Let the People Decide Town Hall

Sep. 25
Let the People Decide Town Hall
Date(s) - Friday 09/25/2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


As the election nears, join us for a Town Hall with community leaders and “Let the People Decide” director Gavin Guerra.

The “Let the People Decide Town Hall” will bring together community leaders working to get the vote out, with people who want to learn more about the voting process. The theme: Vote like our lives depend on it! The Town Hall will include:

  • Short Q&A with filmmaker Gavin Guerra
  • Voting Rights 2020 Cheat Sheet
  • Vote Like Your Life Depends On It!
      • People gave their lives for the right to vote
      • Vote to Build Local Political Power
      • Health
      • Climate Change
      • Our Future
  • Mutual Aid: Community Partnerships
    • Resource sharing
    • Door-to-door canvassing
      • Learn about different plans for canvassing, including Sanctuary’s Heath Autonony Clinic folks meeting up Sunday 9/27 at 12-4pm at Freedom Square (next to Sanctuary) to do voter registration and hand out a health needs survey.  Please email [email protected] if you want to join us!
    • Driving people to polls

Register here!

When you register for this  free event, you will be sent confirmation with a private screening link of the film “Let the People Decide” for you to watch independently any time before the Town Hall on 9/25 (or up to five days later).

Co-sponsored by: NAACP Troy Branch; NAACP Albany Branch; NAACP Schenectady Branch;  Rensselaer County League of Women Voters; Capital District Latinos; School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Rensselaer; Russell Sage College; Albany District (NY) Chapter of The Links, Inc; People’s Perception Project [P3]; Campaign for New York Health; New York Civil Liberties Union; Justice Project; BirthNet; NATURE Lab Health Autonomy Clinic.

Speakers include: Katie Robbins, MPH, Director, Campaign for New York Health; Jennifer Wilson, League of Women Voters; Patricia Jordan, Civic Engagement, NAACP Troy Branch; Dr.Teresa A. Miller, Senior Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer, SUNY System Administration; Anastasia Robertson, former Councilperson, Troy City Council District 2; Norman Schuettge; Aileen Javier, NATURE Lab; with Corinne Carey, Town Hall Moderator.



A documentary about the struggle for voting rights from the 1960s to now…

“Let The People Decide” explores the history of the struggle of voting rights from the 1960’s through the present day. The story connects the dots across the decades to show how the hotly debated issues of race & voting did not spring from a vacuum, but have been woven into the fabric of our society for generations.

Featuring: Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Bob Moses, Rep. John Lewis, Julian Bond, Dick Gregory, Harry Belafonte and four generations of activists, scholars, journalists and figures from all sides of the political spectrum.

“Let the People Decide” is a documentary film that traces the struggle for voting rights in America from the Civil Rights Movement up through today’s political climate. Following the arc of the last 50 years, we’ll see how what was once a social struggle about civil rights became a “Southern Strategy” to divide the vote, and has emerged as a political doctrine of tactics and cynicism designed for a country with rapidly changing demographics. All sides claim the right to vote is a sacred institution that needs defending, yet hundreds of thousands of people are finding it more difficult to exercise that right in a country that holds itself up as the beacon of democracy.

“Let The People Decide” is primarily a “Then & Now” film, from the activists of the civil rights movement to the current generation that has picked up the fight in the 21st century. Today, the NAACP in North Carolina is leading the fight against new laws aimed at restricting voter turn out in their state. The film follows a case argued in federal court that sets precedent for other challenges in other states with similar laws. Rev. William Barber II is leading this group and we follow him as he protests, gets arrested in acts of civil disobedience and inspires those around him to stand up for their rights as equal citizens. We also hear from celebrity activists such as Harry Belafonte and Dick Gregory who spent most of their adult lives engaged in the fight for social justice. The film connects the dots across the decades to show how the events from half a century earlier are directly related to the laws being passed today that are undermining people’s ability to participate in the election process. No matter how much progress has been made, future generations must always remain vigilant in the struggle for equality.

“Essential viewing for anyone who wants to understand the history of the struggle for voting rights in America, and why that struggle continues today.”
Dale Ho – Director, ACLU Voting Rights Project

BIO: Gavin Guerra

With 30 years experience creating award winning visual effects for feature films and television “Let The People Decide” is Gavin’s directorial debut.  In 2013 he was in the audience for a presentation by the cast of “Roots” when they asked the crowd “What are YOU doing to advance the cause of racial equality and social justice in the world today?!” “Let The People Decide” was born out of that challenge. After 6.5 years of production, the film made it’s successful debut at the 2019 Margaret Mead Film Festival and now in the COVID age of social distancing the film is making it’s impact felt “virtually” through community screenings such as these.
Gavin resides in Weston, CT with his wife and young daughter.


Interested in learning tips from the filmmaker Gavin Guerra? If so, please register individually for the 4:30 “Be the Media! workshop prior to the Town Hall. 

  • 4:30 PM | “Be the Media! Archival Media and Political Documentary” w/ filmmaker Gavin Guerra. Register here for the workshop!
  • 5:30 Virtual Screening “Let the People Decide” (* once you register, you will also have a window from 9/20-9/30 to watch the film independently)
  • 7:30 PM | “Let the People Decide:” Troy Town Hall with filmmaker Q&A and Community Leaders Register here for the Town Hall!

— Sponsored by iEAR Presents! and the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Rensselaer, made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.