January , 2019

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Nationwide, 100 million people have criminal records and six million are disenfranchised by state laws.

SELMA, Ala. – Thousands of people will gather in Selma this weekend March 1-4 to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” when state troopers violently attacked peaceful voting rights demonstrators crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge as they marched to Montgomery.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested and imprisoned at the Dallas County Jail in Selma. Fifty years later, Pastor Kenneth Glasgow of nearby Dothan, Ala., will be at the Jail registering people to vote who are awaiting trial and can’t afford to bail out. Nationally a growing population of 700,000 people are in jail awaiting trial.

Glasgow and other civil rights leaders and supporters will announce the launch of a southern initiative to register hundreds of thousands of formerly and currently incarcerated people. In Alabama alone, more than 200,000 people with criminal convictions have recently had their voting rights restored due to relentless work of Glasgow and his organization. The Ordinary People Society (TOPS) during the last 15 years.

“If people are treated like citizens, they’ll begin acting like citizens,” said Glasgow who served fourteen years in prison himself and struggled to regain his voting rights through a complicated legal process that took three years.

TOPS felon voting rights work involved challenging the state’s 1901 white supremacist “moral turpitude” law designed to disenfranchise African Americans. That work included passing legislation in 2017 that finally defined the crimes of “moral turpitude” and re-enfranchised most of the 286,000 people with felonies in the state.

Press Conference details:

Who: Pastor Glasgow, The Ordinary People Society and allies including Southern Movement Assembly, Project South and People’s Action

What: Free2Vote Initiative Launch

When: 7:30 a.m. Saturday, March 3, 2018

Where: Dallas County Jail in Selma, Alabama

People with criminal records are an emerging voting block that premiered in the Special U.S. Senate election in Alabama in December when black voter turnout surged and defeated openly racist and misogynist candidate Roy Moore by 21,311 votes. Just a few weeks before the election, TOPS deployed its grassroots team of ministers and formerly incarcerated people to help register and turn out 8,221 criminal justice system-impacted voters – including many voting absentee from inside prisons and jails across the state.

People’s Action is more than a million people across 30 states working for economic, racial, gender and climate justice.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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