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Historic Gathering of Native American: Phoenix
Native-Poll-Ooza ^ | Nov 1st, 2004 | Alyssa Burhans

Posted on 11/01/2004 12:05:50 AM PST by kingu

MEDIA ADVISORY

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jonodev Chaudhuri 480-2169483 jchaudhuri@swlaw.com http://www.native-poll-ooza.com/

Historic Gathering of Native Americans to Take Place on Election Day in Phoenix

Native-POLL-ooza! Showcases Urban Indian and Tribal Unity

PHOENIX – Amidst Arizona’s reemergence as a toss-up swing state as featured in Time magazine, the State’s grassroots Native American community has organized a historic first-of-a-kind gathering on election day to showcase their unity and the strength of their voice. At least 10,000 Native Americans and supporters will attend Native-POLL-ooza! at the Phoenix Indian School Park (Central Avenue and Indian School Road) from noon to 9 PM on November 2, 2004.

In attendance will be a cadre of tribal, urban Indian, federal, state, and local leaders. Confirmed attendees include Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Fort McDowell President Raphael Bear, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Joni Ramos and Vice-President Leonard Rivers, and many more leaders. Discussions are being held to finalize Arizona Governor Napolitano’s appearance as well.

The free outdoor event marks the largest recorded gathering of Native American voters and supporters of the Indian vote on election day. The celebration features top Native American recording artists, including Clan/destine, Keith Secola, Casper Lomayesva, EDGE, DJ Abel, and Dog Soldierz. Headlining the event is Freddy Fender, a Grammy and Country Music Award winning favorite of the Native community.

According to Native American Community Organizing Project (NACOP), the event has three main purposes: 1) to increase voter turnout by encouraging all Native Americans to vote and then come celebrate their citizenship; 2) to have a visible presence on election day to show the strength of the Native voice and its impact on the state and national political landscapes in a way that pure statistics can not communicate; and 3) to build a long-term, organized, and easily mobilized Native American voting bloc.

The event has been organized through entirely volunteer efforts within the Native community. The volunteers have tied all their efforts with a feverish get-out-the-native-vote campaign.

Spearheaded by NACOP, the concert planning committee is comprised of many grassroots Native people, the Arizona State University Native American Law Students Association, and other Native American groups. Major financial sponsorship has come from the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

The partnership between the grassroots Urban Indian community and the Tribal community represents a rare and powerful collaboration and a strong showing of Arizona Native American unity. With the State’s 320,000-plus Native American population (there are over 70,000 Urban Indians in the Phoenix valley alone), such a continued unified effort promises to have a massive impact on this election and elections to come. The effect of the Native American vote on Arizona’s 2002 gubernatorial election, as well as other key elections elsewhere has been well recognized.

Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to the event, but are discouraged from bringing partisan signs. Everyone is encouraged to vote before coming and to bring their "I Voted Today" stickers. The event will honor the work of Native American elders and ancestors to fought to preserve the Native voice, including Frank Harrison and Harry Austin who won the pivotal 1948 Arizona Supreme Court case that secured the Arizona Indian right to vote. The work of Carlos Montezuma (Wassaja) who fought for the 1924 U.S. Indian Citizenship Act will also be recognized.

For further information, contact Native-POLL-ooza co-chairs Jonodev Chaudhuri at jchaudhuri@swlaw.com (480) 216-9483, A-dae Romero at vena.romero@asu.edu (520-977-0863), or Darryl Begay at darryl@tipmaintenance.com, (602-722-8165), or visit the concert’s website at http://www.native-poll-ooza.com/.

The concert will provide excellent opportunities for interviews with local and national Native American voting activists, along with visual media opportunities.

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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Politics/Elections; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: americanindian; nativeamerican
It would be nice if they actually enforced the limit on partisan signs, but I sincerely doubt they will.
1 posted on 11/01/2004 12:05:50 AM PST by kingu
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