Lift Every Voice and Vote:
United Methodist Church Leaders in Dallas Pledge to Get Out The Vote in 2012
Federal Court Rejects Texas Voter ID Law on nbcnews.com
At least 60 persons recently came together at the Dallas City Hall Flag Room to kick off a Dallas area program to “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV) for the 2012 presidential election. Sponsors of the program included the Dallas area NAACP, the Dallas Peace Center and various faith based groups, including members of the North Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. This gathering gave rise to a coalition called “Lift Every Voice and Vote”.
“We are here for a very, very important meeting,” said the Rev. L. Charles Stovall, pastor of Glen Oaks United Methodist Church, Dallas. “People are here who are committed to making sure that people are civically engaged. This is regardless of one’s ethnicity or religious persuasion…We want everyone to ‘Lift Every Voice and Vote.”
Rev. Stovall, continued: “The church and religious institutions and communities of influence are in contact with our eligible voters on a weekly basis. That gives us the opportunities to encourage people to make a difference with their vote on policies and programs, including how budgets are created and used. We put our faith into action when we vote.”
A commitment to GOTV is ingrained on the DNA of the Dallas Stovall Family. Eight years ago, Denise Johnson Stovall and daughter Deanna Renee Stovall called every registered voter at Camp Wisdom - where Rev. Stovall served as senior pastor at the time - prior to a general election. They said, “Take your soul to poll!”
In fact, Denise has served as a Dallas County Deputy Registrar in marginalized communities. She enjoys asking high school seniors, “What do you plan to do when you turn 18?” After hearing funny stories about what the young adults plan to do, she responds, “You need to exercise your right to vote! Your life depends on it.” All our lives depend on it!!!
Denise Johnson Stovall is a freelance writer in Dallas. She writes for United Methodist News Service and is a frequent contributor to response. Her daughter, Deanna Renee Stovall, serves on the newly formed Program Advisory Group.