Common has teamed with Leslie Herod to remind parolees they can vote in Colorado.
Common has teamed with Leslie Herod to remind parolees they can vote in Colorado.
Jemal Countess / Stringer

Rapper Common Reminds People on Parole to Vote

On parole? You can vote in Colorado. In advance of today's election, the rapper Common and state Representative Leslie Herod have teamed up for a video to encourage you to do so.

Common, who's best known as a Chicago rapper, has deep Denver ties. His father lived here when he was growing up, and he was vital in energizing the Front Range hip-hop scene in the ’90s.

Now 47, Common is an activist working toward criminal justice reform. Unlike so many stars who aim their get-out-the-vote messages to the public, he's reminding people who have been convicted of crimes and are on parole that they too can participate in the democratic process.

“Anybody who is convicted and now is on parole, a parolee, you have a voice. At one point, this country, state, didn’t want to give you a voice,” says Common in the video. “We want people that will be elected that will look out for you, that care for you.”

In the video, Herod says she drew inspiration from Common's work when she set out to pass a bill that gave more than 11,000 Coloradans on parole the right to vote.

“Common using his voice to fight mass incarceration and felon disenfranchisement is incredibly powerful,” she added in a statement.

For more information on how to vote, go to the Colorado Secretary of State's Office website or register in person at your nearest polling place.

Hear Common and more favorites from Westword writers on our Westword Staff Picks playlist.

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