In a push to register Democratic voters in advance of the 2018 midterms, Michelle Obama has announced she will be touring the country with her nonprofit group, When We All Vote.
“Today we want to honor their legacy and continue their work to ensure that every eligible American casts their vote, work that is far from finished,” said the former first lady in a video, released Monday, that promotes her participation in the nationwide “week of action.”
Cities listed as “highest priority” on the organization’s website include Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, New York, and Pittsburgh.
This week marks the 53rd anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — a law signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to help ensure that African-American citizens would be able to exercise their 15th Amendment-guaranteed right to vote. So the date of her announcement is significant.
When We All Vote’s registration events will take place over the last week of September.
The week-long drive dovetails with National Voter Registration Day, which takes place September 25.
The star power behind this effort includes celebrity co-chairs of the When We All Vote nonprofit. They include anti-Trump actors, playwrights, professional athletes, and musicians such as Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Paul, Janelle Monáe, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
On its website, When We All Vote describes itself this way: “When We All Vote — a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit — brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting.”
Two weeks ago, When We All Vote released a star-studded video in which several of the co-chairs had cameos, encouraging participants to volunteer to organize events in their own communities.
The video stresses the importance of voting not just in presidential elections but in state and local elections as well.
It appears to be aimed largely at young voters, and encourages them to get involved in events sponsored by Michelle Obama’s “nonpartisan” nonprofit.
“Four million Americans turn 18 this year. That’s huge. And we need every last one of them to register and vote,” says singer singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe in the video, as she speaks with Houston Rockets point guard Chis Paul on the phone.
“‘Cause let’s be real. It’s gonna be the young people of this generation that will change the world.”
Earlier this summer, Monáe called Maxine Waters “my queen” when asked by reporters how she felt about the congresswoman instructing followers to confront Trump officials in public. She then, in her best royal manners, added “f*** you, Trump,” with respect to his border policy.
Last year, Chris Paul, to whom Monáe is speaking in the video about registering voters, advised President Donald Trump to “#StayInYoLane,” in a tweet chastising him for calling out athletes who refused to stand for the national anthem.
To clear up any remaining misunderstanding about the opinion of the NBA players’ union president on Trump, he added, “And I doubt [Trump is] man enough to call any of those players a son of a b**** to their face ….”
“When we all vote, we determine our future,” says Michelle Obama in the When We All Vote promotional video, featuring the voices of even more outspoken liberal celebrities and those who have expressed views directly counter to Trump’s policies.
All of us, or just liberals?
Nonpartisan? You decide.
The Voting Rights Act makes our democracy stronger, giving every American, from all walks of life, the right to vote. But the work is far from finished. Join me and @WhenWeAllVote for a Week of Action to get folks registered and ready to spread the word. https://t.co/C4obhrVHLp https://t.co/aAb1dS80Yv
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 6, 2018
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) September 30, 2017
My God Father has spoken. ?Stevie Wonder: Voting For Trump Is Like Asking Me To Drive | Huffington Post https://t.co/h2w2qyVXxW?
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) November 7, 2016
What happens #WhenWeAllVote? We prove America is Free, of the People, by the People, for the People. Is Freedom important to you? Is Democracy? Is the future of America? https://t.co/kbq7G8eYxC. Hanx!!!
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) July 19, 2018
— Raw Story (@RawStory) September 24, 2017
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.