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February 21, 2006

Norman Meyer at (202) 225-6231

Owens Demands Support for Power Sharing

Brooklyn, NY – February 21, 2006 - In a statement prepared for the Brooklyn NAACP Voting Rights Forum, Congressman Major Owens demands that both the Democrats and Republicans support the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act and also adopt party positions to promote Power Sharing.  The panel discussion will be held at Medgar Evers College on Saturday, February 25, 2006, from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

In his statement, the Congressman points out the fact that the Voting Rights Act provides an "enhanced opportunity" to achieve minority representation.  Moving beyond the "opportunity," Owens challenges the leaders of both parties at all levels to support the principles of Power Sharing by discouraging majority candidates who violate an unwritten compact and seek to take over voting rights districts.

"In other words," argues the Congressman, "while any American citizen has a right to run for any office, each party should oppose majority candidates who seek to hijack voting rights districts."

According to Owens, the question of Power Sharing is now high on the international agenda.  The U.S. Government is pressing for such an inclusive representation process among the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq.  In France, the response to three weeks of violent rioting has been a leadership search for new ways to promote minority representation in government.  The Voting Rights Act is considered a workable model that the whole world wants to study.



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