A call for city Black and Brown men to unify, get to the voting polls


ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) About three dozen men met on the corner of State and Corinthian Street by the Frederick Douglass statue at noon Saturday, then it was a walk to St. Paul to the City of Rochester Recreation Bureau to cast their votes in the 2020 election. Ray Mayoliz with ‘My Brother’s Keeper’, leading the way.

“So I have members here from the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative, and men from the community just coming that have answered the call,” says Mayoliz.

And even if you already voted, it was encouraged to still take part in the march, and bring along other men to experience the democratic process. 

“What I’m hoping to accomplish is setting the tone, setting an example of unity and bringing Black and Brown men together,” he says.

Early voting has seen a jump this election cycle. Board of Elections officials say 14,310 voters took part in early voting Thursday, with 154,265 Monroe County residents already casting a ballot, about 30 percent of eligible voters.

For some of the men here, well into their 30’s and 40’s, Maoliz says this was their first time ever casting a vote. The current climate in the US, a motivating factor. 

“The state of the nation, it’s important that everyone feels that they really need to exercise their right. Learning that this was their first time ever voting? That’s a big deal,” he says.

Mayoliz says voting is how the nation gets things done. He says the voice of the people needs to be heard in 2020, and will be heard. “You really can’t complain unless you do your due diligence and vote, right?” he says.

Early voting continues tomorrow in Monroe County and ends at 3pm. For a list of polling locations, click here. Election day is on Tuesday.

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