After Moral Monday, the Ignite NC crew went to a bi-monthly open mic event, hosted at Cuban Revolution, to register voters. The restaurant was filled to the brim with people, all excited for a night of live music, in a hip area of Durham. Before the music started, Josh, the field director of Ignite NC, gave an impassioned and moving speech about the needs for everyone to vote so that we can fulfill our most basic civil duty. A right that Americans fought and died for in the 1960’s and that people having been fighting for across the World. A right that people in our own state and across our great nation are trying to take away for mere political reasons.
It was great to see a group of people immediately raise their hands asking for voter registration forms knowing exactly what they needed to do to have their voices heard. Another fascinating part of the night was that much of the poetry and music was about the need to get involved and the systemic problems that are affecting their community. The music was great and a whole lot of fun to attend. It was the first time that I had ever gone to an event like that and I definitely plan on going back with the entire Ignite group.
This week the entire Ignite Crew met-up with many other local groups to go to a public hearing at the Wake Board of Elections. The hearing was for public input on where to place the eight early voting sites in Wake County. Ignite and many other groups were asking for one site to be located at Chavis Community Center and another on North Carolina State University’s campus. These sites were of the up most importance because State’s largest university where over 35,000 students study every day, and were close to another 10,000 employees work; and Chavis Community Center would be key for the working class community with the beltway of Raleigh.
At the Board of Election’s hearing it was great to see members across the community asking for
locations that were sensible for the working members, students, and the elderly that make Raleigh what it is. Two N.C. State Alumni, that came with Ignite, spoke, they gave impassioned speeches about how the early voting on campus allowed them to vote when it was at their most convenient The most powerful moment of the entire afternoon was when one of the speakers asked everyone who supported the idea to stand up and a room filled to brim (there were not enough chairs) stood up with the exception of 7 people still sitting. It was a great site to see Ignite going to a local meeting and having our voices heard.