On Monday, February 17, ministers from Milwaukee’s inner-city churches will hold a rally and press conference for congregation members, community leaders and concerned residents. The event will kickstart the 2020 Souls to the Polls Campaign, building momentum for vital elections this year. Black religious leaders will organize to boost voter participation in Milwaukee’s inner- city neighborhoods. Churches are publicizing the importance of 2020 election outcomes for the African American community. They are also organizing to fight efforts to suppress the Black vote by purging registered voter lists. Souls to the Polls will encourage community residents to vote for candidates focused on fixing critical problems in low income areas – mass incarceration, struggling schools and gun violence.
WHO: Souls to the Polls and allies.
WHAT: Rally to get out the vote on February 18th for the Primary Election and to protest
voter suppression tactics
WHEN: Monday, February 17 at 10 a.m.
WHERE: New Holy Ghost Holy Tabernacle Church (140 West Garfield)
February 18, 2020 is the beginning of the 2020 elections where Milwaukee voters select candidates for Mayor, County Executive, State Supreme Court Judge and other judicial positions.
In the 2016 elections, there were 40,000 fewer voters in Milwaukee than in 2012 — 29,000 were African American. Most lived in the five poorest districts in the city. Over 9,000 had no voter ID. In 2018, Souls to the Polls was established by inner city church ministers and leaders to rebuild a powerful voting base in the central city. Souls to the Polls ministers and congregation members canvassed neighborhoods, registered voters and organized a massive ‘ride to the polls’ center on election day. Voter turnout increased in the areas organized by Souls to the Polls.
“It’s time to restart the education and mobilization work,” says Rev. Greg Lewis, the Lead Organizer for Souls to the Polls. “Our ministers will encourage people to go out to vote in the first primary elections this year.” Reverend Lewis adds, “This year, we need to inform people about the status of the voter purge threat, help people make sure they are registered, keep voters informed about candidates and issues and help get everyone to the polls, early if possible. We also need to reach the younger generation to expand the voter numbers and ensure that the community has the power to create real meaningful change.”