How African-American churches will be key during election cycle

TAMPA – Historically African-American churches have been the place to engage voters from communities of color. 

What You Need To Know

  • African-American churches can be a place to engage communities of color
  • Equal Ground is working to get voters registered at local churches
  • Leaders say that registration is important due to changes in voting laws

This election cycle, the non-partisan group called Equal Ground hopes to tap into that to build black political engagement throughout the state of Florida. 

Every Sunday, service at the Allen Temple A.M.E. church in Tampa contains song, praise, prayer and social activism. 

Sitting in one church pew is Justin Jones, a deputy field manager for Equal Ground. Jones is here to register new voters. 

“When it comes to voting, we’re talking about City Council, Mayor, Governor, all these people have a direct impact over our everyday lives so we want to make sure people are participating and make sure they get out to vote.” said Jones. 

He says this is a key election cycle for the African community. Especially after Governor Desantis signed a bill affecting voter registration vote by mail ballots and drop off boxes. 

“We want To make sure our community Is aware of changes to voting laws and make sure they vote ahead of time,” he said. 

Janette Spencer-Davis has been a member of Allen Temple A.M.E. for 30 years, and she encourages others to be politically active and aware. She says the new redistricting maps could affect candidates and voters. 

“The thing with redistricting, people may not know where their polling place is. We need to be informed voters,” said Spencer-Davis. 

Engaging new voters isn’t just happening inside church walls. Equal ground plans to canvas key African-American neighborhoods throughout the state of Florida until elections in November. 

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