For Immediate Release: November 9, 2022
Contact: Heather Cabral, email@example.com, 202-550-6880
Largest Grassroots Faith-Based Organization Urges All Votes Be Counted
Faith in Action calls out efforts to discount Black, Brown votes in the Midterm Elections
WASHINGTON – As election results roll in, leaders with Faith in Action, the largest grassroots faith-based organizing network are condemning efforts to discount Black and Brown votes and urging that all votes cast to be counted. Through their Rise + Vote engagement program meant to engage and empower voters across the country, Faith in Action and many of its nearly 50 federations hosted souls to the polls events in nearly a dozen states, more than 50 in Florida alone. Faith in Action federations held 75,000 relational conversations in Ohio through the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, of which 20,000 were held by one family, and in New Mexico, their local federation Café NM knocked on 186,000 doors, making a deep impact in Las Cruces, where Latinx voter turnout is among the lowest in the nation.
Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director, Faith in Action: “If faith is about anything, it’s about power. When people of faith see a wrong, we stand up, lift our voices, flex our power and we make change. Leaders across Faith in Action flexed our power through our Rise + Vote program in an effort to create change and protect democracy. A true democracy means that we will secure better healthcare, better schools, violence in all our communities will be reduced, and mass incarceration will be a thing of the past. There’s much to celebrate today, but there’s still work to be done and we expect all who’ve been elected and reelected to do right by the people they represent. We still have to secure a safety net for our elders and immigrants and commit to curbing climate change. But today we pause to celebrate, rest, then get back to organizing.”
Andrea Marta, chief strategy officer for Faith in Action, noted the effort to toss ballots via a lawsuit is yet another form of voter suppression rooted in white supremacy and white Christian nationalism: “Democracy is simple: Every eligible voter casts a ballot and every vote is counted. However some in power are grasping desperately to hold onto power, employing any and every means necessary to disenfranchise voters, especially Black and Brown voters. The lawsuits tonight to toss out valid votes is another tool in their voter suppression toolbox. They’re a white supremacist tool that sits right next to closing or quietly moving polling places, passing voter identification laws, purging voter rolls, and not allowing volunteers to give voters water while they wait in line.
“Make no mistake, this is a pre-planned and coordinated effort. It is a backlash against our work at Faith in Action and the work of our partners in the movement over the last several decades to expand voting access and increase voter turnout.”
Rev. Nicole Barnes, program director, Faith in Action: “Rise + Vote accomplished what we set out to do, engage and empower voters even when we were met with resistance at every turn. Our Faith leaders, organizers, and volunteers across the country helped protect democracy. Our partners at Faith in Florida helped a young man cast his ballot after poll workers closed the door on him at 6:59 p.m., our partners at POWER Interfaith drove community members to the polls and helped ensure ballots could be cured when 3500 ballots from majority elderly, majority Black residents in Philadelphia were at risk of being thrown out. This midterm season has shown us the power and impact of faith communities, especially Black faith communities, and the importance of organizing, engaging voters, and being physically present at polling locations.
Rich Morales, national political director, Faith in Action: “Voter education and engagement cannot and should not end when polls close and the counting is done. Safeguarding our democracy and mobilizing voters to uproot white supremacy and white Christian nationalism requires year-round intentional relationship-building with voters. White Christian nationalism is a deeply anti-democratic ideology rooted in anti-Blackness, antisemitism and xenophobia and it was a driving force this midterm cycle. Year-round relational organizing is an opportunity to combat these systems by inviting voters into action and harnesses the power of personal networks to build power and a shared understanding. The one-to-one engagement through relational organizing allows us to upend the threat of Christian nationalism and to uplift our core values of human dignity, solidarity and love.”
Ahead of the 2022 Midterm Elections, Faith in Action launched its nationwide Rise + Vote initiative, a comprehensive education, registration, and mobilization campaign that aims to make sure that voters who have been politically redlined are heard at the polls. In 2020, which had historic turnout from Black and Brown communities, Faith in Action held more than 1.1 million conversations with voters ahead of the election. This year, together with its local leaders, Faith in Action organized voters on the ground in states across the country, including Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Vermont.
Faith in Action is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.
Faith in Action is a 501c(3). Faith in Action and its affiliates are non-partisan and are not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.