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Tom Hanks Headlines Voter Registration Rally In Oakland

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OAKLAND (KDKA) -- Tom Hanks headlined a big rally in Oakland on Tuesday night, trying to get people to register to vote.

The actor is in town filming the new Fred Rogers movie "You Are My Friend." He got a standing ovation and had the crowd both laughing and revved up at Soldiers and Sailors Hall.

"I speak to you here from this historic building in the heart of Pittsburgh, a city I have spent exactly nine days of my life in," Hanks said.

His message was serious: vote, even in smaller elections that decide things like schools being funded and to "make sure the traffic lights are timed, so traffic is not so miserable in this town."

tom hanks
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The event was put together by "When We All Vote." Steelers James Conner and Josh Dobbs both spoke.

"I'm voting this year, so I just wanted to spread the message that it's very important," Conner said.

"Using my voice and using my vote is extremely important to me," Dobbs said.

Fashion designer Kiya Tomlin, wife of Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, also urged people to register.

"I want to make my voice heard. Did you know that in the entire state of Pennsylvania, we do not have a single woman in Congress?" she said.

But it was Hanks that got the crowd most excited.

"What is the most important election in the history of our country? You're all almost right. All of them," Hanks said.

The event was designed to be non-partisan.

"It doesn't matter if you want to maintain the status quo or change the flow of direction of the country. It means every single one of us, we the people of the United States of America," Hanks said.

The man known for his humor had none when he said this: "If you don't take part in what decision is being made, you don't get to complain, so shut up."

He ended by urging people not to allow a minority of voters to decide the majority's fate. The event was part of National Voter Registration Day.

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