Over the weekend, about 20 people gathered outside of the Matilda Joslyn Gage foundation in Fayetteville for a voting rally on the foundation’s front yard. The rally was meant to inform Onondaga county residents about how votes are being suppressed in the US, and ways they can fight it.
Director of the Gage Girls Ambassador Program, Vanessa Johnson spoke to the group about how voter suppression today infringes on civil rights.
“We see gerrymandering and redistricting. Those are like Jim Crow laws that effect all of us as Americans. It endangers the idea that all of us have a voice in our government.”
The rally was held just days after the centennial anniversary of the 19th amendment being ratified. The amendment, which gave women the right to vote, was one of Matilda Gage’s lifelong dreams. That fact isn’t lost on the volunteers at the Gage foundation, including Dominique Barr, who feels it is her duty to educate others about why people are still fighting for the right to vote.
“Even though the amendment happened… really, it’s something that isn’t fixed. It’s still ongoing, it’s still things that people don’t really know about, unfortunately.”
Besides Vanessa Johnson speakers included Onondaga Votes members Chanel Turnquest and Mary Cunningham, as well as Manlius town council member John Deer. The Gage Foundation plan’s on hosting at least two more voting rallies before Election Day in November. Information for those rallies can be found on the Matilda Jocelyn Gage Foundation Facebook page.