March 25, 2022 / Mom &… Podcast Episode 63 / Guests: Shellie Hayes-McMahon and Crystal Mason
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Shellie Hayes-McMahon and Crystal Mason joined us this week to talk about advocacy and education around voter’s rights and voter suppression. On the Mom &… Podcast we frequently talk about how much influence moms have, and this week’s guests are two incredible examples of this influence.
We talked about convoluted laws and complicated processes that make it difficult – and often impossible – for all people to vote. Crystal shared her story of being arrested and jailed for casting a provisional ballot. Shellie encouraged us to get involved at a local level, to learn the laws and rules, and listen to women of color. She implored us to educate ourselves and then speak out. We talked about ways to get involved – starting with voting – and eliminate voter suppression and voter intimidation.
This episode left us reeling, and more than a little angry. And yet, we are encouraged by advocates and champions like Shellie and Crystal. Change is not going to come easily, but if enough of us speak up (and… vote!), change can happen.
More about Shellie
Shellie is a fierce advocate for women from all walks of life stepping into roles of power. Currently Deputy Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. Shellie was Director of Operations for Annie’s List, is Co- President for Political Action of Black Austin Democrats, Senior Advisor and Treasurer for the Williamson County Democratic Party and a Williamson County Precinct Chair. Shellie sits on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Texas and the Barbara Jordan Leadership Institute. She is a 2020 Leadership Austin Graduate, 2020-21 NLC Mentor, and an Ordained Minister. Shellie is a frequent political contributor for Pink Granite and The Rabble. Before joining Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Shellie spent 30 years in Management, as well as running for office in 2018. Her belief is that the most vulnerable in our society must be protected and the best way to do that is by electing more pro-choice, progressive women to office.
More About Crystal
Crystal Mason is the founder of “Crystal Mason The Fight” foundation. The foundation is dedicated to fighting against voter suppression. She has a personal story of trials, tribulation and triumph, and through that story, she has become the face of Voter’s Suppression. In
2016, Crystal did what any noble American would do: she cast her vote at the ballot box hoping to be the change that she wants to see. Instead, she was given a five-year prison sentence after casting a provisional ballot that was ultimately rejected. Crystal is adored by her family, friends and colleagues. She is a mother, grandmother, and successful business owner. If asked who she is, Crystal will tell you, “I am a rehabilitated felon that believes
in second chances.”
About Crystal Mason The Fight
Crystal’s foundation is dedicated to helping felons who are transitioning back into the world. Specifically, Crystal’s goal is to offer education and guidance as it relates to voting rights. Crystal wants to ensure that all people know when they can vote, why they need to vote, and the importance of voting. Crystal helps teach people the importance of understanding who they are voting for, and having a good grasp on policy interpretation. Crystal’s motto in this fight is: “You are not defined by the word felon. You have a voice and with Crystal Mason the Fight your voice will be heard.”
Topics From This Episode
- Voter suppression
- Voter intimidation
- Voting laws
- Polling place workers and rules
- LGBTQIA+ friendly legislation
- Importance of school boards
Look, Listen, Learn
- The Cross Connection with Tiffany Cross
- The ReidOut with Joy-Ann Reid
- Jonathan Capehart, The Washington Post
- Black Food by Bryant Terry
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Watch this episode on our YouTube Channel
Transcript available upon request.