Mali’sa is a student government officer at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) and through her work with One Pittsburgh became a leader among students speaking out against tuition increases at CCAC and our state related universities.
Mal’isa’s leadership helped students at CCAC fight off a mid-year hike in tuition, but she is all too aware that the war is far from over. She joined us in Alabama because speaking out has become second nature to her, and, I suspect, the time out of the classroom and into the sun was nice.
At 19, Mali’sa hasn’t voted too often. But the thought of those rights being stripped from people has her infuriated. When I asked her what she thought about Pennsylvania passing voter legislation similar to the law we were protesting in Alabama, she had trouble finding words strong enough to capture her outrage.
But she’ll be working this summer and beyond the make sure that people understand that voter ID laws affect everyone, not just folks who don’t have ID. When entire populations are left out of voting, elections become skewed, and those who are elected like those who are voting simply fail to represent the majority of Americans.
That of course is the point, and the crime, of voter suppression. Since being home, Mali’sa has been playing catch up with school and plotting a student led revolution.