The Natchitoches Parish Civic and Voters League’s inaugural Education and Voter Registration Banquet was well attended Friday night, Aug. 25.
Congressman Keith Ellsion, a representative for the 5th District of Minnesota spoke on voting and civic engagement.
Ellison’s Natchitoches Parish connection is rooted in the Balthazer and Martinez families of the Melrose community. Hundreds of former students of the Natchitoches Parish Training School, Central High School and the Central Area Trade School will recall the educational and life mentorship emanating from his grandparents, the late Frank and Doris Martinez.
This memorable couple were the parents of Ellison’s mother, Clytia Cora “Pet” Martinez Ellison. They lived in the 400 block of what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Natchitoches. Ellison’s grandmother was a second grade specialist for many years and his grandfather was an industrial arts teacher prior to becoming the first director of the Central Area Trade School.
“We have to speak truth to one another,” he said. “We have to engage everyone. The Democratic Party is an advocacy organization of like-minded people fighting to make sure people’s lives are better. The Democratic Party must fight for working people. We need a revolution in this country so people can grab the American dream.”
Mayor Lee Posey presented him with a key to the City. State Rep. Kenny Cox presented him with a certificate. Sylvia Morrow presented him with a certificate, plaque and medal on behalf of the Natchitoches Black Heritage Committee. The Voters League members presented him with a family photo and commemorative throw.
“We were raised in an era where voting was important,” said Posey. “I wish we’d get back to that.”