Established activists and spur-of-the-moment volunteers are seizing on this unprecedented moment of community uprising to register voters in Los Angeles. It’s been upward of two weeks since George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, and citywide protests against institutional racism in policing and the criminal justice system continue. And while the protests themselves have proved effective at instigating change, many believe that the only way to make that change permanent is through the ballot box.
“If we get politically organized, [we can] make sure that our city charter is in alignment with the people’s demands,” South Central activist Tara Perry told a crowd on the steps of City Hall on Friday. “But you can’t demand nothing if you don’t register to vote,” said Perry, who began registering voters at the protest the next day. “Don’t let this shit happen again. The onus is on us, people.”
Weeks before the nation erupted in protests, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti prompted an uproar from activists over his budget proposal. Garcetti’s $10.5-billion budget made cuts to many agencies and services in response to the dismal economic prospects brought on by COVID-19. The budget called for furloughs of nearly 16,000 civilian employees, saving the city $139 million, according to Garcetti’s financial advisors.
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