Kindling: Ignite NC’s Newsletter

North Carolina youth are setting the tone and leading the way in mobilizing efforts across a broad range of issues. Whether it’s addressing police brutality, anti LGBTQ policy, the disenfranchisement of the poor and working class, or the destruction of our land we folks pulling together their energies and resources to create change for tomorrow and today. KINDLING is a monthly newsletter that uplifts some of the efforts that are happening across the state. Check out our first issue: Kindling October Newsletter

Early Voting Monitors Find Pat McCrory’s Monster Voter Suppression Law Impedes Young Voters.

Early Voting Monitors Find Pat McCrory’s Monster Voter Suppression Law Impedes Young Voters. Youth Mobilize to Protect NC Voting Integrity.

Irene Godinez, Monserrat Matehuala, and Emma Akpan monitor polls early Tuesday morning in Southeast Raleigh

In August 2013, Pat McCroy signed HB589 into law, a set of new rules referred to pro-democracy advocates as North Carolina’s Monster Voting law.  On the day Gov McCrory signed the bill he stated, “…the law will ensure integrity at the North Carolina ballot box and provide greater equality in access to voting.”

While the Constitutionality of the laws remains quagmired in litigation, most aspects of the law will be implemented during this March election cycle, including:

  • A reduction in the time period for Early Voting,
  • An end to out-of-precinct voting,
  • The expansion of the ability of a voter to challenge another voter at the polls,
  • An end to the broadly popular pre-registration for 16 and 17 year-olds,
  • Requiring a state issued Voter ID, but excluding the use of university IDs.

Laci in the fieldIn response Ignite NC’s Vote Defender Project, launched in August 2013, has trained and deployed non-partisan election protection volunteers across the state during the March early voting period. These “Vote Defenders” will provide voters with information about the new laws, document

any incidents, and conduct an academic exit survey in partnership with a political science professor at UNC-Charlotte.  On Election Day, Ignite NC will join with pro-democracy partners in deploying more than 1000 volunteers monitors across 45 counties.

“We have already been hearing troubling reports from our monitors, such as overly-long lines, not enough early voting hours, inadequate equipment at early voting sites, and students being turned away for inadequate ID” said Holden Cession, an organizer with the election protection effort. “If Pat McCroy and the state of North Carolina want to be true to their word and protect the integrity of the election, they must take immediate action and stop defending the monster voter suppression law in the courts, and follow the lead of other states like Oregon to pass laws such as automatic voter registration.”

A few days into the early voting process has revealed that the state is unable to adequately administer the new changes: We have seen:

  • In Boone, NC, students waiting over two hours to try to squeeze into the Early Voting window which has no weekend or evening hours. In addition, high profile political operatives being unlawfully stationed inside polling locations.
  • In Chapel Hill, students have been turned away for improper ID and not offered a Provisional ballot or ID impediment forms
  • North Carolina State University students experiencing transportation barriers as Wake County failed to provide a single Early Voting site on or within walking distance of campus.

“These long lines are a symptom of the new voting law,” said Rachel Clay, the Western Election Protection field organizer with Ignite NC who witnessed Boone’s voting lines. “Watauga County cut every single evening and weekend Early Voting hour.  We warned them that this would be the result.  With decisions made to cut early voting, insufficiently staffing precincts, and requiring everyone to show ID, it is not surprising the lines piled up. While I am thrilled with the amount of students showing up to vote, I call on the state to do more.”

“During a highly contested presidential primary, and with several key local races on the March 15 ballot, we are right to question the impact of this new law and the intentions of Pat McCroy, who signed it,” said Irving Allen an organizer with Ignite NC. “It’s not a coincidence that we are seeing problems at precincts with high concentrations of young people and people of color.”

In the past three years, North Carolina’s General Assembly has amassed a well-documented history of suppressing dissent. In 2013 we saw the state illegally arrest and ban hundreds of people during the Moral Monday movement. Last month, four youth were arrested at a last-minute meeting of the UNC Board of Governors, for addressing a public body that has no process for public input.

BOG4Earlier this week, Lt. Governor Dan Forest announced the introduction of an Orwellian “Campus Free Expression Act” that would actually serve to put punitive limits on freedom of expression by students and faculty who dare to speak out against the austerity agenda of the current BOG and their hand-picked champion, the highly controversial appointee, Margaret Spellings.

Democracy requires that every person impacted by the laws and policies of the state have a voice in choosing their representatives. This law moves us in the opposite direction.

The NC Vote Defender Project encourages every eligible voter to cast a ballot on March 15 or during Early Voting.

Any voter who has questions about the new law, or trouble casting their ballot should call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-888-OUR VOTE, where legal experts will help them vote, provide non-partisan information, and document any instances of wrongdoing by the state.

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Ignite NC Statement of Support for the Prohibition of Discriminatory Practices Bill

March 10, 2015

Ignite NC supports NC House Representative Rodney Moore’s Prohibition of Discriminatory Practices Bill and the push for the powers and duties of the Department of Public Safety to be under review with respect to criminal information. The Prohibition of Discriminatory Practices Bill will collect data to track police conduct, racial profiling, and the dissemination of information collected. The purpose of the change in law is to provide a fairer system that provides non-bias judgment before charging an individual with a crime.

The bill prohibits discriminatory profiling and will create independent citizen review boards to ensure that particular race, ethnic and gender groups are not being targeted. The community will form a commission that thoroughly evaluates the conduct and judgment of the local law enforcement with the permission of the General Assembly. Additionally, the bill will enforce training for standardized Local and State Police and Sheriff Deputy and Correction Officers on race equity, LGBTQ equality, religious freedom and domestic violence prevention including the revamping of Neighborhood Watch programs.

Ignite NC supports this bill because it will allow the community to have oversight on local law enforcement behavior and decisions.  The bill will also reduce racial discrimination within the Greensboro, Charlotte, Durham, and Fayetteville communities, with hopes of extending to the entire state of North Carolina.

Organizations and community stakeholders are encouraged to be integral members of the oversight commission, equity trainings, and citizen review boards. Passing the bill will educate officers about the diverse communities in the area to make sure they  are making decisions that are fair and beneficial to the city. Despite the advancements of this bill, Ignite NC believes this is only the beginning of an effort to be transparent and accountable. We strongly encourage more action to taken by the General Assembly, elected officials and community leaders.

Ignite NC recognizes and uplifts the important work being done by youth of color across the country over the past year to end police brutality and violence. This acknowledgement is significant because Black youth, youth of color, and LGBTQ youth are disproportionately targeted, prosecuted and incarcerated.

We remain committed to building community and genuine partnerships with young people most directly affected by police violence and the Prohibition of Discriminatory Practices Bill. While we support this bill we understand that this is not the end. Young people across North Carolina demand more and we stand firmly behind them.

Ignite NC is a statewide youth-led organizing and leadership development program committed to justice and equality.

Ignite NC supports organizing fellows across North Carolina who are working for economic justice through the Fight for $15 and and for police accountability. We support young people-led and centered efforts for justice and accountability across systems, whether they be fast food corporations, police agencies, prisons, or criminal justice system.

IGNITE NC VISION STATEMENT:
Solutions to the problems facing North Carolina and our global community lie within our ability to work together for the common good and to build the leadership and power of young people to create lasting change.  In order to create the kind of future we all deserve, we must understand our past, defend the gains made by those who came before us, and ignite and empower everyday people to lead efforts to build a fair and just future. When those most affected by injustice are the leaders who find and implement solutions, we will create a better world.

Ignite NC’s Valentine’s Day

A reflection piece by Communications Fellow Chelsea Moore 

This past Valentine’s day was a big weekend full of justice and love for Ignite NC fellows and essentially any and every activist across North Carolina.

The 9th annual HKonJ Moral March on Raleigh happened with the participation of thousands of activists, organizers, and organizations from across the state. Ignite NC Fellows were present along with our partners Youth Organizing Institute, and NC Student Power Union. Ignite NC Fellows along with our partners and other youth organizations from across the state marched at the forefront of HKonJ in the Black Lives Matter/Stop The War On Black America Contingent.

The march was overall a racially, gender, and religiously diverse setting for participants. And despite the chilly weather, Black Lives Matter was a loud and resonating message throughout the weekend. With so much taking place in the past few years regarding injustice for the African American community this was a great place to have their voices heard. There were also many other issues marchers were rallying for ranging from women’s health, to the fighting for $15 for minimum wage workers, to rights for immigrants, to education for our children and their future.

Later in the day Ignite NC Fellows participated in the first-ever statewide Black Lives Matter Youth Assembly hosted at Shaw University where SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) was founded in 1960. This youth assembly brought together nearly 200 youth to discuss issues in their communities and what kinds of solutions are needed.

This year we are looking forward to our fellows rooting themselves in the communities each of them attend school in and/or reside in. Our mission is to educate our very own as well as surrounding communities on issues that take place not far from us. Furthermore, this spring we plan to unite and defeat the unreasonably low pay for minimum waged workers, with a new wage of $15 per hour and right to a union. We will also fight to end all police brutality, holding each individual and every system guilty of racist violence accountable.

HKonJ weekend was very impactful for Ignite NC fellows and we made an impact as well: highlighting the important work and issues from our local communities and campuses while uplifting the work happening everywhere across North Carolina. As we incorporate both new and old fellows for the spring it was great to see fellows reunited in the same space and have our voices heard. Many of us took to HKonJ weekend to spend Valentine’s Day with those we are fighting with side-by-side for a more love-filled and justice-filled world. Look forward to hearing and seeing more from us.

For more information on HKonJ and about us visit our website! https://ncignite.org


 

chelsea moore ignite ncChelsea Moore is a sophomore at Bennett College for women. There she majors in Journalism and Media Studies with hopes of becoming a notable public relations specialist/marketing executive. She is most passionate about equality for all races and genders in corporate America. She looks forward to partnering with other fellows to have their voices heard about issues taking place in our nation.

Blocking the youth vote in the South

This article was published on Facing South.

Charlotte Canvass
Inter-generational neighborhood canvass in Charlotte

First they were supposed to vote early — in a nightclub. Then students, employees, and faculty at North Carolina’s Appalachian State University were supposed to vote early a mile from the farthest edge of campus, in a county building that had little parking. Then, after students filed a lawsuit, a state judge intervened, saying that the county board of election’s decision to end early voting in the on-campus student union — after eight years of allowing it — could have no purpose but to disenfranchise students and was unconstitutional. That decision, however, was not the final word. It was put on hold by an appeals court, and then the North Carolina Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

By that time, the Watauga County Board of Elections haddecided to restore on-campus early voting — a practice it had eliminated by a partisan vote pushed by the board’s Republican majority. Appalachian State is the largest employer in Watauga County, and its students make up roughly 40 percent of the county’s population, but their preference for Democratic candidates does not jibe with the rest of the county’s Republican tilt. In 2012, about 35 percent of the county’s early votes were cast at the Appalachian State student union.

But after all the chaos, it turns out that Appalachian State students are the lucky ones: They are some of the only students in North Carolina who will be able to vote early on campus this year. Early voting sites have been eliminated on college campuses across North Carolina and the South, part of a broader effort by local elections officials and state lawmakers to erect new barriers to voting. The new policies, which run the gamut from shortened early voting periods to strict voter ID requirements, disproportionately affect young voters — and especially youth of color.

“If you look at what young voters did in this state [North Carolina] in 2008 and 2012, it’s impossible to not conclude they mattered a lot,” said Allison Riggs of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, one of the law groups representing plaintiffs in a challenge to a restrictive election law the North Carolina legislature passed last year. “When young voters turn out a lot it can be dangerous to entrenched power, so they’re seen as threatening.”

After Republican takeovers in statehouses across the country and the South in 2010, many states enacted new restrictions on voters. And the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder last year striking a key provision of the Voting Rights Act freed many states with histories of discriminatory voting practices to pass and enforce new laws without approval by the federal government. Four Southern states — Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama — used the new lack of federal oversight to enact restrictive voting laws that disproportionately affect young and minority voters. A group of young voters are challenging North Carolina’s law on the basis that it abridges their right to vote in violation of the Constitutional guarantee that all 18 year-olds can vote — the first time voters have challenged a voting law on age discrimination grounds.

Virginia is implementing its voter ID law for the first time this fall — as are Alabama,Mississippi, and Texas. Voter ID requirements can also disproportionately affect young voters since the laws in some states like Texas do not allow the use of student IDs, even if issued by public universities. (North Carolina will begin enforcing a voter ID requirement that excludes student IDs in 2016.) As a consequence of such laws, and due to a higher likelihood of not having other eligible ID, young voters are more likely than the general population to report not showing up to vote.

And in Florida, notorious for long lines and other problems in past elections, voting rights advocates say state law may hurt young voters this year as well. In 2011, the state government cut early voting by six days, contributing to very long lines in the 2012 election. Astudy by the Advancement Project found that long lines affected young voters and voters of color more than older and white voters across Florida.

Ciara Taylor, political director at the Dream Defenders, a group advocating for voter activism against police brutality and racism, reports that polling places have been moved off college campuses across Florida. In Tallahassee, for example, there are no early voting places on either Florida State’s or Florida A&M’s campuses, which have a combined enrollment of over 50,000 students. And while Florida allows voters to use student IDs to vote, they must also present an ID that has their signature, such as a credit card.

“The voter ID law goes hand in hand with the cut back of polling locations at college campuses and shorter hours at polling places,” Taylor said.

Targeting young voters in North Carolina

In North Carolina, county boards of elections have closed on-campus early voting sites across the state, making it harder for students to vote. Students at historically black Elizabeth City State University and Winston-Salem State University will not have on-campus early voting polling locations. North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte have lost their on-campus sites for early voting and the general election as well.

Local elections officials have said some on-campus voting locations have been axed because they cannot provide curbside voting for disabled voters — even though that has never stopped them from being used in the past. Other election boards — including those in the counties where Appalachian State, Elizabeth City State, and Winston-Salem State are located — provided no reasons for shuttering voting sites. Because of the election of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in 2012, county boards of elections in the state now have GOP majorities for the first time in decades.

Barriers to youth voting have also taken other forms in North Carolina. For example, the Guilford County Board of Elections rejected over 1,400 voter registration forms for students at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, another historically black school, reports Irving Allen, the fellowship director for Ignite NC, a non-partisan group that trains poll monitors and registers young voters. The students used the university’s address rather than their dorm address and room numbers and consequently had their forms rejected — the first time this has happened, he said.

“I understand the logic behind it, but before students were able to register by just putting the address of the school,” Allen said. “It creates this disarray and confusion.” Because the board of election did not follow up with the new registrants directly due to lack of funding, Allen said, that job fell to student activists.

Last year the Pasquotank County Board of Elections blocked an Elizabeth City State senior, Montravias King, from running for the local city council because he was registered to vote at his campus address. Pasquotank County’s elections board has repeatedly challenged students’ voting rights at the historically black school even though college students’ right to register to vote was settled by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1979 case. King, who is black, was eventually elected to the local city council after taking his case to the State Board of Elections with the help of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

The North Carolina General Assembly passed one of the nation’s most restrictive election laws last year, shortening early voting and ending same-day registration, out of precinct voting, and pre-registration for 16 and 17 year-old students. In 2016, the law’s voter ID provision will come into effect. Student IDs, even if issued by a public school, will not be accepted as voter IDs. While supporters of the law claim that it will prevent election fraud, opponents see an attempt to disenfranchise people of color and young voters.

“It seems like a unified push to make it more difficult for students to vote,” said Claudia Shoemaker, president of the Appalachian State College Democrats.

Young voters of color especially affected

Studies have found that voter ID laws disproportionately affect youth and people of color — college students or not. For example, a review by the federal Government Accountability Office found that strict voter ID laws like North Carolina’s reduced youth voting in Kansas and Tennessee in the 2012 election. In Kansas that year, 18 year-olds were seven percentage points less likely than 44 to 53 year olds to turn out to vote.

Voter ID laws are also enforced in ways that disproportionately target young voters, and especially voters of color. Young voters of color are asked for photo ID as much as 50 percent more often than young white voters — even when an ID is not required to vote. The same study found that when voter ID is required, young African-American and Hispanic voters were asked for ID more often than young white voters.

“Young people of color tend to be profiled more and asked for ID more than their white counterparts,” said Katherine Culliton-González, director of voter protection for the national civil rights group the Advancement Project.

These efforts to curb young and minority voters come as youth — and especially minority youth — are becoming increasingly larger parts of the American electorate. Voters between 18 and 29 years old were critical to President Barack Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012. In North Carolina in 2008, the only age group of which a majority voted for Obama was voters aged 18 to 29, according to CNN. Obama won the state by just 14,177 votes.

Six years later, many of these young voters will now have to surmount new barriers just to be able to cast their ballots.

“For a country that advocates the importance of civic engagement, to be taking away the rights of these citizens is just un-American,” said Taylor of the Dream Defenders. “I think that people are realizing that voting is a lot more important than they realized before.”

Evan Walker-Wells

More than just a case: Why NC youth are traveling to Ohio to walk 11 miles #BlackLivesMatter

“I saw my son get murdered by the police. It was worse than Ferguson.”

That is what John Crawford’s father said after he was allowed to see six minutes of footage from the Beavercreek Walmart in Ohio where police gunned down his son on August 5. John Crawford was shopping in the Walmart and was holding a toy airsoft rifle when another shopper called the police and described a “Black male about 6 feet tall” waving a gun. The tape has not been released to the public, and a grand jury is meeting September 22-24 to decide whether the officer will be arrested.

In the past month the murders of Mike Brown and John Crawford have received national attention. Not only did unarmed black men get shot dead in public places by state funded officials, but the institutions responsible have colluded to cover up, launching media campaigns to shift public perception by demonizing the victims.  These cases are not simply murders by individual officers but symptomatic of structural racism and the funding of state sponsored violence against black and brown youth.

The criminalization of black and brown people is not isolated to Ohio or Ferguson. In North Carolina high school student, Jesus Huerta, was handcuffed in the backseat of a police car in Durham, NC when he was fatally shot in the head. Jonathan Ferrell was murdered by the police, shot 10 times by an officer after seeking help when his car crashed in Charlotte. In NC, a black driver is 223% more likely to be searched than a white driver during a stop for a seat belt violation, and a Latino driver is 106% more likely to be searched. The results of these racist stops are that people are pushed out of their jobs and schools and into the criminal justice system.

The case of John Crawford is more than just a case in Ohio, it is an example of the state sponsored violence being carried out against communities in the United States. When law enforcement and institutions like Walmart refuse to make information public, thwarting the pursuit of justice by a community, it sets a precedent across the country. We have seen these cover-ups and abuse of power in NC and that is why we are mobilizing to join the Ohio Student Association for Freedom City September 22-24.

We will participate in an 11 mile “Freedom Walk” from the Beavercreek Walmart where John Crawford was killed to the courthouse in Xenia where the grand jury will be meeting. The walk will end in a rally and occupation of the courthouse grounds.

We are walking 11 miles not only for justice for John Crawford, but for all lives ended by police and for the dismantling of a system that allows it to continue. We will not accept a future where black and brown people are criminalized for their existence. We are marching in Ohio for justice for John Crawford and our own liberation. This is more than just one case, these are the lives of people and our communities. #BlackLivesMatter #OurLivesMatter

This statement was written by Irving Allen, D’atra Jackson, Bree Newsome and Bryan Perlmutter

Irving Allen is a community organizer at the Beloved Community Center and the fellowship coordinator at Ignite NC. He has worked to build community and youth coalitions both in Greensboro and throughout the state of NC. Irving has played an intricate role in organizing initiatives such as the civilian review board addressing police accountability in Greensboro.

D’atra Jackson is the Organizing Director at NC Student Power Union. Getting her master’s degree from FIU she established a Dream Defender chapter at her school. D’atra has been one of the organizers of fighting back against police brutality in Durham. She recently organized a conference of youth from across NC to take action on issues that affect their lives.

Bree Newsome is an organizer and leader in the Charlotte community. Bree continues to organize around police brutality in Charlotte. She is a co-founder of Stay Up NC, a singer/songwriter and filmmaker.

Bryan Perlmutter is the Director of Ignite NC and staff at the Youth Organizing Institute. He was among the first 17 people arrested at the first Moral Monday in NC. Bryan has helped fight back against the School-To-Prison-Pipeline in Wake County changing school discipline policy and police power in schools.

Ignite NC Launches Fall Fellowships!

Ignite NC Fall Fellowships

APPLICATION DEADLINE IS WEDNESDAY, August 13 at 12:00PM

Decisions will be made by August 18.

Ignite NC is accepting applications for three types of fellowships this fall: Community Organizing (8 positions), NC Vote Defenders (9 positions), and Media & Communication (1 position).

Youth ages 18-30 are eligible to apply.  Those selected for the program will receive a 3 day training and a $500 stipend upon successful completion. Descriptions of fellowships are below

NC Vote Defenders Fellow:

In 2013 NC passed the worst voter suppression law in the country that makes it more difficult for youth, people of color, and poor people to vote. By monitoring polls and educating the public about the changes. Ignite NC’s Vote Defender project is raising awareness about the new laws, watchdogging election officials and other voters for patterns of misconduct, and building the movement for grassroots people’s power in NC.

The positions can be based anywhere in NC, through there are a limited number of positions.

If you are selected, you must be able to attend a mandatory 2 day organizing training in Durham, NC Saturday, August 30- Monday, September 1 (Labor Day) and a statewide conference September 12-14 in Raleigh NC.  Travel stipends will be made available.

We seek candidates with a demonstrated commitment to social justice.  Women, LGBTQ, and people of color, outside the Triangle or Charlotte area, between the ages of 18-30, are strongly encouraged to apply.  You do not have to be a student to apply.

NC Vote Defender Fellow

Position: Fellow
Dates: August 30 – November 25
Hours: minimum of 80 hours

Location: Fellows will based in or near campus community. A $500 stipend is offered with this fellowship.

Responsibilities:

  • Protect voting rights in NC by educating students on the new voting law
  • Recruit and train volunteers for election day poll monitoring
  • Gather pledge cards to engage youth around relevant issues
  • Attend a mandatory three-day organizing training August 30-September 1
  • Document your work through blog posts, pictures, and administrative tracking

Document and build relationships with local organizations around enfranchisement and support local youth and student base-building efforts participate in a closing evaluation 

FELLOWS MUST HAVE

  • A strong and demonstrated commitment to building the progressive youth and student movement in North Carolina Excellent communication and teamwork skills,
  • Available and willing to work some weekday evenings and weekends
  • Reliable, outgoing, self-motivated and detail-oriented,
  • Must have a driver’s license and preferably a car

To apply fill out the application send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

Community Organizing Fellow:

The purpose of these fellowships is to build the youth and student movement in North Carolina. In order to do this, we must make deep investments in young leaders – through training, ongoing coaching, and access to resources for on the ground organizing.

Ignite NC is seeking organizing fellows to build the movement for grassroots people’s power in NC. From racial profiling to joblessness, young people must organize to change their own conditions and collectively build a better future. These fellowships are designed for youth who are currently working on an issue based campaign.

If you are currently working with a campus or community organization, or have an exciting organizing initiative you want to bring to reality, this fellowship provides organizing training, mentorship, and a stipend to enable you to spend more dedicated time to organize.

The positions can be based anywhere in NC, through there are a limited number of positions.  If you are selected for this fellowship, you must be able to attend a mandatory organizing training on August 30- September 1 (Durham NC) and a statewide conference Sep 12-14 (Raleigh NC) Gas stipends will be made available.

We are seeking candidates with a demonstrated commitment to social justice.  Women, LGBTQ, and people of color strongly encouraged to apply.  Considering applicants between the ages of 18-30.  You do not have to currently be a student to apply.

Community Organizer Fellow

Position: Fellow
Dates: August 30 – November 24
Hours: minimum of 80 hours

Location: Fellows will be hired to be based in and near campuses in North Carolina. A $500 stipend is offered with this fellowship.

Responsibilities:

  • Develop a work plan that brings capacity to an existing campaign in the youth and student movement.
  • Gather pledge cards that engage youth around relevant issues
  • Fellows will spend 25% of their work on civic engagement
  • Attend a mandatory Three-day organizing training August 30-September 1
  • Document your work through blog posts, pictures, and tracking
  • Participate in a fellowship evaluation 

FELLOWS MUST HAVE

  • A strong and proven commitment to progressive values and building the power of youth and students, especially LGBTQ youth, women, low-income youth, and youth of color
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills,
  • Available and willing to work some weekday evenings and weekends
  • Reliable, outgoing, self-motivated and detail-oriented,
  • Must have a driver’s license and preferably a car

To Apply

To apply fill out the applicaiton send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

 

Communication Fellow:

Communication Fellow’s will support the organizing work of the NC Vote Defender Fellows and organizing fellows! The positions can be based anywhere in NC. Activities will include writing press releases, managing social media, creating graphics/flyers, updating website and developing a media strategy.

If you are selected, you must be able to attend a mandatory 2 day organizing training in Durham, NC Saturday, August 30- Monday, September 1 (Labor Day) and a statewide conference September 12-14 in Raleigh NC.  Travel stipends will be made available.

We seek candidates with a demonstrated commitment to social justice.  Women, LGBTQ, and people of color, outside the Triangle or Charlotte area, between the ages of 18-30, are strongly encouraged to apply.  You do not have to be a student to apply.

 

Specific Requirements Include:

 

 BASIC FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITY: Fellows the communications unit in its efforts to develop and implement strategies to advance the brand, value and mission of Ignite NC, and the strategic planning and management of organization-wide outreach and marketing projects and collateral through traditional and new media marketing tools, and collaboration with University and departments Community Organizations on effective cross-marketing opportunities.

 

Communication Fellow

Position: Fellow
Dates: August 30 – November 25
Hours: minimum of 80 hours

Location: Fellows will based in or near campus community. A $500 stipend is offered with this fellowship.

Responsibilities:

  • Develop and implement a media strategy that supports organizing efforts
  • Using traditional and social media to create awareness about emerging organizations and initiatives
  • Creating email announcements that uplift and aid organizing work
  • Create materials and keep website updated
  • Recruit and train volunteers for election day poll monitoring
  • Gather pledge cards to engage youth around relevant issues
  • Attend a mandatory three-day organizing training August 30-September 1

FELLOWS MUST HAVE

  • A strong and demonstrated commitment to building the progressive youth and student movement in North Carolina Excellent communication and teamwork skills,
  • Available and willing to work some weekday evenings and weekends
  • Reliable, outgoing, self-motivated and detail-oriented,
  • Must have a driver’s license and preferably a car
  • Be Familiar with wordpress, HTML, social media platforms and have communication experience
  • Demonstrates a passion for understanding strategic communications and its integration into an overall marketing strategy.
  • Exceptional written and personal communication skills
  • Demonstrated creativity in the practice of PR or related field
  • Willingness and ability to work well in teams
  • Experience in manage social media accounts

To apply fill out the application send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

IGNITE NC MISSION STATEMENT

Solutions to the problems facing North Carolina and our global community lie within our ability to work together for the common good and to build the leadership and power of young people to create lasting change.  In order to create the kind of future we all deserve, we must understand our past, defend the gains made by those who came before us, and ignite and empower everyday people to lead efforts to build a fair and just future. When those most affected by injustice are the leaders who find and implement solutions, we will create a better world.

 

 

Media Release 5/7/14: Initial Results from 2014 Primary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 7, 2014
Media Contacts:
Bryan Perlmutter 704-770-6418
ncvoterdefense@gmail.com

 
Volunteers Report Confusion Over Precinct Assignments and Uneven and Inadequate Voter Education at Polls

N.C. – On May 6 over 300 volunteers monitored precincts in 36 North Carolina counties, informing voters about the new voting laws, documenting incidents, and conducting an exit survey.  This effort was organized by Ignite NC’s Vote Defender Project and Democracy NC in coordination with a professor at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.

The volunteer “Vote Defenders” helped hundreds of people vote, distributed thousands of pieces of voter education wallet cards, and collected nearly 3,000 surveys of recent voters.

In 2016 North Carolina voters will be required to show a government-issued photo ID (other than a student ID) to cast a ballot.  In order to aid the over 300,000 registered North Carolina voters that the state identified as not having a government-issued ID, poll workers were instructed to tell voters that they needed an ID to vote starting in 2016 and to give them information about how to obtain a free ID.

Initial reports indicate:

  • Inconsistent messages from a number of poll workers regarding Voter ID requirements,
  • Many voters reported that their poll worker did NOT MENTION the Voter ID requirement going into effect in 2016, and
  • Continued voting difficulties in Watauga County.

“With many of Boone’s precincts so close together and with all their recent precinct changes, including moving the precinct off App State’s campus, many voters were confused and found themselves going to the wrong polling sites.  Since provisional ballots no longer count if you vote out of precinct, they had to make sure to be in the right place.  Some folks had to walk multiple miles to ensure their vote counted.  What should have been a simple trip turned into a major inconvenience.  Inconsistent behavior and confusion by poll workers just made these issues worse,” said Bryan Perlmutter, Ignite NC Director who was in Boone on election day.

“If the Legislators in North Carolina are going to make such sweeping changes to our voting laws, they need to have an adequate voter education budget to ensure every eligible NC voter knows and understand the new laws and that every precinct worker and polling official gets the training and resources they need.  Every NC citizen needs to have easy access to a free ID and the state must do what it takes to make sure no one is disenfranchised.  This is particularly important for elderly voters, disabled voters, poor voters, and young people.  Not to do what it takes, to under-fund voter education in the aftermath of a new voter ID law is willful negligence,” said Irving Allen, Fellowship Coordinator of Ignite NC and Director of GSO Voting Voices.

The NC Vote Defender Project and Democracy NC intend to scale this project up for the fall mid-term elections with a goal of putting 1,000 trained volunteers into the field.

A thorough report on the findings of the exit surveys will be ready later this summer.

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#NoNewJimCrow  | #VoteDefender | www.ncIgnite.org

NC Vote Defenders in the press!

Elizabeth City’s Daily Advance Covers Vote Defender Poll Monitoring

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Vote Defender Bryan Perlmutter performs poll monitoring in Elizabeth City.

The work of our Vote Defender volunteers on Tuesday in Pasquotank County was covered by the Daily Advance.  Check us out at the Daily Advance’s website here!

If you like what you read and want to get involved, sign the Call to Action to support the cause, or volunteer yourself to become a Vote Defender.  We’ll at the polls on November 5th in both Charlotte and Boone.