EVERY VOTE MATTERS !
This year, Gate City embarked upon its journey to reconnect, revitalize, and reengage the community through its service programs. This is apropos since this year marks the 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The Voting Rights Act is a landmark piece of federal legislation that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of Civil Rights Movement on August 6, 1965. The law made it illegal for Congress and state governments to pass voting laws based on race. President Johnson stated, “In our system, the first right and most vital of all our rights is the right to vote…it is from the exercise of this right that the guarantee of all other rights flows. Unless the right to vote be secure and undenied, all other rights are insecure and subject to denial for all our citizens.” To many, this is viewed as the most effective piece of civil rights legislation.
Consistent with this year’s mission of reengaging the community, Gate City has sought to promote voter engagement. Voter engagement is so important that the American Bar Association adopted as its Law Day theme for 2014, "American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.” Across the world, various bar associations led the efforts to emphasize the importance of citizens’ right to vote and the work that remains to protect that right for every American citizen. In accord with this national movement to raise awareness, Gate City co-hosted a voter registration training seminar. Attendees were educated on the importance of early voting, voting ID laws, and voter registration protocol.
As members of the oldest African-American bar association in the state of Georgia, we must recommit ourselves to democracy and join in the effort to remove barriers that prevent many of us from legally casting our votes. We must engrain in our communities the belief that every vote does matter. Our profession and communities will be better because of our commitment to spreading and reinforcing this message. November 4, 2014 is Election Day! If you want to affect change, GET OUT AND VOTE!
Serving Gate City,
Meka B. Ward
President, Gate City Bar Association
"A Year of Restoration: Our Core, Our Mission, Our Community”
Gate City Bar Association | P.O. Box 16727, Atlanta, GA 30321 | Phone: 404-419-6627