LAST UPDATED 2/26/13 11:00 am

 

We are one day out from the Voting Rights Act hearing and rally at the US Supreme Court and I want to make sure you all have the information you need to help make it a success.

 Here are some updated logistics related to tomorrow’s rally:

 Agenda for Tomorrow’s Rally:

  • 6:00 AM – Placeholder volunteers  arrive
  • 8:00 AM – All other volunteers should arrive if possible by 8 am
  • 8:30 AM – Members of Congress Press Briefing
  • 9:00 AM – Program formally begins outside the court while the hearing begins inside
  • 11-12 PM – Litigators expected to descend from the court - "Press Gaggle" and Speeches will follow
  • 1:00 PM – Rally concludes

Volunteer Check-In:

  • If possible please arrive at the court by 8 AM – We would like to have a good crowd for the backdrop of the congressional press conference at 8:30 AM
  • When you arrive at the Supreme Court and are looking at the building from the street look to your left - you should see signage that will indicate “Volunteer Check-in”
  • We have sent the organizers a list of names of people from the League who have indicated they would like to volunteer so when you check in give them your name and let them know that you are from the League of Women Voters.
  • If you did not indicate a specific volunteer task you will be assigned one once you check in.
  • The Weather tomorrow is supposed to be sunny with a high of 58 degree – It may be cold in the morning so wear something that is comfortable – layers are always a good idea.

Getting there:

  • LWV staff and members will be responsible for getting to the rally on their own. For those of you interested in going together please meet at the LWVUS office (1730 M Street NW – 10th Floor) at 7:35 (the building doors open at 7:30) so folks can depart together no later than 7:45 am – either by cab or metro (at your own expense)
  • If you are planning on getting to the Supreme Court on your own and are volunteering, please check in and then look for the LWVUS signs and people with the LWV button. All LWV participants will also receive an LWV pin!  If you are having a difficult time finding us you can call my cell at 202-375-431 (Tim O'Brien)
  • Please note that there will be an event,  unveiling a statue of Rosa Parks, at the Capitol at 11:00 am. The president is expected to attend so traffic may be heavy and some street may be closed before and after the unveiling – please plan accordingly

Talking to the Press:

There will be plenty of press at the event – some friendly and some not-so-friendly. If you are approached by a reporter please direct them to the volunteer check in area where they can be directed to our press people. You will find a “Media Tips” guide at the bottom of this page – please review prior to the rally. If you do choose to speak to the press under no circumstances should you identify yourself as speaking for the League

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Press Release and Letter to the Editor Templates can be found at bottom of this page - please scroll down

Interested in volunteering or attending the rally? please contact Virginia Clairmont at LWVUS: vclairmont@lwv.org

Background:

On Wednesday, February 27th, the Supreme Court will review Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, a case that questions the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, the landmark legislation that outlawed discriminatory voting practices. The League firmly believes the Supreme Court must uphold Section 5 or it would erase 50 years of progress for minority voters. When the Voting Rights Act was last reauthorized in 2006, Congress declared that without its protections, “racial and language minority citizens will be deprived of the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”

We are proud to have signed onto an amicus brief to signify our support for Section 5 and to ask the Supreme Court to uphold the lower court’s ruling. We are joined in this effort by the League of Women Voters of South Carolina, which has signed onto a state brief that addresses how Section 5 helped implement and clear a Voter ID law in South Carolina.

In conjunction with many national partners, the League is participating in a rally at the Supreme Court on February 27th, starting with a press briefing at 8:30am and the rally running from 9:00am to 1pm. League members interested in attending or volunteering at the rally should contact Virginia Clairmont - vclairmont@lwv.org (no travel funds are available to support this activity).

 Volunteers are needed to be:  

1) Place Holders: Help to designate our area by arriving early (6 am) to physically mark our space in front of the Court. It is important that we stake out our ground before our opposition arrives. We want to claim the space first.

2) Sign Holders: Help build visibility by holding a sign prominently in the crowd or behind speakers at the podium (sign holding behind the speakers will be coordinated on-site –you will need to be able to hold the sign for 15 minutes straight if you are standing behind the podium).

3) Sign Makers: We will be making signs at the LWVUS office on Tuesday February 26 from 1-3 pm. Materials and snacks will be provided we just need artistic talents!

4) Marshalls: Help to define our group by wearing a designated uniform and standing at the perimeter of the rally. You must be able to ensure the perimeter is safe – We don’t anticipate any tussles but if you can’t don’t want to be in a “tussle situation” do not volunteer to be a Marshall. 

Training for all Volunteers will take place via conference call on Monday February 25th at 12:30 - Call-in information will sent to everyone who has registered with Virginia Clairmont at LWVUS: vclairmont@lwv.org

 Agenda for the Day of the Rally

  • 6:00 AM – Placeholders arrive – (please see volunteer needs above for more details)
  • 8:30 AM – Members of Congress Press Briefing
  • 9:00 AM – Program formally begins outside the court while the hearing begins inside
  • 11-12 PM – Litigators expected to descend from the court - "Press Gaggle" and Speeches will follow
  • 1:00 PM – Rally concludes

Resources You Can Use:

  1.  Coalition Briefing Materials - including background and talking points – Please DO NOT distribute these outside the League.
  2.  HuffingtonPost Blog Post by President MacNamara 
  3. Template press release (PDF below)
  4. Template letter to the editor (PDF below)
  5. LWVUS Webinar presentation (PDF below) 
 

Related Events in Your Community:

South Corolina:

  • Who: LWVSC and Coalition partners
  • What: Rally and press conference
  • Where: South Carolina State House rotunda in Columbia, SC
  • When: Noon on Tuesday February 25th.

The Freedom Rides for Voting Rights will leave the U.S. Supreme Court and hold press conferences and rallies in 7 southern cities. The Freedom Rides will culminate with the March from Selma to Montgomery beginning on March 3 and ending on March 8 with a rally at the Alabama State Capitol. For more details please contact Rose or Hank Sanders at 334-526-4531 or admin@thebridgecrossingjubilee.org .