Chauvin trial used as motivation to register Black voters

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Black Voters Matter group kicked off its "We Got The Power" campaign in Texas as part of their efforts to continue building Black voting power nationwide.

The national campaign, which includes a series of power-building events to inform and engage Black voters, began last year in the months leading up to Election Day and has reached more than 7 million voters to date.

The Texas expansion of "We Got The Power" included voter engagement and education events held in partnership with local organizations such as the Texas Organizing Project, Working Families and Black Women's PAC as well as local grassroots organizations such as United Fort Worth and Fix SAPD, an activist organization dedicated to police reform in San Antonio.

In addition, BVM has donated more than $50,000 to a snow and water emergency fund to continue supporting Texas communities after the humanitarian disaster resulting from February's winter storm.

The expansion of the campaign comes as legislators in more than 40 states consider measures to roll back voting rights protections following unprecedented Black voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election.

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As Derek Chauvin's trial gets underway nearly a year after the in-custody death of George Floyd, watchful eyes, both from TSU's law school to the Houston Police Officers' Union, are following every move.

In the face of this legislation, "We Got The Power" will continue to encourage Black voters to use their voting power to address the issues and challenges facing their communities, and seek to engage corporations to use their economic power to apply pressure against legislators in states that are using voter suppression tactics.

"Building Black voting power doesn't exist only in major presidential election years, but it's a year-round goal for us," said LaTosha Brown, the co-founder of Black Voters Matter. "After Black voters made history in last year's elections, local lawmakers in nearly all 50 states have taken up legislation to chip away at our voting rights. With today's announcement, we are doubling down on our commitment to building and preserving voting power in our communities. This Texas expansion of our We Got The Power campaign will allow us to reach more voters in more communities and continue urging local, state, and federal legislators to use the power Black voters gave them on Election Day."

"We are expanding our "We Got The Power" campaign into Texas because we see a wealth of potential and untapped voting power in the Lone Star State," said Cliff Albright, the co-founder of Black Voters Matter. "Last year's elections showed us that, when Black communities harness their voting power, we can achieve the unimaginable and change the course of this nation. Even in the face of blatant voter suppression nationwide, our "We Got The Power" campaign is continuing to mobilize Black voters and drive transformative change in our communities."

The campaign helped to drive unprecedented Black voter turnout in last year's elections, which led to major victories in the White House and the U.S. Senate.

In addition to Tuesday's Texas launch, the campaign will continue with an outreach tour on the Blackest Bus in America, which will also stop in BVM's existing partner states.

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