(Polite On Society) With roughly a month and a half until November 6th, an increasing number of people are paying attention to the presidential election. Resulting from the myriad issues that face voters in 2012, the American people have every reason to be concerned. On Monday evening, Harlem residents had the opportunity to hear from engaged participants of the political process about some of the key issues that are on the table this election cycle. The Apollo Theater hosted a panel discussion around the electoral contest, and how it will affect our lives. Titled Vote Like Your Life Depends On It, this town hall is the first in a new series to highlight political issues.
BET and the Amsterdam News were among the partners of the Apollo to present this series to the community. On the panel was Keli Goff, Reverend Al Sharpton, Elinor Tatum, Judith Browne Dianis, Jonathan Hicks, Prof. Michael Eric Dyson, and Dr James Peterson. Moderated by T.J. Holmes, host of the forthcoming BET late night show Don’t Sleep, the dialogue was energetic and to the point. Not many words were minced, as the panelists opened the discussion with insight into the voter ID laws. Judith Browne Dianis, a civil rights attorney noted how these laws deliberately affect African-Americans. There was no question in the minds of anyone on the panel about whether this is intentional or not. The issue that many people may not realize is that these laws require new, updated ID with certain specifications.