Celebrities help get the word out on registering to vote

LOS ANGELES, CA-Fall election campaigns are starting to hit fever pitch with robocalls, phone banking and neighborhood and community crusading that candidates will and have embark on until November. That also means that efforts to get people out to vote will also be in full swing.

For Andre Farr of Andre Farr International, that simply means hitting up vulnerable communities such as South Los Angeles to encourage more participation in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Farr and his cohorts of celebrity friends went out on a voter registration blitz Saturday at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Producing Woke Up, a celebrity voter registration drive, Farr and his buddies had a pretty good day, far exceeding the numbers they hoping to get, he said.

Director Anthony Hemingway (left), LisaRaye, Rebecca Crews, Terry Crews, Mich Richmond, and Aldis Hodge were among celebrities participating in a voter registration drive in South Los Angeles, California. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman

“We did better than what we thought we were going to do,” Farr said. “It’s been really, really amazing, and I’m really fired up about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. We’re going to continue to register this community because people need to know that power is in voting. That’s what we’re doing. We’re going to make it happen. We wanted to make sure that people understood the importance of their vote and to make it fun.”

Some of the announced celebrities in attendance for the voter registration drive included Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Terry Crews and his wife Rebecca Crews, LisaRaye (Ballers), Aldis Hodge (Underground, Straight Outta Compton), Basketball Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond, Keith David (Greenleaf), and director Anthony Hemingway (Underground).

“They’re all friends of mine,” said Farr, who is the CEO and Chairman of Black Sports Agents Association. “I have a lot of celebrity friends. It’s only going to get better. We’re excited. What we expected…It’s (number of voter registrants), probably what we expected; This is great. We were hoping for four to five hundred, and we did a lot more than that.”

The excitement of meeting and speaking to celebrities may have been the motivating factor for many of those who turned out for the voter registration drive during the Bay In LA event, which was sponsored by Carnival Corporation, PLC. That’s okay with Farr. Whatever works, works. The most important thing is getting people registered to vote, he said.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Terry Crews (right) takes some time to pose for the camera with a young fan during the Woke Up celebrity voter registration drive at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in South Los Angeles on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman

“The thing is that they (celebrities) really care,” Farr said. “We’re going to get the celebrities that will get them out. Whatever we need to do to get people to understand how important it is to vote, then that’s what we’re going to do.”
Richmond, who went into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014, said being out in the community helping people understand the power to vote was a lot more important than any kind of barbeque plans he may have had for the Labor Day weekend.

“This is why we’re here,” Richmond said. “This is more important than that barbeque. We all want to be comfortable when we’re at a barbeque. We sit around and talk about politics, people telling us to stay in our lane, and our lane is understanding what is going on in the world.”

For Hodge, the event is about party affiliation, but more about exercising a fundamental right for all American citizens.

“I think it’s important to be here,” Hodge said. “First of all, we’re getting people registered to vote so they understand the importance of registering. This is nonpartisan. This is not about pushing an agenda. This is not about a political party allegiance. It doesn’t matter who you vote for or how, for me, I think we have a responsibility in terms of our future, establishing our choice, the choice to vote, something we didn’t have back in the day not even a hundred years ago…it’s preservation of our future.”

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