Elected officials, voting advocates rally Black voters ahead of recall election


NATIONAL CITY (CNS) – Groups against the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom rallied Sunday to encourage Black voters to vote no in Tuesday’s election.

The African American Voter Registration Education and Participation Project was joined Sunday afternoon by San Diego City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery, supervisors Nora Vargas and Nathan Fletcher and National City Major Alejandra Sotel-Solis at the rally.

Montgomery called the recall election a “sham.”

“It is really a shame that in 2021 we are here today to have to decide this again,” she said. “We do have leadership in our Gov. Newsom that is beneficial to us all.”

Vargas said she wanted to let the community know what’s at stake and why they must vote no to stop the recall.

“This is absolutely the Republicans coming in to attack our community,” Vargas said. “And it’s our communities of color that are going to suffer the most if the governor is booted out.”

Advocates at the event reiterated Black voter turnout is critical.

“Voting is power,” said Tammy T. Blevins, a San Diego voter. “We are riding on the backs of our ancestors, and we are not doing right by them if we do not honor the position, we have now to utilize our voice, to vote. “

Voter Kathleen Harmon added Newsom “has been the only governor that has ever in life taken care of African Americans.”

According to the San Diego County Registrar of voters, 70% of registered voters in the county are expected to turnout compared to 66% in the 2003 recall election. As of Sept. 12, 42% of registered voters in San Diego County have turned in their mail-in ballots. 

“In California, it is easier than it has ever been,” Montgomery said. “You have your ballot at home if you haven’t sent it in already.”

Other local leaders, including National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, joined the rally in support of squashing the recall effort.

“It’s about empowering those voters who have been disenfranchised, have been impacted by COVID-19 and who have the right to make sure they have all those resources beyond September 14th,” Mayor Sotelo-Solis said.

Republican gubernatorial candidate and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is pushing everyone to vote for change.

“Every Californian should make their voice heard and this recall is an opportunity to bring real change to the state with a leader who can bring real change,” Faulconer said. “A leader who is going to focus on common sense and with a proven track record, who can bring Republicans, Democrats together to solve problems.”

The rally included members of the San Diego Labor Council and Chula Vista Democratic Club.

The recall ballot asks voters two questions:

— Do you want to recall the governor?; and

— If recalled, who do you want to replace him?

Voters can vote on either or both parts of the recall ballot. If more than 50% of voters choose to recall Newsom, the replacement candidate with the most votes would be elected.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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