Greater Washington Urban League Auxiliary Holds First Summit on Voter Suppression, Gerrymandering Issues
The Thursday Network (TN), the young professional auxiliary of the Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL), announced the launch of #UNHackTheVote as part of a periodic awareness and conversation project on voter suppression, redistricting and gerrymandering issues. Hosting a summit recently in Washington, D.C., TN leaders collaborated with the Brennan Center for Justice, a think tank at New York University, to convene a “hackathon” of concerned thought leaders, experts and citizens troubled by the mass disenfranchisement of voters through electoral process manipulation. This inaugural event focused on the practice of gerrymandering and marked the first of its kind in the region.
“As a technology professional, I wanted to apply the start-up model to the urgent political climate we face today,” said Amy Lee Walton, Personal and Professional Development Chair of the Thursday Network. “A hackathon was a good way to marry tech culture with civic engagement. Our goals are twofold: awareness on these issues and support towards the national movement to eradicate all forms of gerrymandering and other voter suppression practices. The awareness piece can show up as an app that lets people merge demographic and/or election data with election results in an effort to notice trends in their states and to spark a campaign to increase 2020 Census participation – which was only 74 percent in 2010.”
#UNHackTheVote serves as the initial education project for concerned citizens to better understand how vulnerable the current voting system is too partisan manipulation and what people can do to protect their collective voting rights. The first inaugural event was held at sponsoring venue, The Iron Yard, at 1341 G St, NW in Washington, D.C. Thursday Network will continue facilitating workshops and other projects educating young professionals about voter suppression strategies, including redistricting and gerrymandering.
The Thursday Network is the young professional’s arm of the Greater Washington Urban League. It is a regional-wide service organization committed to affecting positive change within the Greater Washington community. Visit http://ThursdayNetwork.org for more information or @ThursdayNetwork on Twitter.