living longer.  The implications of this are numerous but keep women in vulnerable positions.
Immigration – Immigration reform has been discussed for many years, but gained traction in the recent months with the introduction and passage of a bill in Senate.  While it has stalled in the House, this legislation will have a huge, positive impact on the economy and create civil rights for the millions of immigrants living in this country.  Despite the fact that many immigrants are Latino, this is not just a Latino issue – it is an American issue.  We need to grant amnesty to the many illegal immigrants who are here and allow them to achieve the American Dream.
LGBT Equality – This year the LGBT community made progress in their work to achieve equality.  With 13 states now allowing gays to marry and the Supreme Court overturning DOMA and Prop 8, the crucial victories set up a forward march.  However, the gay community still faces employment discrimination and other challenges that block their ability to achieve full rights.
Environmental Justice – Many low income people and minorities face environmental challenges that threaten their health and their lifestyle.  In Los Angeles, African Americans are twice as likely to die in a heat wave.  68% of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal plant and this creates more incidences of asthma. Latino children are twice as likely to die from an asthma attack as non-Latino children.  There are many more issues related to the environment that impact outcomes for these communities.
Youth – Many of the aforementioned issues affect youth, but in addition to those challenges, youth often deal with college loans.  In recent years the college loan interest rate has been at risk for doubling multiple times.
National Action Network
106 West 145th Street
New York, NY 10039
No Justice. No Peace!

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