For years, Odessa had her civil rights stripped away because she has a felony conviction on her record. She read about another returning citizen and Virginia Organizing Board member in her local paper and got in touch with her local organizer to see how she could help. Odessa was one of the 206,000 Virginians who had her rights restored by Governor Terry McAuliffe’s April 22 restoration of rights order, but her name was not in the database. Virginia Organizing worked with her and the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office to make sure her rights were restored.
After Odessa registered to vote, she went to work. “I am out here knocking on every door I can to tell people that their rights might be restored and they might be able to vote,” said Odessa. “I’m going to work hard to make sure other returning citizens are registered.”
Odessa had never heard of Virginia Organizing before reading that article, but she believes in the work.
“We are making real changes,” said Odessa. “Virginia Organizing helped me and now that I’m a part of the organization, I want to spread the word and get others active in our community.”
Odessa is excited to get involved on other local issues like the school-to-prison pipeline campaign.
Thank you, Odessa, for reaching out to Virginia Organizing and for being willing to work so hard in your community!