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NEW YORK, N.Y. -SEPTEMBER 29, 2004- With the October 4 deadline to register
new voters in Ohio rapidly approaching, Russell Simmons and the Hip-Hop
Summit Action Network (HSAN) will team up with Jay-Z’s “Voice Your Choice”
initiative at Jay-Z and R. Kelly’s “Best Of Both Worlds” concerts in Cincinnati (10/1), Columbus (10/2) and Cleveland (10/3) this weekend.
The HSAN/America Coming Together (ACT) “Get Out The Vote” Bus, on a month-long national voter mobilization tour, will be registering new voters outside the concert venues – the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, the Value City Arena in Columbus, and CSU in Cleveland.
Russell Simmons, Chairman and Co-founder of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN), affirmed, “Jay-Z’s outstanding leadership and encouragement of young people to register to vote and go out to the polls and vote is a great tribute to Jay’s commitment to use his creative genius for the benefit of humanity.”
Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President and CEO of HSAN stated, “The youth of Ohio will be inspired and motivated to register to vote and to have a tremendous turn out on election day as a direct result of the positive impact of Jay-Z’s “Voice Your Choice” voter registration and mobilization initiative. His concerts in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland will be the right message, at the right place and at the right time.”
In a national effort to increase youth voter turnout in the upcoming presidential election on November 2nd, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) and America Coming Together (ACT) are launching a month-long 10-state Hip-Hop Team Vote GOTV Tour on October 1 from Washington, D.C.
In the wake of an unprecedented increase in youth voter registration, particularly in urban and minority communities in states that are predicted to be determinative in the outcome of the election, two tour buses with hip-hop celebrities, artists, DJs and activists will travel for the next 33 days through 26 cities in 10 states to mobilize young voters.  The Hip-Hop Team Vote GOTV Tour is styled after the Freedom Rides of the 1960s, where young people got on the bus to challenge the denial of the right to vote.
The tour will be officially launched at a news conference at the National Press Building on 14th Street in NW Washington, DC on Friday, October 1, at noon.  Two buses will begin the tour from the National Press Building at 1p.m. One tour bus will head to states throughout the Midwest and the other will travel to the South, culminating in Florida.
In the face of the national question, “Will young people and, more specifically, the hip-hop community, turn out to vote?”, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and America Coming Together are committed to using the powerful influence of hip-hop culture to make sure the answer to that question is a resounding yes.  The Hip-Hop Team Vote GOTV Tour will hold bus stop rallies, GOTV training sessions, community canvassing, town hall meetings and university campus mobilization events, which will support audio and video PSA messages and a grass roots campaign involving the participation of BET, MTV and urban radio stations in each market. In true hip-hop fashion, there will be DJs at each of the rallies and hip-hop street teams advancing each city distributing GOTV literature.
 The Hip-Hop Team Vote GOTV Tour is being made possible by the support of America Coming Together (ACT).
 “During the last three years, more than 12 million young people have registered to vote,” emphasized Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President/CEO of HSAN. “It is our goal to make sure more than 20 million young voters actually go out to the polls in record numbers on November 2nd.”
 Added Jeff Johnson, Vice President of HSAN, “In conjunction with our many partners, we have been able to successfully complete a historic youth voter
addressing voter education, voter mobilization and the essential voter protection to make sure every young person that goes to the polls has their vote counted.”
“We’re proud to partner with the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network on this historic bus tour,” said ACT national field director Patrick Gaspard. “By taking our message directly to people in their communities, and with the commitment of these hip-hop artists and activists, we can help increase participation in the political process to record levels.”
Additional organizations supporting The Hip-Hop Team Vote GOTV Tour include Voices For Working Families, Citizen Change, Voice Your Choice, Rock The Vote and local branches of the NAACP.