Federal Appeals Court Affirms Finding of Voting Rights Violations in East Ramapo School Board Elections

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
January 6, 2021 12:00 pm

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NEW YORK – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today upheld a federal district court ruling that the method the East Ramapo Central School District used to elect school board members violated the voting rights of residents of color.

In response, the New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement from executive director Donna Lieberman:

“Today’s ruling reaffirms what’s been clear all along: The white private school community hijacked East Ramapo’s school board and its elections. The board used Jim Crow tactics to violate the voting rights of Black and Latinx residents and wreak havoc on the education and futures of a generation of public school students.

The ruling also assures that change is on the way. With the court-ordered special election on February 2, voters in the district will have the first real opportunity in a generation to cast a fair vote and improve public education. All families deserve a school board that truly reflects the community, ensures real debate, and promises a public, transparent, and accountable process. This election will be the first step to build back community power and deliver for all children.

Today’s ruling should also serve as a wake-up call to New York state officials, who can no longer be allowed to stand by as a white majority turns a school district two hours from Albany into a 21st Century example of Jim Crow and tramples on the rights and futures of students of color.”

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