Your Vote is Your Voice!

by Karima Amin

September 13, 2018 is the primary mid-term election date.

It seems so far away but it is fast approaching and there may be some confusion in your mind about who is eligible to vote and what it may mean to the party of your choice and your community. Can you vote for a Republican if you are a registered Democrat? Do you know the general mid-term election date? Do you know where you can get a voter registration form? Are you aware of the fact that parolees now have the right to vote?

You can get these answers and more at the next meeting of PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO (PRP2). We have invited several local lawmakers to answer your questions and dispel rumors about the voting process and the impact of your vote. The following have confirmed: Retired County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, County Legislator April Baskin, and City Councilmember Ulysess Wingo.

On April 18 this year, when Governor Cuomo granted the right to vote to people convicted of a felony who are currently out on parole, there were those who said that this action was purely, politically motivated since the Governor is running for re-election. PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO understands political motivation and we are looking at the numbers.

More that 35, 000 people, out on parole, can vote this year and we are looking at the power this could generate and how this could impact our community. We are hoping to see many prospective voters at our next meeting. Your vote is your voice and it needs to be heard. While voting will definitely be the major theme of our next meeting, some time will be devoted to sharing a brief report and photos from a recent retreat in Old Chatham, NY at Powell House.

As a member of the New York State Prisoner Justice Collective, PRP2 escorted several people from Buffalo to Old Chatham for a retreat that was designed for families having incarcerated loved ones. There were 42 participants, adults and children, from across the state who enjoyed a weekend gathering that included fresh air and sunshine and activities that included opportunities for networking and community building. Our assistant, Danielle Johnson, will speak briefly about her recent trip to Cuba.

This 10-day excursion was an eye-opening experience that enhanced her understanding of a criminal justice system that is very different from what we have here in the USA.

Our monthly meetings are open to the public.

Plan to join us for the next meeting of PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO on

Monday, July 30, at 7:00 – 9:00pm @ the Rafi Greene CAO Masten Resource Center, 1423 Fillmore Avenue @ Glenwood and  For more information about future meetings contact

Karima Amin, 716-834-8438,;

BaBa Eng, 716-491-5319,