STAND WITH US
ACVB’S STANCE ON VOTING RIGHTS AND ACCESS
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) stands solidly with our employees, colleagues and their families in opposition to any legislation or action that restricts the rights or impacts access for Black, Brown and underrepresented communities to participate in the democratic process. We believe in a fair, accessible and secure election process for all Georgians. We encourage our staff and all members of our hospitality industry to cast their votes and have their voices heard.
The continued debate around this legislation demonstrates more conversation is needed on this important issue. ACVB hopes you will stand with us and our hospitality community by continuing to hold your association’s future meetings in Atlanta. Making a change to your plans will have a significant economic impact on the city, but more importantly will disproportionately impact those whose voting rights may be affected. ACVB can assist associations in finding ways to make a positive impact through advocacy rather than negatively impacting the destination through measures like a boycott. The best way to influence change is by staying engaged with Georgians, not by moving away from Georgia.
CITY OF ATLANTA ADMINSTRATIVE ORDER
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an administrative order April 6 to ensure every Atlanta resident has an opportunity to exercise their right to vote. The order directs the city’s Chief Equity Officer to implement a series of actions to mitigate the impact of new voting restrictions imposed by Senate Bill 202. Those include, but are not limited to:
- Coordinating with the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services to provide training to staff members on voter registration and general information on early, absentee and in-person voting, in order that they may communicate this information to city residents
- Disseminating information to city residents on how to obtain the forms of identification required for absentee voting
- Coordinating with the operational departments to include QR codes or links to websites providing information regarding voter registration and absentee voting in water bills and other mailings
- Working with corporate and community partners to develop and implement public service announcements and other communications to provide clarity on new voting related deadlines and timelines
ANTI-BOYCOTT STATEMENTS FROM LOCAL LEADERS
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
“Boycotts in GA will hit the metro Atlanta hardest & have a ripple effect across the state. Small businesses, corporations that support our communities, and everyday working people will suffer …”
U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock
“It is my hope that businesses, athletes, and entertainers can protest this law not by leaving Georgia but by coming here and fighting voter suppression head on, and hand-in-hand with the community.”
U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff
“I absolutely oppose and reject any notion of boycotting Georgia. Georgia welcomes business, investment, jobs, opportunity, and events. In fact, economic growth is driving much of the political progress we have seen here. Georgia welcomes the world’s business.”
Dr. Bernice King
“Please stop the #BoycottGeorgia talk. That would hurt middle class workers and people grappling with poverty. And it would increase the harm of both racism and classism.”
“[Leaving] us behind won’t save us. So I ask you to bring your business to Georgia and, if you’re already here, stay and fight. Stay and vote.”
VOTER ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS
Many associations and groups have asked about advocacy opportunities for their Atlanta meetings. Listed below are a few organizations that advocate for voters rights.
All Voting is Local – Georgia
Voting is Local strives to remove discriminatory barriers to the ballot to achieve a democracy that works for all. Georgia voters have faced sometimes insurmountable obstacles to the ballot box from voter purges to polling locations that shutter without warning in African American neighborhoods.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia
ACLU of Georgia envisions a state that guarantees all persons the civil liberties and rights contained in the United States and Georgia Constitutions and Bill of Rights. ACLU of Georgia enhances and defends the civil liberties and rights of all Georgians through legal action, legislative and community advocacy, and civic education and engagement.
Civic Alliance is a nonpartisan group of businesses working together to build a future where everyone participates in shaping the country. Civic Alliance believes every American should have a voice in democracy and that voting should be safe and accessible to all voters. The organization stands in solidarity with voters 一 and with the Black executives and leaders at the helm of this movement 一 in a nonpartisan commitment to equality and democracy.
Fair Fight is a Georgia-based organization that promotes fair elections in the state and around the country, encourages voter participation in elections, and educates voters about elections and their voting rights. Fair Fight brings awareness to the public on election reform, advocates for election reform at all levels and engages in other voter education programs and communications.
Georgia Equality’s mission is to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and allies throughout the state. Through the Equality Foundation of Georgia, the organization conducts voter registration and educational activities, provides information to decision makers, and works to organize and mobilize LGBT residents and allies to advance equality across the state.
The New Georgia Project
The New Georgia Project is a nonpartisan effort to register and civically engage Georgians as the state’s population continues to grow. The New Georgia Project aims to ensure that The New American Majority – people of color, those 18 to 29 years of age, and unmarried women have their voices heard.
Atlanta served as the cradle of the American civil rights movement, and it is the mission of several organizations to continue that legacy of progress. Members of associations and groups can take a local pledge to show their support.
BE LOVE – The King Center
BE LOVE is a growing movement of courageous acts to achieve justice from The King Center. Born amid the immense uncertainty and global tension of the past year, BE LOVE’s work is grounded in the iconic words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”
Campaign for Equal Dignity – National Center for Civil and Human Rights
National Center for Civil and Human Rights encourages all to pledge to advocate for equal dignity for all. The Campaign for Equal Dignity shares that the federal government and states must establish a range of voting options including early voting, no-excuse absentee/mail-in ballots, and in-person voting protocols that protect voters and poll workers.
BREAKDOWN OF MINORITY EMPLOYEES IN GEORGIA’S LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
*Data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019
Black or African American – 34 percent
Hispanice or Latino – 17 percent
Asian – 6 percent
STATES CONSIDERING VOTING RIGHTS LEGISLATION
According to Brennan Center for Justice on April 1, 47 states have introduced legislation around voting rights. The three states that have not are Delaware, Ohio and Vermont.
Hero image by Christopher Watkins, @christopherbw
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