The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

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Sep 1, 2008

Black Youth Vote Justice Speak Out Tour Visits Riviera Beach

Young activists encourage peers to register, verify, and vote first

Riviera Beach, Florida – Fired up and ready to turn out black youth in record numbers, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), Florida Black Youth Vote! (BYV), and Florida Unity ’08 Campaign will bring their message to register, verify, and VOTE FIRST to the City of Riviera Beach for a day-long event Saturday, September 20, from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Featuring food, fun, and voter education, the free event will take place at the Riviera City Hall Pavilion, 600 West Blue Heron Blvd. For more information call (321) 689-7127.

“With the country in a recession, young people are paying more attention to who is elected to office. We want to make sure every eligible voter can vote, so we are telling them what to do before they go to the polls,” said Salandra Hanna, Florida Unity ’08 coordinator. “Every voter needs to verify their name on the voter rolls, locate their polling place in advance, take government-issued photo identification to the polls, and avoid the drama and vote early.”

The day begins with a public forum (10 a.m. – 2 p.m) to address issues that impact young people. Topics include creating young entrepreneurs, closing the wealth and health gap, and opportunities in the new green economy. Lawyers will be on-site to help ex-felons restore their voting rights, and Register Riviera! will be on hand to showing new voters how easy it is to use electronic voting machine, explaining the new voting ballot; and helping people find their polling location.

Voters can locate their polling place by calling the NCBCP's Unity '08 voter assistance hotline 1-866-MYVOTE-1 (866 698-6831). Also, the NCBCP and American Urban Radio Networks produced a series of voter information public service announcements available for airing by any station.

"Young people have a lot at stake in the election. We will make history in 2008,” said Contona Thomas, Florida BYV! coordinator. "We’re urging black youth to VOTE FIRST during early voting period. We’re first to be fired and first to feel the squeeze of the economic bust. Young black people should be eager to be first to vote in this historic election,” the founder of Vote or Shut Up adds.

“Our ancestors died fighting for our right to vote. Young people get it, and armed with the proper information, we will be the change in this election,” Hanna adds.

Founded in 1976, the NCBCP ( is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing African American participation in civil society. Co-hosts of the event include, A. Philip Randolph Institute , American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, AFSCME Florida Council 79, Black Caucus ATU LOCAL 1577,City of Riviera Beach City Clerk, Carrie Ward, Coalition of Black Students Achievement, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Queen of Sheba Court # 8 LOCOP, Masud Temple #69 AEAONMS, Masud Court #71 Daughters of Isis, National Urban League, Register Riviera!-Councilwoman Lynne L. Hubbard, Sam Brady Assembly #312 Order of Golden Circle, The American Urban Pinnacle Network, and Vote or Shut Up, and Tough Love Inc.

Note to Media: To schedule an interview, contact .

“Vote First” and voter information PSA’s and web banners are available by contacting .

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