Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Conscience of the County - Speaking Truth to Power!!!

NAACP Rallies Against Voter ID Law JEFFERSON CITY - June 24,
The new voter ID law is in the book, but protestors say this new voter registration law will take away first amendment rights.
Ten organizations from around the state gathered on the Capitol steps this morning to show their concern. Organizations such as Rally organizer the NAACP, GRO, SEIU, AFSCME, County Clerks, Faith Community, and more voiced regrets on the passage of the bill, but expressed a greater need "...To now educate the voters and potential voters are the critical issue such as a state issued identification card by November 7, 2006...we must move forward".

The new voter ID law was signed by Gov. Blunt on June 14. It requires voters to show a Missouri drivers license, a nondriver ID or a military ID at the polls. The bill also allows those who don't have a photo ID to cast a provisional ballot until 2008. For that provisional ballot to count, voters must get an affidavit from two election judges.

Protestors say the bill targets African Americans, the elderly, and those with disabilities because these people are less likely to have a photo ID or birth certificate. NAACP leaders say their main goal is to educate and prepare voters.
"We can go out to all parts of Missouri and educate citizens about what the bill is and means and to try and help them in every way that we can to assure that they have the proper identification to register and to vote come November," said Mary Ratliff, NAACP State Conference President.
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The theme for the 2006 National HIV Testing Day is "Take The Test, Take Control." This day is set aside annually by the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) to encourage at-risk individuals to receive voluntary HIV counseling and testing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 180,000 to 280,000 people nationwide are HIV-positive, but are unaware of their status. HIV counseling and testing enables people with HIV to take steps to protect their own health and that of their partners, and helps people who test negative to get the information they need to stay uninfected.Activities for testing opportunities are being planned around the state to offer HIV testing for those individuals who are interested in knowing their status. Attached is a flyer with contact information for HIV counseling and testing sites. For additional information, access the CDC National Prevention Information Network (NPIN) website at, or NAPWA at

Places to go for Free Testing:
Columbia-Boone County Health Department
Phone Number: 573-874-7536

St. Joseph-Buchanan County Health Department
Phone Number: 816-271-4725

Springfield-Greene County Health Department
Phone Number: 417-864-1303

AIDS Project of the Ozarks (Springfield)
Phone Number: 417-881-1900

Joplin City Health Department
Phone Number: 417-623-6122

St. Louis Metro AIDS
Phone Number: 314-879-6410

St. Louis Effort for AIDS
Phone Number: 314-645-6451

Kansas City Health Department
Phone Number: 816-513-6074

Kansas City Free Health Clinic
Phone Number: 816-777-2786

SE Missouri Health Education and Risk Reduction
Phone Number: 573-686-5283


DATE: June 21, 2006

TO: Concerned Parties

FROM: Bruce Gordon, President and CEO

Hilary O. Shelton, Director, Washington Bureau
THE ISSUE: Earlier Wednesday, June 21, 2006, a small band of extremists in the House of Representatives hijacked H.R. 9, the bill to renew and restore the Voting Rights Act. The House had been expected to vote on the bill today. The members who hijacked the Voting Rights Act are Reps. Lynn Westmorland (GA), Charlie Norwood (GA) and others represent retrogressive forces that America hasn't seen at this level since the 1960s. Many of those trying to derail this bill represent states with the most egregious records of discrimination in voting. Their actions would return us to a time when the rights of racial and ethnic minority Americans specifically the right to vote -- were not protected or enforced.

Rarely does a bill have the bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate that H.R. 9 has. House leaders must move past this small group obstructionist and get this bill back on track immediately. The nation's continued progress towards equality demands it. Representatives are scheduled to leave Washington next week for a July 4th recess. But House members should not go home until they have finished the job of renewing the Voting Rights Act.

H.R. 9 is the product of months of intense hearings and is supported by members of both parties in the House and the Senate. The hearings demonstrated conclusively that barriers to equal minority voter protection remain in the United States today. Specifically, the legislation would reauthorize and restore expiring portions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Despite the fact that African Americans and other racial and ethnic minority Americans are guaranteed the right to vote by the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was passed just after the Civil War in 1870, states and local municipalities continued to use tactics such as poll taxes, literacy tests and outright intimidation to stop people from casting free and unfettered ballots.

Thus the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was enacted to insure that no federal, state or local government may in any way impede people from registering to vote or voting because of their race or ethnicity. Most provisions in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and specifically the portions that guarantee that no one may be denied the right to vote because of his or her race or color, are permanent. There are, however, 3 enforcement-related provisions of the Voting Rights Act that will expire in August 2007 unless reauthorized. The hearings held in 2005 and 2006 have found a new generation of tactics, including at-large elections, annexations, last minute poll place changes and redistricting which have had a discriminatory impact on voters, especially racial and ethnic minority American voters. Thus H.R. 9 was introduced to reauthorize the portions of the VRA that will expire next year and allow the federal government to address these new challenges.


Hilary O. Shelton, Director NAACP Washington Bureau, Freedom Fund Banquet Speaker

The Mar-Saline branch of the NAACP announced their freedom Fund Banquet. The Banquet is September 2, 2006 in the R. Wilson Brown Room on the campus of Missouri Valley College. The banquet is preceded with a guest of honor reception beginning at 5:30 PM. Tickets to the gala is $30.00

Hilary O. Shelton, presently serves as Director to the NAACP's Washington Bureau. The Washington Bureau is the Federal legislative and national public policy division of the national civil rights organization. In this capacity, Hilary is responsible for advocating the federal public policy issue agenda of the oldest, largest, and most widely recognized civil rights organization in the United States to the U.S. Government. Hilary's government affairs portfolio includes crucial issues such as affirmative action, equal employment protection, access to quality education, stopping gun violence, ending racial profiling, abolition of the death penalty, access to comprehensive healthcare, voting rights protection, federal sentencing reform and a host of civil rights enforcement, expansion and protection issues.Prior to serving as director to the NAACP Washington Bureau, Hilary served in the position of Federal Liaison/Assistant Director to the Government Affairs Department of The College Fund/UNCF, formerly known as The United Negro College Fund in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, Hilary worked with Senate and House Members of the U.S. Congress, Federal Agencies and Departments, college and university presidents and faculty members, as well as the White House to secure the survival, growth and educational programming excellence of the 39 private historically black colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Prior to working for The College Fund/UNCF, Hilary served as a Federal Policy Program Director to the 8.5 million-member United Methodist Churches' social justice advocacy agency, The General Board of Church & Society. In this capacity, Hilary advocated for the national and international United Methodist Churches' public policy agenda affecting a wide range of civil rights and civil liberties issues including preserving equal opportunity programs such as affirmative action, securing equal high quality public education for all Americans, guaranteeing greater access to higher education and strengthening our nation's historically Black colleges and universities, abolition of the death penalty, reforming the criminal justice system, voting rights protection and expansion, gun control and a host of other social justice policy concerns.Hilary serves on a number of national boards of directors including, The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, The Center for Democratic Renewal, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute among many others.Playing an integral role in the crafting and final passage of such crucial federal legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Hilary was also instrumental in ushering through to passage, The Civil Rights Restoration Act, The Violence Against Women Act, The Hate Crimes Statistics Act, The Native American Free Exercise of Religion Act, The National Voter Registration Act, The National Assault Weapons Ban, The Brady Handgun Law, Reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act and many other crucial laws and policy measures affecting the quality of our lives and equality in our society.

Hilary has humbly received a number of awards and recognitions for his unwavering dedication to civil rights and the mission and goals of the NAACP. Among the many awards to which he is most grateful for receiving, Mr. Shelton is the proud recipient of the National NAACP Medgar W. Evers Award for Excellence, one of the highest honor presented by the national NAACP for Outstanding Service, Sincere Dedication and Commitment to the Mission of the NAACP, the Israeli Embassy and Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism's 2005 Civil Rights Leadership Award, as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Chairman's Award In Recognition and Appreciation for Dedication, Leadership and Commitment to Advancing the Cause of Civil Rights for All Americans.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a family of 6 brothers and sisters, Hilary holds degrees in political science, communications, and legal studies from Howard University in Washington, D.C., the University of Missouri St. Louis, and Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, respectively.Hilary presently lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Paula Young Shelton and their three sons, masters Caleb Wesley, Aaron Joshua, and Noah Ottis Young Shelton.



Protect the hard-earned civil rights gains of the past three decades. Unit #4069

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