NJ Statehouse Rally Held by REV UP NJ and Alliance Center for Independence

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) – The upcoming November NJ Statewide Elections hold immense significance for individuals with disabilities as both the state senate and state assembly seats are up for contention. “There is a lot at stake and our voices need to be heard,” emphasized Carole Tonks, executive director of the Alliance Center for Independence (ACI). ACI leads REV UP in New Jersey, a state chapter of the national movement initiated by the American Association People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2016. The acronym REV UP stands for “Register, Educate, Vote, Use your Power!” and its mission is to empower the disability vote.

To commence their fall election activities and honor the power of the disability vote, REV UP NJ and ACI organized an event at the NJ State House. The event showcased impactful speeches by voting rights advocates, offered informative resources tables, and included live entertainment. NJ Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin delivered the keynote address, emphasizing that democracy thrives when every individual exercises their right to vote. Other speakers echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the vital role voting plays in effecting change and making one’s voice heard. Norman A. Smith, the co-founder of Project Freedom Inc., boldly declared, “Before we engage in public meetings, demonstrations, sit-ins, or even get arrested, we must exercise our right to vote. Without voting, all other actions become meaningless.”

REV UP NJ is committed to eliminating barriers to voting, advocating for accessible voting machines and polling places, educating voters about important issues and candidates, and safeguarding voters’ rights to participate in elections. The organization recognizes that every individual’s vote matters and strives to create an inclusive and accessible democratic process for all. By promoting voter registration, providing educational resources, and protecting voting rights, REV UP NJ aims to amplify the voices of individuals with disabilities and ensure their active participation in the electoral process.

The event at the NJ State House, captured in the accompanying photos by Brian McCarthy of Onscene News, served as a powerful reminder of the importance of the disability vote and the need for individuals with disabilities to exercise their right to vote. As the November NJ Statewide Elections approach, the voices of those with disabilities will play a significant role in shaping the future of the state. With REV UP NJ leading the charge, the power of the disability vote is set to make a lasting impact and bring about positive change for the community.

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