African American Voter Registration, Education, & Participation Project

Increasing African American and urban voter registration, education, and participation through outreach to targeted communities in California. We've registered over 200,000 voters and counting since 2002!

Press Release: AAVREP Tele-Townhall with Governor Brown

AAVREP Tele-Townhall with Governor Brown draws 33,000 Participants

87% of Listeners Polled Plan to Vote Yes on 30; 86% Said No on 32

October 1, 2012
Jamarah Harris
(646) 262-8044
Los Angeles— The African American Voter Registration, Education and Participation (AAVREP) Project and Governor Jerry Brown hosted more than 33,000 Californians on a telephone town hall Tuesday night to discuss the importance of voting Yes on Proposition 30 and No on Proposition 32. During the call, listeners were polled on how they planned to vote on both propositions: an overwhelming majority reported that they agreed with AAVREP, Governor Brown, SEIU ULTCW President Laphonza Butler and AFSCME Local 685 President Ralph Miller and will vote Yes on 30 and No on 32.
Here is the audio of the hour-long call:
Information on upcoming AAVREP events, including an October 30 tele-townhall with Reverend Al Sharpton, is below.

“We must pass Prop 30. Failure is not an option,” Governor Brown told listeners. “Prop. 30 alone provides funding for schools this year and will prevent massive cuts to K-12 education, our public colleges and public safety. Now is the time to invest in our families, invest in our schools and finally get California back on track after a decade of budget gimmicks. It’s fair, it’s overdue and it’s the way forward.”


“The real goal of Prop. 32 is to deprive working people of their right to pool their money together to make their voice heard,” the Governor continued, regarding the so-called Stop Special Exemptions Act. Of the proposition’s special-interest backers, the Governor said, “We can be sure of one thing: they’re not a labor union, they’re not teachers, they’re not home healthcare workers. They’re people who don’t want to lose one cent to help the children of California.”


“It is critical from my perspective that we look at this proposition as a positive way to bring in much needed revenue to our state,” said Assemblymember Holly Mitchell, who moderated the call. “I don’t want to be in a position, as a mother of a school-age child, to look at the possibility of the school year being shortened, class sizes increasing, and tuition continuing to rise at public colleges.”


“Propositions 30 and 32 are fundamental questions about the future and values of our state,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who founded of AAVREP in 2002. “By voting Yes on Proposition 30 and No on Proposition 32, we will reaffirm California’s commitment to our children, our hard-working families, and the right of each of us to make our voice head in the decisions that affect our lives. This townhall builds on AAVREP’s ten years of educating and empowering our community.”


“For members of ULTCW, homecare workers and nursing home workers, our kids go to the public school system. The kind of work we do is in the community. Their workplace—the community—has to be a place that they feel safe and that their children are receiving a quality education,” said Laphonza Butler, President of SEIU-ULTCW. “We think that Prop 30 is fair and balanced approach that asks everyone in CA to pay their fair share so that our members’ kids aren’t facing shortened school year, larger classrooms and fewer teachers to prepare them for the future.”


“Probation officers are making their voices heard on Prop. 32 because it is part of a national trend to silence the voice of working people,” said AFSCME Local 685 President Ralph Miller. “It is very clever because if they are successful in silencing working people, they’ll come back and go after collective bargaining, wages, pensions and jobs.”


Proposition 30, known as The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act, will prevent devastating education cuts and college tuition hikes, and ensure that local law enforcement agencies can continue to protect our neighborhoods. It will temporarily increase income taxes on the wealthiest Californians—families with incomes over $500,000 a year—and place the revenue raised in a special fund that cannot be touched by the Legislature. If the initiative does not pass, California will face $6 billion in education cuts this year alone, which means schools will be forced to shorten the school year, lay off thousands more teachers increasing class sizes, stop buying text books and raise community college tuition even higher.


Proposition 32, The Special Exemptions Act, is a thinly veiled corporate attack on working Californians’ voices. It will limit unions’ ability to speak out on behalf of their members. The corporate special interests backing the measure are proposing phony reforms, which actually give corporations even more power to write their own rules. These backers, which include Big Oil companies, are working to pass Proposition 32 as part of a larger conservative agenda to win more tax breaks for corporations, while the middle class pays the price. AAVREP stands with a broad coalition of good government groups in urging Californians to vote no on Proposition 32.


Upcoming AAVREP Events

On Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00 p.m., AAVREP will host a tele-townhall with Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss voter suppression and the November 6 election. All participants, including press, must RSVP by Monday, October 29 at 7:00 p.m. at Participants will be dialed directly immediately prior to the conference call on the phone number they provide, which must be a land line.


Tomorrow, Friday, October 26 at 7:30 a.m., AAVREP and the Urban Issues Forum will host Congressmember Karen Bass and Senator Curren Price to discuss: “The Real Battleground: The Right Wing, Voter Suppression and the November 6 Election.” The event, which will be held at the California African American Museum, is open to press. Please visit for more information and to rsvp.



AAVREP is the largest organized effort targeting African American and urban voters in the state of California in more than 20 years. Founded in January 2002 by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, AAVREP’s mission is to increase African American and urban voter registration, education, and participation through outreach to targeted communities. Since that time, AAVREP has registered more than 150,000 voters and trained more than 2,500 community-based team members in voter registration and mobilization. This work builds on the legacy of the African American community’s unique role in making the promise of U.S. representative democracy genuine.