Respect My Vote! campaign conducting non-partisan onsite voter registration and voter pledge operations in five cities across the country to turn advocacy into power at the polls

Washington, D.C. – On Saturday, March 24th, Hip Hop Caucus is joining March For Our Lives to demand an end to the gun violence that plagues communities across the country. Through Hip Hop Caucus’ Respect My Vote! Campaign, non-partisan voter registration and voter pledge engagement operations will take place in five major cities to ensure young people are able to exercise their power in our democracy during the upcoming midterm elections and beyond. The five cities are: Washington D.C.; Detroit, MI; New Orleans, LA; Los Angeles, CA; and, Charlotte, NC.

Hip Hop Caucus’ objective is to make sure that this powerful movement for gun reform carries its momentum into lasting positive change for communities on the frontlines of gun violence.

In the 20th century, freedom fighters fought for equality. In the 21st century, we are fighting for existence as we march for our lives,” said Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO. “We stand in solidarity with the amazing young people who so bravely stepped up after the Parkland shooting to say enough is enough. And, we stand in solidarity with the community activists and leaders in Black, Brown and Native communities who have been demanding action on gun violence for years with much less attention. This is a turning point and young people will be going to the polls this November demanding gun reform.”

Hip Hop Caucus supports the March For Our Lives call to enact common-sense gun reform including banning the sale of assault weapons, prohibiting the sale of high-capacity magazines, closing the loophole in our background check law, creating violence prevention programs, and ensuring mental health access for those impacted by exposure to gun violence. To achieve these reforms, Hip Hop Caucus is mobilizing young people who are supporting the March For Our Lives movement to register to vote, start or join voter registration drives, urge elected leaders at all levels of government to pass meaningful gun reform legislation, and support efforts to keep guns off school campuses and out of communities.  

Hip Hop Caucus has been engaged for over a decade in advocacy and educational efforts to address the disproportionate effects and daily impacts of gun violence in vulnerable communities, including urban communities and communities of color. Hip Hop Caucus continues to engage in sustained advocacy focused on engaging local, state and federal government officials, grassroots organizations, cultural influencers, and community leaders in an effort to enact and improve policies to reduce and prevent gun violence.

Solutions to reducing gun violence also come from communities that experience it firsthand. That is why Hip Hop Caucus recently teamed up with the multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning recording artists Black Eyed Peas for the release of their new single and video, “Street Livin”, that drives awareness and a call to action on issues largely impacting communities of color, including gun violence. The call to action on gun violence for the project was put together in partnership with national organizations also led by millenials and people of color, to implement proven strategies to reduce gun violence in cities across the United States.

Respect My Vote! was first launched by Hip Hop Caucus in 2008 and has since engaged millions of people during election cycles throughout the United States. Through partnerships with nonprofits, businesses, media and entertainment companies, and celebrity spokespeople, the non-partisan campaign focuses on voter registration, voter education, get-out-the-vote, and voter rights. Spokespeople have included Vic Mensa, T.I., Charlamagne tha God, Keke Palmer, 2 Chainz, Amber Rose, Future, and hundreds of other artists and community leaders.

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Press Note: Photo ops and in-person interviews available to reporters in Washington, DC, Charlotte NC, Detroit MI, Los Angeles CA, and New Orleans LA, or over the phone with national leaders and young people who have been personally impacted by gun violence and are organizing for solutions, action from lawmakers, and mobilizing their peers to the polls this November. Feel free to contact me to arrange an interview or cover our activities on Saturday (mark@hiphopcaucus.org).

Hip Hop Caucus is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 2004 that uses the power of Hip Hop culture to engage and empower young people and communities of color in the civic and political process. Follow us @HipHopCaucus on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook. More at HipHopCaucus.org.