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Birmingham's black vote campaign steps up a gear

REGISTRATION CLINIC: As from Tuesday, February 3, there will be staff on hand at the African & Caribbean Millennium Centre (ACMC) at 339 Dudley Road, Winson Green, between 10am and 2pm to assist people as part of a Connecting Communities initiative

AS THE days countdown to the General Election, a steadfast campaigner for the black vote is stepping up a registration campaign in Birmingham to ensure the community can use the ballot box in May.

Birmingham Empowerment Forum, founded by community activist Desmond Jaddoo, is joining forces with Birmingham’s African & Caribbean Millennium Centre (ACMC) to host weekly registration clinics.

As from Tuesday, February 3, there will be staff on hand at the centre at 339 Dudley Road, Winson Green, between 10am and 2pm to assist people as part of a Connecting Communities initiative.

Jaddoo has campaigned tirelessly to make sure the African and Caribbean communities in the city are vote-ready for May 2015, holding regular registration clinics.

He said: “With the number of new arrivals in the city daily, and those who are here already, the number of people not registered to vote is of increasing concern – this has been recognised with the launch of various initiatives.

“There will be staff on hand to assist people at ACMC and the service is free and open to all. Online access is quick and efficient and enables people to be vote-ready for May. There will be no point in going to the ballot box if you know you haven’t registered.


INITIATIVE: Community activist and founder of Birmingham Empowerment Forum, Desmond Jaddoo

“If people move home, they also need to register from their new address as it is not automatically transferable. Once registered, people also qualify for jury service. If people want to see change they need to be able to vote for it.”

Just over two years ago the black voting registration campaign held its national launch in Birmingham, led by Operation Black Vote director Simon Woolley.

At the time, campaign leaders stressed that pastors across the country should take more responsibility for making sure their congregations have signed up, with each church appointing a voting registration “champion.”

The black vote has been compared to ‘a sleeping giant’ in political terms, because of its ability to influence election outcomes – provided they are registered voters.

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