Entrepreneur, coach, and real estate investor Charles Patton has recently added voting rights advocate to his title after a visit to the office of Oakland Post publisher Paul Cobb, where creativity and “aha!” moments are generated quite often.
As the two conversed Patton noticed large black and white photos of Cobb and three other Oakland residents beside Dr. Martin Luther King jr. on the wall.
Patton, amazed by the images asked Cobb to share his experience.
“During an atmosphere of violent and aggressive police opposition, many civil rights workers had written wills and waivers against legal actions if they were killed while participating in civil rights activities,” said Cobb.
“Due to the national response to the many arrests and some deaths over the Southern states, Congress and President Johnson passed the Voting Rights Act.”
As Cobb began to explain the magnitude of just how many everyday people and advocates who were led in particular by ministers responding to Dr. King’s call to action, Patton began to see the value again of galvanizing the masses and duplicating the movement around voter registration and other important issues.
Now 50+ years later, some legislation and court rulings are turning back the gains of the 1965 bill. Cobb and the Post News Group (PNG) are continuing the mission to maintain voter rights. PNG will feature weekly articles about registration and the census in their newspapers.
Patton has now formed a bipartisan organization called Make A Difference And Vote, a grassroots movement with the theme “20 for 2020”. In partnership with the Post, Jonathan “Fitness” Jones creator of breathing aerobics, and others across the nation, Patton expects to spark the registration of 20 million new voters by November 2020, using cell phones to register people in minutes.
“Through the use of a cell phone, anyone can be an activist and as we work together there’s no reason PNGs readers, the family of churches, unions, entertainers, athletes, Greek-letter organizations, businesses and other media outlets can’t produce change in our society,” said Patton.
“I want everyone to register to vote on Patton’s new platform in a four-step process and encourage others to do the same,” said Cobb. “Register at www.makeadifferenceandvote.com, upload a (photo) selfie when you vote at the polls or mail your ballot, and ask 20 others to do the same.”
Patton is so passionate about his new movement that he has even written a song titled Make A Difference And Vote that will feature music video featuring next spring in 2020 involving 50 high profile multicultural and political supporters. It is being hailed as the “We Are the World” for voting.
Patton says his family, mentor Danny Glover, and leading empowerment workshops across the country has kept him motivated.
“Change is imminent, and with everyone’s voice heard and every vote counted, America will be better than it is today, “ said Patton.