Groups Representing 80K Californians Ask Feinstein To Support Ending the Filibuster, Highlight Urgency of Passing HR1/S1, the For The People Act

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San Francisco, CA – March [16], 2021 – Today, 70 Indivisible chapters and allied groups, representing over 80,000 Californians, asked Senator Feinstein to commit to voting to swiftly end the filibuster due to the urgency of passing the “For The People Act.” In a letter sent to her office this morning, the groups stated, “The timetable for passage of this bill is extremely time-sensitive given that its mandated independent redistricting commissions must be formed in time to prevent gerrymandered Congressional district lines for the next decade.

The Act expands voting rights, changes campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of money in politics, limits partisan gerrymandering, and creates new ethics rules for federal officeholders. Timing is critical given that Congressional district lines will be redrawn this year, a process which takes place only once every ten years.

“The ‘For the People Act’ provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect our democracy,” states Aram Fischer, an Indivisible grassroots organizer based in San Francisco. “We ask Senator Feistein to use her hard-earned position of seniority and leadership to take the side of democracy by voting to end the filibuster and thereby ensuring passage of this crucial legislation.”

Americans of both parties overwhelmingly support this bill. A February poll found that 83 percent of Americans across party lines approve of the “For the People Act.” Specific reforms within the bill are extremely popular, with most provisions receiving support of 90 percent or higher. The poll also found that passing the “For the People Act” increases voters’ trust in Democrats to deliver on other critical issues impacting Americans’ daily lives.


Speakers’ Bios and Quotes:

Aram Fischer, Indivisible Grassroots Organizer
Fischer is a lifelong activist who stands on the shoulders of a long line of powerful activist women. After two decades of rank-and-file activism, Aram woke up on November 9th, 2016 determined to do more and began organizing under the Indivisible banner. He now facilitates statewide calls for CA Indivisible leaders, as well as calls for a national Indivisible network of grassroots leaders called the Indivisible Middle Tier. He is a member of a number of cross-network collaborations including the National Network Assembly, the Learning 2 Win community, and Blueprint 4 Change. He also raises money for BIPOC-led grassroots organization through his work at the Movement Voter Project.

Quote from Fischer
“The ‘For the People Act’ provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect our democracy,” states Aram Fischer, an Indivisible grassroots organizer based in San Francisco. “We ask Senator Feistein to use her hard-earned position of seniority and leadership to take the side of democracy by voting to end the filibuster and thereby ensuring passage of this crucial legislation.”

Leah Greenberg, co-founder and co-Executive Director of the Indivisible Project
Greenberg is an American political activist and co-founder of the progressive non-profit organization, Indivisible. She is co-author of We Are Indivisible: A Blueprint for Democracy After Trump, published in 2019. Greenberg, along with Indivisible co-founder, Ezra Levin, was named by Time in 2019 as one of Time‘s 100 most influential people in the world. She and Levin were selected by Politico in 2017 and GQ in 2018 for their annual lists of most powerful and influential people in Washington DC.

Quote from Greenberg
“Republican legislators across the country are mounting an attack on our democracy that is terrifying in its scope and intensity. They’re doing everything they can to undermine the right to vote, and specifically to suppress the voices and power of Black and brown communities. If we don’t eliminate the filibuster, we’ll have no way to pass the transformative legislation that can stop them – the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. We need to see every Senator stand up for our democracy and stand up for the right to vote – and we need them do so urgently.”

Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of Berkeley Law and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law
Erwin Chemerinsky is an American legal scholar known for his studies of United States constitutional law and federal civil procedure. He served as the founding dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law from 2008 to 2017, and is currently the dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Chemerinsky was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. The National Jurist magazine named him the most influential person in legal education in the United States in 2017.

Quote from Chemerinsky
“The filibuster is profoundly anti-democratic. Senators representing 21 states with a combined population of just over 30 million can block legislation favored by 59 Senators representing 300 million persons. The filibuster should be eliminated or at least reformed so that it is less likely to allow the minority in the Senate to block virtually any legislation.”

Aaron Scherb, Director of Legislative Affairs  at Common Cause
In this role, Scherb helps craft and gain support for various good-governance proposals, primarily related to campaign finance reform, voting rights, redistricting reform, and ethics/lobbying reform. He also coordinates advocacy activities with members of Congress and their staff and works with key coalition partners to expand support for democracy reforms. Prior to assuming his current role at Common Cause in 2013, Scherb worked as a congressional staffer.

Quote from Scherb
“We can protect our environment and have clean air and water for our communities, or we can have the filibuster. We can protect our families from gun violence, or we can have the filibuster. We can protect and strengthen our freedom to vote, or we can have the filibuster. It’s a fairly straightforward decision. We must abolish the filibuster so we can protect our children, our communities, and our democracy.”

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Since the January 2017, more than 4,000 San Franciscans have united as Indivisible SF to march in the Women's Marches, protest the Muslim Ban, meet regularly with our Members of Congress, and make thousands of phone calls to their offices to pressure them to do everything in their power to counter the policies and politics of Trumpism. There is much work in progress and many actions to come.

Members of Indivisible SF are defined by our action and find solidarity in our shared opposition to Trump and Trumpism. Each of us explicitly reserves our individual stances on specific issues for other forums as we believe resisting Trump is more important than any single issue. We adhere to a Code of Conduct that welcomes and respects everybody.

Members of Indivisible SF come from all kinds of backgrounds and political persuasions. Some of us are first-time activists and others have been at this for decades. We are citizens and non-citizens. Most importantly, we are all patriots that want the best for our country and are willing to work for it.

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