Celtics social initiative begins with a voting ground game

Cheryl Clyburn Crawford and her ground game — the 50 people hired by the MassVote executive director to blanket neighborhoods with voter education door hangers — are in crunch time of one of the most consequential elections in United States history.

The green-and-white hangers carry the Celtics/MassVote logos and are two-sided, one in English and the other in either Spanish or Creole. The campaign targets communities historically intimidated by the voting process because of bad information and, in some parts of the country, the underlying whiff of voter suppression — or communities that simply have never been stirred to act at the polls.

Kemba Walker, who was first inspired to vote for Barack Obama, recalled early last month that he never heard much about voting while growing up in the Bronx.

“Where I’m from, nobody talks about going (to vote),” said the Celtics guard. “Nobody in school; they did not (tell) us to go out and vote. I can see why a lot of young kids haven’t voted in their lives, because that’s not something you see or hear about.”

Walker’s words are fuel for Crawford, the daughter of a community organizer in Dorchester, the cousin of South Carolina U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, and former chief of staff for her aunt, state Rep. Willie Mae Allen. All of these influences led her to MassVote, and the fight for voting equity.

Today’s toxic climate considered, the fight is both hard and…

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