Beaver Coalition Rallies for PA Voting Rights against Republican HB 934

January 27, 2012

by Tina Shannon

You might think it depressing to stand in a parking lot in a cold blowing rain on a Saturday afternoon to protest for our voting rights.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Over fifty people, black & white, young and old, stood together outside State Senator Elder Vogel’s office last Saturday at noon. We let him know we don’t like the PA Republican legislators trying to make it harder to vote.

HB 934, which would create obstacles to voting, was rushed through the State House of Representatives. We want to make sure Senator Vogel doesn’t allow the same thing to happen in the State Senate.

Members of the Beaver County Minority Coalition, the Beaver- Lawrence Central Labor Council, the Beaver County Chapter of the NAACP and many local area Unions were present. Local Progressive Democrats turned out in large numbers.

USW International Vice-President Carl Redmond addressed the crowd, after being introduced by Minority Coalition Chair Linwood Alford. He pointed out that the Republican Governor was slashing the budgets for education, child care, community services, environmental protection, worker safety and local governments. Curtailing the right to vote is part of their plan to silence the voice of the working people of our state.

NAACP President Willie Sallis and Beaver County Commissioner Joe Spanik also spoke. The theme of the day was unity in defense of our rights and the gains we’ve made over the years.

Unity was not only in the words spoken, but also in the comradery of the crowd. As we work together to make Beaver County and our country a better more fair society, we are getting to know one another. We are beginning to trust one another and understand each other’s motivations. This is the way forward.

You can get a glimpse of this when you look at the faces in these pictures. It was great to stand in the rain with so many people who are committed to democracy. It gave us all hope for the future.

Help defend our right to vote by calling Senator Vogel next week and ask him to stop the Senate version of HB 934 for coming to a vote.