How your vote affects Black lives: Berkeley professor creates Black Lives Voter Guide

Julian Glover Image
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
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A UC Berkeley professor surveyed more than a dozen Black advocates and social justice organizations to create a Black Lives Voter Guide to inform Oakland voters on how their decisions at the ballot box will affect the Black Lives Matter movement.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- With just three weeks until election day you're probably swamped with flyers, ads on social media, and voter guides telling you how to vote on the races and the issues. Enter the Black Lives Voter Guide into the mix, created to inform Oakland voters on how their decisions at the ballot box will affect Black lives.

"When you vote you get a sense for how you can uplift Black lives," Kevin Hill, a professor at UC Berkeley explained to two young people near 17th and Broadway in Oakland Tuesday.

The work is far from easy, but Hill is hitting the streets anyway to spread the word about his passion project: the Black Lives Voter Guide.

"I knew I had to do something more than go to protests and hold up signs, shout, and be angry. I knew I had to turn the movement into action at least for myself," said Hill.

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He felt compelled to transform that anger he felt in May into action at the ballot box this November.

Hill surveyed more than a dozen Black community and social justice organizations and advocates on their positions on the issues.

The groups include 100 Black Men, East Oakland Youth Development Center, and the State of Black Education Oakland among others.

"The experience I really tried to bring about is if you are in a barbershop or beauty salon and you had 13 social justice activists chopping it up about our local elections: What are they saying? What's the read of the room? What's the consensus?" said Hill.

The guide covers everything from Oakland City Council races, to school board races, statewide propositions and how the outcomes of those races will affect Black lives.

There are even suggested votes on the issues or details on why the social justice leaders are split on a recommendation.

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Hill said while voters may be less than enthused about the outcome of the presidential race he wants people to realize votes cast down the ballot are just as important as the top of the ticket.

"For people who want to support the Black Lives Matter movement to consider what the Black social justice leaders are saying and really listen to the voices that need to be amplified most right now when they make their decision when they are voting," he said.

You can find the Black Lives Voter Guide on their website and @BLMVoterGuide on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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