The Hip Hop Caucus is a national non-profit organization that aims to empower the hip hop community to participate in the civic process. This year, they have launched its non-partisan voter registration and education campaign dubbed Respect My Vote! to get young people to participate in the 2016 general election. The program targets voters in urban communities and on college campuses around the ages of 18-40 to register and get out and vote.
Acting as the spokesperson for the event is radio personality on Power 105 and on MtV2’s Uncommon Sense, Charlamagne Tha God. ““I’m honored to be a spokesperson for the 2016 Respect My Vote! campaign, and to be a part of a movement where the community of Hip Hop can come together to promote empowerment through political participation,” said Charlamagne Tha God. “Furthermore, I am an ex-offender and without initiatives such as Respect My Vote! I and many other people would be unaware of our ability to vote and the steps we need to take.”
The campaign hopes to reach those disenchanted with the voting process or those who feel their vote won’t make an impact. It also educates people on voter laws, such as how ex-offenders have the ability to vote in most states in the country. Starting next month, Respect My Vote! will begin on-the-ground voter registration drives in cities and campuses across the country. Those who want to join the campaign and submit their pledge to vote can register at www.respectmyvote.com.
The campaign has been successful in the past. It previously mobilized hundreds of thousands of voters in 2008 and 2012 with T.I. and 2 Chainz as spokesmen. More celebrities for this year’s campaign will be announced soon.
“Respect My Vote! is about how voting is personal and the decisions that elected officials make are personal to us. Justice and opportunity are too often denied to our communities,” stated Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. “That’s why it’s important to get celebrities and influencers such as Charlamagne Tha God involved in the campaign to convey the seriousness and importance of voting as a tool for change. We want to make lifetime voters out of this generation and encourage them to be active in advocacy on the issues that matter to them and their futures.”