Press Releases

Rev. Sharpton & NAN Kick Off 100,000 New Membership Drive

May 14, 2012


Monday, May 14, 2012 (New York, NY)–Reverend Al Sharpton, President and Founder of National Action Network, has announced the launch of the NAN 100,000 National New Membership Drive from May 15-June 15th with the intention of using new national members to rally against Voter ID and Stand Your Ground Laws in states across the country where they are applicable. New NAN members will mobilize and educate voters, rally against legislation, and members will be central to the national initiative in the coming weeks. Dues from new members will be earmarked specifically for NAN’s work around these issues. New National members will participate in monthly calls with Rev. Al Sharpton and NAN leadership and be part of a coalition of national clergy, activists, elected officials and legislators that will hold major efforts across the United States.
NAN’s Ministers Division will seek to revive ecumenical activism around crucial social and civil rights issues such as the Stand Your Ground and Voter ID laws and will organize state tours around as part of this effort. The initiative will be led by Rev. Michael Walrond, Senior Pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York, also a board member of National Action Network. He has been a leader in the national social justice movement and had helped mobilize clergy around critical issues impacting this country and people of color.
Labor leaders will be central in the effort as NAN continues a coalition with key national labor groups with whom the organization has worked for worker’s rights, immigration reform and against voter ID and Stand Your Ground laws.
Currently there are nearly 20 states with ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws on the books.  Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Pennsylvania are just a few. The Voter ID fight is of equal importance.For years, most states accepted items like utility bills and bank statements as acceptable forms of ‘ID’ for voting.  Now, a non-expired photo ID is required in several states like Alabama, Wisconsin, Kansas, Texas, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Mississippi.  Many more states have similar measures on the table, and at least five states – including notorious Florida – passed laws reducing early voting days.  Several states are pushing for elimination of same-day registration, while others are establishing tough regulations for voter registration drives/groups to the extent that organizations like the League of Women Voters in Florida suspended its work to register voters for the first time in 70 years.
NAN will utilize new membership to help with voter turnout. According to Rev. Sharpton: “In 2008, all of us witnessed historic voter turnout as Blacks, Latinos, young folks and others came out in record numbers.  In fact, it was the youth vote and minority vote that propelled President Obama into office.  And it’s precisely those sheer numbers of potential voters that have Republicans conjuring up repressive tactics in order to suppress the vote.”
NAN is one of the leading Civil Rights organizations in the nation with chapters all across the country. NAN works extensively to promote a modern Civil Rights agenda which includes a standard of decency for all people regardless of race or sex, social justice for all communities, and improvement of race relations. Through the years NAN has served as a megaphone for the voiceless and an advocate for those in need. The organization has taken on issues relating to voter registration, jobs, education, immigration, health-care, anti-violence and much more.