Barred Business believes that to build real power, we must be able to choose who governs us. Government officials are constantly creating and supporting systemic racist laws and policies that impact our lives as justice-impacted Black people. We have to vote to have any chance of making our lives better.
We are committed to registering 5,000 criminal justice-impacted people to vote—and to mobilizing and activating our community. But we need to find our people! Justice-impacted people are not easily located in traditional voter data bases. So we’re getting out into the community to identify them and get them registered to vote.
For the 2022 senatorial run-off election in Georgia between Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker, Black Voters Matter, Solidaire, and Movement for Black Lives grants supported our GOTV (Get Out The Vote) initiative in South and West Metro Atlanta—neighborhoods with the highest concentration of unemployed and economically struggling Black people. While other progressive canvassing programs might have been reluctant to canvas there, we were not. These are our communities, where our friends and families live, including those who—like us—are formerly incarcerated. For the run-off, we coordinated people from other Metro Atlanta organizations for canvassing by justice-impacted people, phone and text banking, literature drops, and rides to the polls.We powered two canvassing teams, with 80 canvassers available on any day to go out into the community.