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Atlantic City activist resigns from county Democratic Committee, arguing it has been unresponsive to calls for justice for Black community
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Atlantic City activist resigns from county Democratic Committee, arguing it has been unresponsive to calls for justice for Black community

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BLM

Activist Steve Young held a Black Lives Matter rally Sept. 4 on the Atlantic City Boardwalk at Kennedy Plaza.

ATLANTIC CITY — The Black vote has been taken advantage of for profit and white interests, a city activist said in a Monday letter in which he resigned from the Atlantic County Democratic Committee.

Steven Young, 60, who has championed a “Black agenda” while organizing and participating in several Black Lives Matter protests in the resort in recent months, sent the letter to committee Chairman Michael Suleiman. The letter of resignation from the committee’s executive board goes on to argue that Mayor Marty Small Sr. has been working to suppress the Black vote.

“I wish Steve well,” Suleiman said.

Small did not respond to a request for comment.

Young was arrested in July after organizing a demonstration aiming to “shut the city down.” It was one of many protests throughout South Jersey in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody.

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Last month, City Council voted to begin the process of removing Young from his seat on the Citizens Advisory Board and as chairman of the Planning Board. The two positions are appointed and unpaid.

In his letter to Suleiman, Young argues the COVID-19 pandemic and Floyd’s killing have “led us to believe the Atlantic County Democrats and Republican parties have not been responsive to freedom, justice and equality for the Black community.”

Young has been a “devoted” Democrat in the county since 1988, he wrote in his letter, but “we have seen no progress for the Black community since being able to vote.”

Young said Small abused his power to solicit votes during protests and that “he and the Atlantic County Democratic party continued to Oppress and Suppress the Black vote by dividing.”

The letter goes on to accuse other local and county officials of failing to denounce white supremacy and prejudice.

Although he is resigning, Young concludes his letter saying he will continue to register people to vote and “hold all elected officials and those whom oppress and suppress the Black vote accountable thru (sic) Access and transparency.”

Contact: 609-272-7241

mbilinski@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

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Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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