NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some historic churches in New York City are teaming up to get people registered to vote, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.
Next Friday, Oct. 9, is the final day to register.
“I don’t have money, but I have time,” said Thomasine Holloway, the project’s leader.
Holloway wants to use that time to empower others in the voting process.
The longtime member of the Abyssinian Baptist Church is one of several volunteers registering voters Monday through Friday as part of the church’s Vote Project.
“It’s our government, but you have to participate,” Holloway said.
The Honorable Milton Tingling, the first and only African-American county clerk in New York State, organized the project.
“I remember the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I remember the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It bothers me when people think their vote doesn’t county,” Tingling said. “We have the absentee ballot application. You can fill them out here. We will hand deliver them to the Board of Elections.”
Leaders at the church said they’ve been working with at least three other churches in the area to organize similar efforts.
The pastor said it’s a non-partisan way to carry on the legacy left behind by his predecessors at the church: Adam Clayton Powell Sr. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr., the first African-American to be elected from New York to Congress.
“Adam Clayton Powell Jr., when he was congressman, supported Dwight D. Eisenhower because he had an argument about policy with Adlai Stevenson,” said Rev. Calvin Butts. “I endorsed, at one time, George Pataki for governor. It is not about political parties. It is about working for the best interest of our people.”
Riverside Church, the side of several speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is also doing outreach.
“There’s a tremendous opportunity, especially among young people that will need to register to vote so they make their voices known and make their issues heard because they’re going to run this country in the future,” Rueben Martinez, co-chair of Lift Every Voice and Vote, said.
They’re even teaming up with the organization Reclaim Our Vote to make calls across the country.
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