Martin Luther King Jr. would want 270 votes.
This blog describes how activists designed a rapid response video for MLK day to encourage people to vote. It ties the importance of persevering and how voting power translates to benefits.
The inspiration for the video came from Richard Greene, a political communication strategist and civics educator who designed the script. A short video was created with the free iMovie app using this script. The message was narrated by Royce Spencer and ends with a call to action of registering to vote. The video was distributed on social media through supporters and influencers.
The script keeps the message simple. Achievable. Actionable. And he the emphasis on the ‘magic number’ of 270 and the benefits to be had by getting that number of votes.
Keep your message simple and actionable. Eyes on the prize.
MLK’s Message To A 2023 America
Yeah, it’s my birthday
But I haven’t had a great 54 birthdays since I left
Because you, my brothers and sisters, DON’T VOTE
Oh, I know it’s tough
You don’t think it was tough for me?
Give me a break
Oh, I know you voted once or twice . . .
And the country didn’t immediately change the way you wanted?
Buck up, my friends.
The arc of the Universe is long. It takes a minute.
I didn’t get what I wanted either all the time
And I was killed for trying
But I’m talking to you on this birthday because . . .
I. DIDN’T. GIVE. UP.
And as my 94th birthday present, I don’t want you to either.
I want you to register to vote
For my brother John Lewis’ Voting Rights Bill
For The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
For Gun Safety so you all begin to stop killing each other
For Social Justice
And, yes, for Women’s Rights
And so many other things
I know you’re pissed off
I know you think your vote doesn’t count
I know you even elected a Black man . . . and not much changed.
I know you think “The System” doesn’t give a (pause) I’m not gonna say it (pause) about you
But what you don’t seem to know is that there’s a simple solution
To all of those things.
And pretty much anything else you want in my country
Want to know what that is?
You. Just. Got. To. Elect MORE People Who Support These Things.
In fact, there’s a ‘Magic Number” to get whatever you want in America
And that we are really, really close to reaching that Magic Number on all the things we want
(I reached that Magic Number a few times. It IS possible!)
Want to know what it is?
And we had 268 for The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act
We had 268 for The Freedom to Vote Act
We had 268 for The Women’s Health Protection Act to restore Roe v. Wade
We passed “The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act” in The United States House of Representatives last session. Did you know that? We just needed a few more votes in The Senate to reach 270.
We passed “The Assault Weapons Ban” in The House last session. Did you know that? We just needed a few more votes in The Senate to reach 270.
And so many other things.
And I bet you didn’t know that we had only 26,000 more of you, my brothers and sisters, voted in Wisconsin, we would have elected our brother Mandela Barnes.
And, because our brother Raphael Warnock was re-elected in my state of Georgia, He, Mandela, would have been the extra vote we needed for The US Senate.
He lost by 26,000 votes.
And I bet you didn’t know that had only 9,000 more of you, my brothers and sisters, voted in New York, Colorado and California, we would have elected the 5 – yes 5 – extra supporters we needed to pass ALL of these bills again in The House of Representatives.
Don’t let me down.
I marched for you
I fought for you
I went to jail for you
I died . . . for you.
Can you please. just. vote . . .
Go to http://www.Vote.org and Register to vote.
It would be the greatest birthday present you could ever give me.
– Richard Greene
Martin Luther King Day
Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday that marks the birthday of Baptist reverend and activist Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, who was a leading figure in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. It is a day of service – “a day on, not a day off” – on which Americans are urged to volunteer for charitable organizations to help their communities.
King helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a peaceful rally aimed at drawing attention to racial discrimination in the US. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – landmark legislation which, according to the US government, “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin”. King was also influential in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed racial discrimination in voting. King’s contribution to the civil rights movement saw him named ‘Man of the Year’ by TIME magazine in 1963. A year later, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. – PRISA
TakeAway: Time videos for maximum impact.
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