Criminal disenfranchisement laws strip voting rights from people with past convictions, excluding millions of Americans from participating in our democratic process. Even worse, these laws have a disproportionate impact on communities of color due to the pervasive racial bias in our criminal justice system, resulting in reduced political power and the underrepresentation of their interests in public policy. Given these policies’ roots in historical efforts to prevent Black citizens from voting, this impact is not surprising.
In this virtual event, the Brennan Center brings together advocates from California, Florida, Iowa, and Kentucky for a conversation about the recent developments around rights restoration in their respective states. They’ll discuss why it’s important that these efforts are led by advocates who have experienced the scourge of disenfranchisement, the connection between disenfranchisement and the protests around the country over police violence and systemic racism, and the future of the movement nationwide.
This event is produced in partnership with New York University’s John Brademas Center and NYU Votes.
- Tayna Fogle, Democracy Fellow, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
- Jhody Polk, Founder and Director, Legal Empowerment & Advocacy Hub (L.E.A.H); Director of Community Justice, River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding; 2018 Soros Justice Fellow
- Taina Vargas-Edmond, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Initiate Justice
- Daniel Zeno, Policy and Advocacy Director, ACLU of Iowa
Moderator: Sean Morales-Doyle, Deputy Director, Voting Rights & Elections, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice