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September 01, 2020

National Urban, Anti-Defamation leagues join forces to engage Philly voters

Civil Rights Voting
Philly voting rights project Element5 Digital/

A voting rights project launched by the Anti-Defamation and National Urban leagues seeks to expand voter outreach and education efforts in Philadelphia ahead of the 2020 election.

Two major civil rights organizations have launched a voting rights project to increase voter outreach and education efforts in Philadelphia ahead of the general election.  

The pilot project, dubbed "One Time, Our Vote," is part of a wider partnership between the National Urban League and the Anti-Defamation League, which are working to strengthen relations between African American and American Jewish communities. 

The organizations have tasked their Philly branches with rolling out the project by bringing young leaders together. They cited the recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake, and the protests against systemic racism, as a catalyst for the project. 

"Voting is crucial, and we need to increase the number of young people who are voting and engaged in the process," Urban League of Philadelphia CEO Andrea Custis said. "This partnership is perfectly timed to engage our young leaders in this critical endeavor."

Pennsylvania is expected to be a critical state in the presidential election between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee. Trump won Pennsylvania by less than 1% in the 2016 election – the first time in decades that the state backed a Republican presidential candidate. 

That National Urban League, a civil rights group that advocates for African Americans, and the ADL, an anti-hate organization formed in response to anti-Semitism, said their partnership aims to deepen relationships between their young leaders, uniting them into a powerful network. 

"Our young leaders are aligned on many issues and bringing their shared energies and passions together now through the work of our young leaders will solidify these relationships and build new ones," National Urban League CEO Marc Morial said.

The organizations noted Black and Jewish people have joined forces in the past to fight discrimination, noting they have marched together and jointly lobbied Congress for change. 

"I am excited to be fostering the development of these powerful relationships across the nation at the grassroots level," said Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL's CEO. "The work our young leaders do together will be a model for the future.”

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