Our Statement on the George Floyd Protests
Like many Americans, we have been rocked by the brutal death of George Floyd, yet encouraged by the protestors’ struggle for justice and real change, a struggle seen in communities across the nation. Times like these call on all of us to ask hard questions – and to listen. It’s also an opportunity to do better and address underlying issues.
As calls for justice in the face of George Floyd’s death continue, the question arises – “How does the energy, frustration, and righteous anger get translated into lasting change?” President Obama summed up this challenge in a recent Medium blog, “eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices — and in a democracy, that only happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands.”
As it relates to criminal justice reform and police misconduct, Obama adds, “it’s mayors and county executives that appoint most police chiefs and negotiate collective bargaining agreements with police unions. It’s district attorneys and state’s attorneys that decide whether or not to investigate and ultimately charge those involved in police misconduct. Those are all elected positions.” Elections matter, and especially local elections, when it comes to limiting and robustly investigating the kinds of police misconduct that led to George Floyd’s death.
At Nonprofit VOTE, we hope to foster the kind of inclusive democracy where these real grievances can be addressed in a healthy and effective manner to facilitate lasting change. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, we recommit ourselves to working with nonprofits across the nation to conduct nonpartisan voter engagement, especially our Black-led and Black-focused partners like the National Urban League, the YWCA, the YMCA and others. In doing so, we aim to ensure more Americans – including Black, Latino, AAPI, and low-income voters – are registered and ready to vote this fall and the many elections to follow. That’s our commitment.