“I want to make this fun,”
says Butts of her new responsibilities. “I want to make this
like a movement.”
Currently, says Butts,
there are about 20,000 to 22,000 minority voters in Lucas
County and she would like to increase that number through
her efforts by 5,000 to 8,000. In fact, over the past years,
Butts has been engaged in just that sort of effort at
election time but now she has the opportunity to perform
that task in an official capacity while giving her attention
to it on a regular basis throughout the year. What she has
been doing as a community activist has been recognized by
the Democratic Party. The new minority engagement consultant
has spent the past five and a half “happy years” as a bail
bondsman with T-Bonds and will continue in that capacity.
“The Democratic Party
needs to re-engage in this community, that’s what this is
all about,” adds Attorney Richard Mitchell whose downtown
office is in the same complex as Butts. Mitchell, who once
directed the Middle Passage Political Action Committee,
knows a thing or two about organizing political activities.
Butts new entity as the
regional minority engagement consultant is Midwest Advocate,
LLC. She starts her activities, her first rally, during the
African American Parade on July 14, then at the African
American Festival on July 22. She has already brought 20
captains on board to assist the fledgling operation and is
currently seeking volunteers as the fall election season
“She is taking on a task
she feels strongly about,” says Mitchell.
Butts’ focus will be to
turn out those citizens who are not often inclined to vote,
especially those in lower income housing – LMHA housing,
nursing facilities, for example. She will be placing an
emphasis on early voting and absentee voting as well. “I
want people to know how serious this is,” she says.
Former Mayor Paula
Hicks-Hudson seconded the importance of the work Butts is
undertaking and why it is essential to “explain why it’s
important to vote, why it’s beneficial to the average
person.” That importance has been magnified, said
Hicks-Hudson, with the recent efforts by state Republican
office holders to purge voters from the polls.
Going forward, Butts will
be coordinating her efforts with local party leaders and
elected officials, many of whom have been supportive of her
in the past. Those interested in more information or wanting
to volunteer to assist can contact her at 419-450-3325.