STATEMENT ON VOTER SUPPRESSION
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28 March 2021
The Sisters of Swing Phi Swing SFI® condemn recent actions undertaken by the State of Georgia to suppress voter rights and access to polls. Founded during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s in response to the social, political, educational apartheid underpinned by Jim Crow laws in the U.S. as a backlash to the legal abolition of slavery almost a century prior, we continue to fight against all attempts to deny the right of civic engagement, especially to women and the Black community.
On March 25, 2021, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) signed GA Senate Bill 202 into law, marking a major blow against ballot access and sparking comparisons of regression to Jim Crow-era voter suppression tactics. The law contains new voter identification requirements, limits on ballot drop boxes and mail-in voting, and enhances the (currently Republican-controlled) state legislature’s control over the State Board of Elections while empowering the State Board to seize control over the administration of elections by county election boards. Due to the long lines during the 2020 election due to a ten percent decrease in polling locations, one of the stand-out stipulations in the bill prohibits “the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector…within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place.”
While Kemp presented the bill as a “step toward ensuring our elections are secure, accessible, and fair”, voter rights advocates disagree. Nsé Ufot, CEO of the New Georgia Project Action Fund characterizes the bill as “a blatant and intentional strike on Black, Brown, and new voters”, and Stacey Abrams, a voting rights advocate and founder of Fair Fight, calls the bill “Jim Crow in a suit and tie,” adding that "cutting off access, adding restrictions, encouraging more ‘show me your papers’ actions to challenge a citizen’s right to vote [is] facially neutral but racially targeted.” President Joe Biden stated, “This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end. We have a moral and Constitutional obligation to act.” Biden urged Congress to pass the For the People Act (H.R.1) for ballot access and campaign finance reform as well as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R.4) and indicated that the White House and the Justice Department were investigating potential action related to Georgia voting rights.
LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright, founders of Black Voters Matter Fund have called on Georgia-based corporations to make good on last year’s pledges of solidarity and support for racial justice. “Last year, Georgia-based businesses like Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, Southern Company, and SunTrust Bank launched multi-million dollar campaigns pledging solidarity and support for Black Lives Matter. But in this critical moment for Black voting rights, many of these same companies are offering little more than lip service– even as they expect Black people to purchase their goods and services.”
Judd Legum, the publisher of political newsletter Popular Information, has also called out major corporate contributors to the sponsors of the voter suppression bills in Georgia, who, in light of the passing of the bill into law, have made no statements denouncing it or even communicated plans to discontinue financial contributions to supporters of the bill. Activists have been sharing Legum’s list and calling on people to contact and boycott the companies to express opposition. Included in the list of corporations and amounts donated to supporters of Georgia Senate Bill 202 are: @aflac (7K) @Allstate (17K) @AnthemBCBS (17K) @AnheuserBusch (17K) @ATT (100K) @CocaCola (35K) @CVSHealth (43K) @comcast (40K) @Delta (42K) @GM (33K) @HomeDepot (34K) @Lyft (6K) @Pfizer (17K) @Publix (30K) @SouthernCompany (39K) @SunTrust (25K) @TMobile (8K) @UnitedHealthGrp (28K) @UPS (35K) @Verizon (15K) @Walgreens (10K) @Walmart (23K)
As part of our national Global Outreach & Optimism in the Diaspora (GOOD) initiative, Swing® uplifts and supports community collaborative strategies near and abroad to improve the social, political, educational, and health conditions of women, children, and people of color. We focus on women, children, and communities of color, creating collaborations to do GOOD by strengthening communities through empowerment, education, sponsorship, and support of causes and campaigns to create and protect resources and access to services.
Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship, Inc.® is a non-profit organization founded in 1969 and dedicated to community service, promoting and achieving academic excellence, and enhancing community and cultural consciousness. As a service-based organization, we are committed to supporting organizations and efforts that parallel the goals of our beloved sisterhood. We proudly partner with local and national service organizations and participate in community-building activities that raise awareness for issues that affect our community. With the mission to enrich the quality of life in the communities they serve, members of Swing Phi Swing SFI® dedicate our time, energy, and virtue to effecting social change. We strive to embody a Sisterhood through the fellowship of women of all creeds in an effort to achieve our vision to promote leadership, academic excellence, community involvement, and civic and cultural consciousness.
Tags: #BlackVotersMatter #FightVoterSuppression #Aflac #Allstate #AnthemBCBS #AnheuserBusch #ATT #CocaCola #CVSHealth #Comcast #Delta #GM #HomeDepot #Lyft #Pfizer #Publix #SouthernCompany #SunTrust #TMobile #UnitedHealthGroup #UPS #Verizon #Walgreens #Walmart