tyley-perry_web.jpgCelebrities often flock to the Sunshine State for a night on the town, an exclusive fundraiser gala, or just to relax by the beach for a weekend.

But as part of the Obama campaign’s effort to get Floridians to register to vote in advance of the Oct. 6 deadline, director, producer and actor Tyler Perry along with Academy
Award-winner Forest Whitaker recently canvassed the streets of South and Central Florida.

As Whitaker hit the streets of Central Florida on Sept. 26, Perry rallied through South Florida, encouraging people to get registered to vote and to stand up and be heard on Election Day.

The “Change We Need” voter registration rallies kicked off at the Overtown Youth Center, made their way through Miami, and closed out in Sunrise.

This is the first time that Perry, whose projects include the movies Tyler Perry's the Family That Preys, Meet the Browns, Madea’s Family Reunion and the TV show Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, has ever registered to vote in his life, he said.

Now more than ever, he said, he truly believes all of his efforts are worth it.

“I believe it’s time to have somebody in the White House that understands what most Americans are really dealing with. Not an elitist but somebody who has worked hard and made it happen and who completely understands what it will take to get this country going again,” Perry said.

Throughout the years, Perry has witnessed how the decent reputation of the United States has dwindled in the rest of the world. He even recognized how the state of the nation has affected him close to home.

“I think about family and friends who are trying to make it. And these aren’t people who are lazy but these are people who just want the opportunity to make their own way. My hope is when he (Sen. Barack Obama) is elected president that he can once again reposition this country to the rest of the world,” Perry said.

Whitaker kicked off the voter registration event on Sept. 26 in Jacksonville at Edward Waters College. There, he spoke about the importance of registering to vote and the unique opportunity young people have to make history by casting their vote for Obama.

After hosting a debate watch party at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Whitaker continued his effort in Orlando, Lakeland and later closed out the event in Tampa late Saturday evening.

Other celebrities such as Cynthia Nixon, who played the character of Miranda on Sex and the City, also hit the Obama campaign trail throughout South Florida to encourage voters to get to the polls on Election Day.

Nixon made appearances at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton on Sept. 27 as well as the University of Miami in Coral Gables and Deicke Auditorium in Plantation on Sept. 28.


Photo by Khary Bruyning. Tyler Perry