The Florida African-American Caribbean Empowerment Alliance Vote For Dignity (F.A.C.E.) kicked off a statewide bus tour Tuesday aimed to educate, organize, and mobilize African-American and Caribbean voters in Florida to get out and vote.
Led by F.A.C.E. chairman, State Senator Tony Hill, the statewide bus tour will start in Pensacola. The tour will then visit Daytona, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa. The tour will end Thursday, Oct. 21, at Florida Memorial University in Miami.
Florida has roughly 1.6 million registered African American voters, and in 2008 there was a surge of 442,756 African American voters. The surge is defined as those who voted in 2008 but not 2000 or 2004. F.A.C.E. Vote For Dignity has developed a comprehensive model of voter outreach and civic engagement that is building community capacity and strengthen our communities through civic engagement.
“We’re traveling across Florida to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves,” said Hill. “Our communities must keep the hope and get out to vote in 2010.”
The National Committee for an Effective Congress (NCEC) calculates that of the voters who may potentially drop-off in 2010, African-Americans represent 33 percent (or the loss of approximately 146,000 surge voters and potentially 290,000 total African American voters). F.A.C.E. Vote For Dignity is poised to head off this potentially drastic erosion through a model of engagement and empowerment.
“We have no time to park in our success,” said Hill. “The stakes are too high and failure is not an option.”
FAMU SGA senior senator, Reamonn Soto, said SGA is also looking to mobilize students to vote by hosting a concert.
“To encourage students to get out to vote we have united with the hip hop caucus and we are going to have a concert in FAMU’s park,” said Soto. “We have booked celebrity artists Travis Porter, Chrisette Michele, Webbie, and Iceberg. We will be shuttling polls using the StarMetro city buses to go and vote.”
SGA will also host a march on Oct. 30 after the homecoming parade that will bring student organizations together from FAMU, FSU, and TCC.
“Our generation has the power to change things in this country” said Soto. “Our generation, the millennium generation is the most technologically savvy, the most diverse, and the most involved generation that America has ever seen. This fall were using our power and demanding our elected officials follow our leadership in creating clean energy jobs and creating millions of jobs. During this 2010 mid-term election we are opening conversation about our future.”
SGA President Gallop Franklin also spoke on the importance of the millennium generation voting.
“Our grandkids and great grandchildren our going to be participating and living, or even inhabiting the world that we create for them,” said Franklin. “So it’s our obligation to ensure that we give them the necessary environment and foundation level of quality of life either equal or better than what then what we have been able to be provided from our ancestors.”
“We will have the opportunity to shape our future with not only our demands, but were bringing our solutions to the campaign trails and were also organizing the organizations throughout Tallahassee which includes all three student governments associations on all three campuses, The F.A.C.E. alliance, The League of Young Voters, and many more organizations in a collaborative effort to register students to vote and to educate them on the candidates, the issues, the platforms, the amendments, and precinct locations,” said Soto.