FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2016
Contact: Jarret Berg, Esq., 866-693-5201
NYDLC ENDORSES 90 FOR 90, A VIRGINIA VOTER REGISTRATION PROJECT IN RECOGNITION OF HON. WILLIAM “FERGIE” REID
NYDLC is proud to announce its endorsement of 90 for 90, an admirable and civic-minded Virginia voter registration and education project that aligns with NYDLC’s efforts to make voter registration easy and convenient for eligible voters, and to reduce the hurdle that the registration process poses to participation in elections across the United States.
The 90 for 90 project honors the 90th birthday of William Ferguson (“Fergie”) Reid, a Virginia doctor and civil rights activist who has advocated for voting rights since the dawn of the Civil Rights movement. Fergie formed the Richmond Crusade for Voters in 1956, where he worked to register and mobilize eligible black voters in a time and place when doing so was especially dangerous. In 1968, Fergie became the first black member of the Virginia General assembly where he served three terms. Fergie continues his voting rights advocacy to this day.
90 for 90 set an ambitious 2015-2016 goal of 250,000 new Virginia registrants by encouraging advocates to register 90 people per precinct. To date, 90 for 90 boasts that Virginia has registered over 90% of the persons needed to meet this target.
Voter ID and other newly enacted restrictive laws are challenging Democrats to do what it takes to help people comply with often difficult requirements. NYDLC is ready to take on this this challenge and will continue to support 90 for 90 and other heroic programs in New York and throughout the country.
Discussing his career standing up for the civil rights of minorities Hon. William Fergie Reid has said: “The voters have to learn that they are in charge. . . . You have to do it with votes and the voters are the people and we have to motivate the people because they are the power but they don't realize that the power exists within them. ”
“Voter registration is an obstacle to participation in our democracy, and the resulting low turnout threatens the ability of our democracy to be responsive to the needs of ‘we the people’, Jarret Berg, Executive Director of the NYDLC said. "Initiatives like the 90 for 90 project, and the allies and organizations that are working tirelessly to make it successful, strengthen our society. Each newly registered voter is newly empowered to be the change.”
Reflecting on Fergie's career in service to the community Francesca Leigh-Davis, Co-Chair of the Richmond Crusade for Voters, Registration Committee has said: “We need to get back to those old grassroots of organizing, knocking on doors, getting our neighbors to the polls, as well as voicing our opinions and voicing our civil rights. . . . You have to vote, you need to be registered, and you need to know what you are voting for.”
Discussing the importance of the franchise, Hazel Reid O'Leary, former United States Secretary of Energy (1993-1997) has said: “The vote is our most mighty tool. Please use it, in memory of those who were denied the vote.”