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'Blackest Bus in America' stops at Texas Capitol

The event was held ahead of the upcoming elections.

AUSTIN, Texas — A handful of national civil rights and voting rights organizations held a voter outreach event at the Texas State Capitol Saturday afternoon.

The event was called "Texans Address the Union" and was held by Black Voters Matter, along with the NAACP, ACLU and others. It was held ahead of the state's constitutional amendment and local elections on May 7, in addition to the primary runoff election set for May 24 in an effort to increase voter turnout.

Organizers also sought to bring awareness to new district maps and the latest Texas voting law and its role in thousands of mail-in ballots being rejected during the primaries. 

The rally included a stop from Black Voters Matter's "Blackest Bus in America," a bus used for the organization's outreach efforts among the Black community around the U.S. Speakers also talked about the importance of having people's voices heard by heading to the voting booth. Legislative trainings, a community town hall and letter drop were also part of the rally.

   

Organizers said they want to encourage more people, and especially minorities, to vote in the upcoming local and state elections. 

"We're trying to empower people to understand that change happens locally. Your municipal elections, your school board issues, those happen locally. Those will affect you before what trickles down from the federal government," said Denita Jones with Black Voters Matter. 

Engagement activities like the one held are intended, according to Black Voters Matter, to amplify the testimonies of Texas residents, create a space for constituents to speak directly with their legislators and help local groups recruit community members to become politically active.

The group said they're planning more events like the one held Saturday. 

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