The National Commission for Voter Justice

The National Commission for Voter Justice (NCVJ), is a non-partisan and diverse commission composed of prominent civil rights leaders, voting rights experts, scholars, elected officials, lawyers, students, and community activists will undertake a schedule of work centered around independent research, hearings and listening sessions in the states to hear directly from U.S. citizens; publications of findings, recommendations and strategies; and direct organizing and collaboration with community based organizations to enhance voter engagement. The NCVJ is administered by the Transformative Justice Coalition, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Timetable

Below is a preliminary timetable of the Commission’s hearings, listening sessions, events and publications. In all, the Commission will hold 18-20 hearings/listening sessions. The majority of these will be regional hearings covering 2-3 states. Some will be special hearings focusing on special vulnerable communities. In all, the Commission will publish 8 briefing papers or reports based on these hearings and other research.
This is an ambitious agenda and its best fulfillment will be dependent upon fiscal resources, staff capacity, pro bono services, volunteers and collaboration with supporting organizations. The accompanying budget includes a staffing structure for the Commission and the regional mapping illuminates the timetable set forth below.

2018

The Commission formally launched with a National Press Conference on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Week, January 17th. The Commission will complete its initial work in November, 2019 with the publication of a major report of its findings and recommendations.

January 17th – Commission News Conference and Official Launch – Washington, DC
January 27th – First Listening Session–Detroit, Michigan
March 1-5th – Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee–Bloody Sunday Anniversary–Selma, AL (calendar notation only)
March 3rd – Regional Hearing–Dallas, TX (Texas & Oklahoma)
March 24th – Regional Hearing–Atlanta, Georgia (Georgia & South Carolina)
June 2nd – Hearing-Miami, Florida (Florida)
July 14th – Regional Hearing–Los Angeles, California (Southern California)
July 21st – State Hearing–Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Wisconsin)
July–November–Launch Black Churches Voter Verification and Phone Canvassing Project
August 6th – Celebration of Voting Rights Act Anniversary (calendar notation only)
August 7th – Roundtable Discussion on Pennsylvania Election Security and Redistricting
August–October–Publication of Advisory to Election Officials for November Elections
September is Voting Rights Month–Joint Recognition Event with Congressional Voting Rights Caucus and partners–Washington, DC
September –Publication of Voter Awareness Fact Sheets/Tool-Kit
September 12-16 – Congressional Black Caucus Foundation ALC, Washington, D.C.
September 25th – National Voter Registration Day.
September 29th – Texas/Oklahoma Hearing
October 1 – November 5th 2018 VOTE READY CAMPAIGN–Voter Education, Voter Engagement and Voter Mobilization Events.
October 6th – AAWLC & Fannie Lou Hamer Voter Registration Week–New York City, NY (Black Woman Voting Rights Champion Training)
October 17th – National Twitter Town Hall–Preparing for November 6th Elections
October 30th – National Webinar for Poll Workers and Election Officials
November 6th – 2018 MIDTERM ELECTIONS
November 14th – Congressional Briefing on November 6th Election
December – Press Conference and Release of Report of First Year of Commission Findings

2019

January 22-23rd – MLK Voting Rights Action Day–Special Hearing on Disability Rights and Voting Rights–Washington, DC
February 15–16th – Hearings–Arizona/New Mexico Hearings, Albuquerque, New Mexico–Navajo Land (New Mexico)
March – Bloody Sunday – Jt. Forum with Jubilee Committee, Selma, Alabama
March 30th – Hearing–Durham, North Carolina (North Carolina)
April 27th – Regional Hearing–St. Louis, Missouri (Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas)
April – Briefing Paper on Strategies for Addressing Felony Disenfranchisement
May 25th – Regional Hearing–Ohio (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio)
June 15th – Regional Hearing & Caravan–New Orleans, Louisiana (Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee)
July 13th–Special Hearing–2020 Census–Gerrymand Hering and Redistricting–Washington, DC
August 4th – San Francisco–Northwestern Hearing (Northern California, Oregon, and Washington)
August-October – Report Written and Reviewed by Commission
September is Voting Rights Month – Joint Recognition Event with CVRC
September – Publication of Briefing Paper on Strategies for Addressing Disability Rights and Voting Rights
October 1–November 5th – VOTE READY CAMPAIGN 2019–Voter Education, Engagement and Mobilization Events
October 6th – Fannie Lou Hamer Voter Registration Week
October – National Webinar for Poll Workers & Election Officials–Washington, DC
November 5th – 2019 State and Local Elections
November 13th – Final Commission Report Issued
November 20th – Congressional Briefing on Commission Report–Findings and Recommendations for Voting Justice for 2020 Elections

Conclusion

The work of the Commission for Voter Justice is ambitious and multifaceted but will be instrumental in fighting voter suppression and motivating voters to participate in the electoral process. Although the research work of the Commission will end in 2019, there is a strong argument for the NCVJ to continue its voter education, outreach, and mobilization during 2020.