Thursday, April 18, 2013

Activist Profile: Marie Aubrey of VOTE-NOLA

This profile is republished from our friends at VOTE-NOLA:

How did you get involve with VOTE?
In June of 2012 I was listening to the WBOK morning show and Norris Henderson was on the radio talking about how to get prisoners released, and it was interesting to me. I remembered Norris’ name and so I called in to the station and he remembered me and said 
that he would call me right back off the air and when he did we spoke about helping my son, who is currently in prison. He spoke about VOTE over the air and so I asked about the organization and that is how I first heard about VOTE, started being a member and attending meetings.

Why did you get involved with VOTE?
I have a son that has been in prison almost 25 years now. He is in Angie Louisiana (Raven 66). The conversation that the men on the radio were having was very interesting to me. That is how I got to the meetings and when I got there I enjoyed the meetings and listening to what I heard.

What is your favorite aspect of VOTE?
There are quite a few things that I like that VOTE does, helping to try to get prisoners released, keeping up with the prisoners and helping them get work. I like the fact that VOTE is involved with many other organizations that do different things.

What do you think is the most important thing that VOTE does?
I think one of the most important things is that VOTE is trying to get certain laws that affect formerly incarcerated people changed to help them better their lives.

Has VOTE changed the way you see the criminal justice system or civic engagement? 
VOTE has changed the way I see the criminal justice system a lot. First of all I never knew anything about the justice system until my son who was sentenced wrong, went to prison. I never really knew much before then. VOTE has changed my mind about the way the criminal justice system work, because it doesn’t really work for Black people or poor people. I’ve never been in an organization like this before, so this is all fairly new and it feels good to know that we have someone else that is trying to do something to help you as well as other people.

What is something that you would like to see VOTE tackle in the future?
What I would like to see VOTE tackle is something to put Norris into some type of office that will push him in a higher position to help people that are incarcerated. He is a smart man that gets your attention when he speaks, and knows what he is talking about.

What is something that you like to do in your time outside of VOTE?
There is not a lot that I’m doing besides focusing on my son. I’ve been sick for some time now, so I don’t have a lot of energy, I do have more good days than bad days. Before I was sick, I liked going to the casinos, it was one of my pleasures. I liked playing the machines. I haven’t gone in a while though. Now I would love to help out VOTE any way that I can. I do love my garden and I go out there almost every day and find that it is very relaxing for me.

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