George Floyd’s hometown prepares to vote in his memory

Floyd's death caused huge voter turnout among African Americans in parts of the country

Advocates in Houston, Texas are actively trying to ensure that members of the community, which has a 25% Black population according to census data, turn out to the polls for the presidential election on Tuesday.

Dexter Faircloth, a corporate trainer and friend of the late George Floyd is one of the people working every day to make sure his community votes.

Read More: George Floyd’s sister makes impassioned plea to vote for Biden in campaign ad

He said he was always an advocate for his community but recognized that the role became more urgent when his friend Floyd, fellow Third Ward native, was killed.

A heart is painted in front of a mural dedicated to George Floyd, located a couple of miles from where Floyd grew up in Houston’s Third Ward, on June 10, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The 46-year-old Houston native who moved to Minneapolis was pinned down by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee in Floyd’s neck while he was face-down in handcuffs.

His death lead to one of the largest movements with Black Live Matter protests erupting across the country in response.

In Houston, Faircloth walked the streets of the Third Ward, a historically Black neighborhood where he was born and raised, to ask people an urgent question.

“Y’all vote?! Did you?” Faircloth, 35, yelled at people, who smiled when they recognized him, according to Reuters.

Read More: Maxine Waters on Black Trump voters: ‘I will never forgive them’

The anger and demands for justice ignited by Floyd’s death have transformed into a huge voter turnout among African Americans in parts of the country. “That is especially true of the Third Ward, where hopes for change have energized many in the final days of the race between President Donald Trump, a Republican, and Democratic rival Joe Biden,” the publication said.

Early voting located at three polling stations in the Third Ward experienced more than 650% increase compared to 2016 figures, according to data analysis from the Harris County Clerk’s office.

“Look, man. Voting is not the end-all-be-all. It’s just the start but we’re telling people: ‘If you want change, this is how you begin to change things,’” Faircloth said.

In an article from the Minnesota Star Tribune, Floyd’s death inspired a “voting push” among athletes and teams.

Members of George Floyd’s family were present in Chicago at the Grant Park rally on Thursday urging people to get out and vote.

“They’re trying to stop us, but standing together they can’t stop us,” Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, told the crowd. “Silence is violence. If you don’t vote, you’re leaving your future in someone else’s hands.”

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