MAKING A DIFFERENCE! pictured Murray Holman (left) and Attorney John Elmore
When the Black Lives Matter/anti-police brutality marches and protests reached a fever pitch locally, Attorney John Elmore called his friend Murray Holman of the Stop the Violence Coalition to see what they could do to bring a more positive outcome to the movement among so many passionate young people.
Holeman was on the same page. With financial backing from Elmore and his law partner Steve Boyd and Holman’s organizational savvy and connections to all the anti-violence community organizations , a city-wide Voter Registration Drive was launched on July 1 on the corner of E. Ferry and Grider. The rallies continued rain or shine every Wednesday thereafter at various locations around the city, marked by music, tee shirts (“I Vote to Make A Difference” ), food, sanitizer and even census information.
“We’re registering kids at 16,” Holmam said proudly. “So when they turn 18 they can vote!” Felons he said, can also register.
At the end of the day last Wednesday on the corner of Main and Winspear, the Coalition had registered a total of 1,000 new voters since the initiative began!
Both Holman and Elmore had praise for the dedicated community groups that joined the effort. Among them: Buffalo Peacemakers, Back to Basics Ministries, FATHERS, MVP’S and the Y.O.U.T.H. Even two motorcycle clubs lent their support – Top Gun and the Ruff Riders.
Elmore said he couldn’t think of a better cause to support than getting out the vote in this crucial election year.
“This society has been more divided than I can remember in my adult life and there is a strong need for us to get out and vote,” he said. “There are so many things at issue from justice reform, to how we handle the coronavirus to health care and of course …the White house.”
“This is why we’re registering people to vote,” said Murray, “because after the protests this is the stage where we need to be – sitting at the table and leveraging the power we have. This is the second piece of the protest that says ‘Here is the solution…This is what we’re all about.’ ”
Holeman said they planned to be very active in getting out the vote on election day as well. Added John: “We have to control what we can control…we can control our money and we can control our vote…”
Last Sunday the dynamic duo went to register people at a Niagara Falls church, and laughed about even getting a request to come to Jamestown N.Y.
“We’ll go anywhere as long as we have the support!” said Murray.
The voter registration drive was supposed to end this week, but its been extended for at least the first week in September and maybe beyond.
“Our main goal is to get people registered to vote,” reiterated Murray.
So far they’ve done an amazing job!