Encouraging Minority Women to Use their Political Power at the Polls

Higher Heights is Harnessing Political Power and Leadership Potential Among Black Women 
by VERGE Staff | News and Politics | Monday, November 3, 2014

Black Women in Politics

Higher Heights, a group dedicated to building a national civic engagement infrastructure and network to strengthen Black women’s leadership capacity is encouraging Black women to turnout in high numbers for the election on November 4th. Last month, Higher Heights unveiled #BlackWomenVote, a web resource for Black women voters to encourage their participation at the polls.

Black women are among the country’s most politically active citizens. In 2012, Black women had the highest rate of voter turnout of any group, and they represented almost 60 percent of Black voters who went to the polls. These statistics are clear evidence of Black women’s ability to be defining factors in election outcomes. However, in the 2010 midterms, just 46.5 percent of Black women voted. #BlackWomenVote aims to provide Black women with the tools to increase their turnout for the midterm elections. 

The website and toolkit includes features such as; a “Pledge to be a Higher Heights Voter”, a “Personal Voting Plan”, a “Knowing your Voter Status” guide, a do-it-yourself “Sister-to-Sister Calling List”, as well as an “Activate your Online Network” checklist. 

“Black women must show up to the polls if we truly want to create a more representative political body that will fight for pay equity, healthcare access, improved educational opportunities and other issues that affect Black women on a daily basis,” said Higher Heights co-founder Glynda C. Carr. “The forthcoming November 4, midterm provides us with the opportunity to begin addressing these issues and become more fully and consistently involved in the political process.” 

“The Status of Black Women in American Politics” report released by Higher Heights earlier this year provides a comprehensive historical outline of Black women’s struggle for political representation and discusses the current landscape of political leadership for Black women across the country as well as their growing political influence. It demonstrates the need for greater engagement, recruitment, and inclusion of Black women in politics and government. 

The report notes that Black women are 7.4% of the U.S. population and 7.4% of the electorate. However, there are only 14 Black women in Congress (2.6%), 2 Black women in statewide elected executive office, and 241 Black women in state legislatures (3.3%). 

Follow the conversation on social media at #BlackWomenVote.

Photo caption: Higher Heights co-founder Glynda C. Carr.





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