“Voting do not matter and I ain’t gon allow you to misinform me
400 years and we nonetheless dwelling in poverty
Final time I voted hoping my individuals would get promoted
Appears it was all a dream in case you did not discover.”
“Properly I am open to talking on the problems, aye
Let’s discuss concerning the elected officers, aye
Discover that I stated elected, votes put them in energy, that is how they get chosen
How many individuals you understand that vote? One or two?
That is why they get in workplace and do what they wanna do
When you do not vote, you permit it to individuals who haven’t got our issues to vote for any person, hoping they remedy them.”
Ty Walton, a lyricist and rapper initially from Chicago who lives in Pine Bluff, put pen to paper and in two days wrote an on a regular basis dialog to music about his pals believing their vote does not matter. That resulted in a music video that includes outstanding leaders in the neighborhood similar to Mayor Shirley Washington, state Sen. Stephanie Flowers, state Rep. Vivian Flowers, Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods, metropolis council members and group leaders.
Offered by the Metropolis of Pine Bluff Civic Engagement Group, this group of individuals had one essential level to make: vote.
When the Schaefer sisters relocated to Pine Bluff from California’s San Fernando Valley earlier this summer time, they knew there was one thing particular about this city that their household was from. With election season arising, the sisters needed to destigmatize voting, a problem they stated plagued the group, particularly younger adults.
Shva Schaefer, 22, Iman Schaefer, 20, and Bee Schaefer, 20, needed to do one thing focused towards youthful individuals so they might understand their involvement in voting was vital.
“There are over 27,000 registered voters in Pine Bluff, and with covid-19 and all the pieces taking place round, I needed to make it possible for we will prioritize voting, preserve the lively voters but in addition make sure that the youth are voting,” stated Iman Schaefer.
Ima Etim, 32, particular initiatives coordinator for town of Pine Bluff, was launched to the Schaefer sisters by Washington. “In the future, I walked into the workplace and he or she stated: ‘Have you learnt the Schaefer sisters? They simply moved right here to Pine Bluff,'” stated Etim, who can also be from California.
Etim additionally has a ardour for the group and stated Washington felt their shared efforts would spark a motion of group engagement, which led to their first assembly July 30 at Metropolis Corridor.
“We met with Ima Etim and the mayor, and it began from there,” stated Iman Schaefer. “We talked concerning the want for civic engagement to extend, and the ball simply began rolling.”
Iman Schaefer stated she loves and helps Washington and the imaginative and prescient she has for Pine Bluff.
“She has a coronary heart for bringing communities collectively and town of Pine Bluff,” stated Iman Schaefer. “Not only for younger individuals, however for all residents.”
The assembly concluded with a undertaking known as “Collect the Folks,” aimed toward educating and empowering. With the thought on the desk, the sisters nonetheless wanted a staff to make their imaginative and prescient come to fruition.
“Throughout that assembly, I instructed them I had a very good sister-friend I believed can be presence so as to add to this staff,” stated Etim. “I’ve labored together with her previously on different initiatives, and I do know her ardour and need for civic engagement for younger individuals and simply uplifting the group of Pine Bluff.”
That was Angelica Perkins, a photographer and videographer from Sizzling Springs whose mom is from Pine Bluff. With the assistance of her siblings, Perkins produced a visible composition that creatively instructed a compelling story of individuals stopping what they had been doing and going to vote. Moreover Walton, who added the dynamic along with his verses and lyrics, the staff added Caleb Ramsey, 22, who discovered the lyrics written by Walton to create a dialogue about voting.
“I’ve most of these arguments with my pals so much,” stated Walton. “I simply suppose it is extra to vote for than simply the president, and when individuals have that concept that voting does not matter, they minimize themselves in need of having the ability to talk up for his or her group or placing somebody in place that may converse up for his or her group.”
The Schaefer sisters, who’re very vocal of their stance on voting, stated this is likely one of the most essential elections due to the variety of open seats.
“There are 13 governors, 24 senators, 435 seats within the Home of Representatives in addition to sheriffs, DAs and native county elections,” stated Iman Schaefer, who shall be voting for the primary time. “One vote can change who’s going to get no matter seat you are voting for, so it is crucial to vote and become involved, be heard, have a voice and signify for the generations who’ve come earlier than us.”
Bee Schaefer agreed together with her sister, explaining how voting was important to democracy and the way they used the music video to visually present either side of utilizing the correct to vote.
“With this video, utilizing popular culture and together with that and having a protagonist-antagonist within it, what we’re doing in Ty’s video, Ty is educating his pal why it is essential to vote,” stated Bee Schaefer. “We’re attempting to inform individuals to put your self in that place. Ty is convincing you, educating you, main you to go vote, and so that is the push and the keenness we want, need to see and hope to encourage in younger individuals.”
Shva Schaefer weighed in, stating that earlier than casting their ballots, voters ought to educate themselves on the ordinances, native, state and federal legal guidelines and actually perceive how they have an effect on everybody. The music video not solely educates, but it surely additionally options widespread areas in Pine Bluff that the sisters stated had been vital to them.
“After we moved to Pine Bluff, we stopped at Mrs. Maryanne’s espresso home, and he or she’s the one who instructed us, ‘Welcome to Pine Bluff.’ We went to Uptown Salon and Boutique, the place Will Jenkins and his spouse have a enterprise, and so they stated, ‘Welcome to Pine Bluff.’ We go to Saracens Touchdown and we see some younger individuals, and so they say, ‘Welcome to Pine Bluff,’ and so we understand that these areas, Primary Road, 28th Road, that is what Pine Bluff is,” stated Bee Schaefer. “After I consider Pine Bluff, I consider group, and so these areas are very symbolic.”
Manufacturing wrapped two weeks in the past, and the music video premiered to a social media viewers on Monday. With a lot negativity related to Pine Bluff, Etim stated, this undertaking meant a lot to town that she cares about significantly.
“Pine Bluff has positively been hit on all sides with covid and all varieties of issues which have occurred, and we needed to reframe the narrative of Pine Bluff as a result of plenty of instances the only story of Pine Bluff is simply instructed,” stated Etim, who stated Pine Bluff is on the rise. “We now have residents that care concerning the group, we now have residents that care concerning the younger individuals, we now have individuals who need to stand collectively, bond collectively and work collectively via the troublesome instances and the nice instances.”
The video is simply the primary of many civic engagement initiatives that this group will showcase to be able to create dialogue, educate, and encourage voting. Extra movies shall be launched main as much as Election Day, that includes Pine Bluff residents and metropolis leaders. The group has additionally launched an internet site, www.votepinebluff.org, a one-stop store for voting info.
“As a result of Pine Bluff is our ancestral house floor and we’re returning house, that’s what actually ties us right down to this metropolis,” stated Bee Schaefer. “Realizing that voting is the motion we will partake in proper now in covid and make a right away change is what we targeted on, and so vote Pine Bluff is what we wish.”