Saturday, March 9, 2013

Native voters will save South Dakota, Montana from GOP

Former Lee reporter for Indian Country, Jodi Rave covered President Clinton's visit to Pine Ridge in 1999 and the United Nations passage of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She followed lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell, keeping Indian Country apprised of the litigation, ratification process, and settlement of the lawsuit bearing her name and is now writing a book about it. Her investigative work contributed to the passage of the Violence Against Women Act.

Rave told readers before the 2012 election that voting means all or nothing.

With my added links, the following was lifted from her blog, Buffalo's Fire:
The race means nothing if American Indians don’t show up at the polls to vote for a candidate who represents Native interests. The 2012 elections mean everything if Native people get involved and hold candidates accountable for creating policy and passing laws that impact our daily lives. So, it makes sense that Montana would become home to Western Native Voice, a newly created, non-partisan organization based in Billings, Mont. Western Native Voice is fully staffed and has paid organizers on every reservation in the state as well as urban areas, including Billings, Havre, Missoula and Great Falls. The Western Native Voice is actively registering Native voters in a state where an estimated 46,000 American Indians are eligible to vote.
Native voters went on to make the difference putting Democrats into Montana's constitutional offices and overwhelmingly supported President Obama even in South Dakota: getting people to the polls is critical.

Thomas Shortbull is President of Oglala Lakota College in Kyle. From his op-ed in the Rapid City Journal:
Section 5 must not be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, because it is the only vehicle in some states to fight institutional racism in local and state governments. In the state of South Dakota, racism towards minorities is prevalent, and the only means of diminishing the racism is to elect more minorities to state and local governments. Recently, in Rapid City, a city councilman made a racial slur to a black journalist. The Rapid City Council never went on record to admonish the conduct of the Rapid City councilman, and this has been the pattern with elected officials not being challenged on their racism.

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