As Rev. Al Sharpton prepares for the National Action Network Annual Convention next week, the Civil Rights Leader says Texas will be the main focus, particularly voting rights and SB 1.
“We have to come out and vote and take down this state legislature,” Sharpton said during a recent visit to Houston. “If we can vote these people out, if (Gov. Greg) Abbott and his team are punished, it will send a national signal. I intend to spend a lot of time in the state working toward that.”
Sharpton says the Census undercount will also be a focus of the NAN convention, which takes place April 6-11 in New York City. Black people, Latinos, and Native Americans were undercounted during the United States 2020 national census, new US Census Bureau data showed, potentially affecting political representation and federal funding for communities with significant minority populations.
The once-a-decade nationwide population count is used to draw US legislative maps in each of the 50 US states, as well as to help distribute billions in federal funds for everything from public housing to health care and highway construction.
“The Census will affect us for a decade,” Sharpton said. “We plan to file a lawsuit to go in and challenge them to take the census again. They are gerrymandering districts. They’re undercounting us in terms of registration. In a midterm election year, we can’t afford for that to happen. It’s a legal strategy that I’m rallying around,” Sharpton said.
Another topic Sharpton is looking at tackling – Black voter apathy, including those African Americans who feel disenfranchised by the Democratic Party and suggest there needs to be a third party.
“If that gets the majority vote, fine. But if you can’t take over the Democratic vote that’s an issue and will keep the other side in power. We can’t get caught up in silos. And I think a lot of us get caught up in, ‘I ain’t in this, I ain’t in that’ rather than I want to do whatever wins. When I go to the airport, I don’t care if I’m in a Chrysler or a Cadillac. I just want to arrive. I think we’ve got to stop arguing about what we going to use as a vehicle and deal with how we get to the destination,” he said.