In the summer of 1964, thousands of volunteers in Mississippi and from around the country worked to register Black Mississippians. This was Freedom Summer.1,062 people were arrested80 Freedom Summer workers were beaten37 churches and 30 Black homes were bombed or burned3 civil rights workers were murderedThis courageous effort finally pushed our nation’s systemic racism into America’s conscience.Fifty-seven years later, voter suppression is back with a vengeance and not just in the South. Over 250 voter suppression bills are being introduced in 43 state legislatures. This legislation will disenfranchise communities that have large black, brown, immigrant, and student populations or that are economically disadvantaged. Many of these bills if passed will ensure that gerrymandered districts favor Republicans for a very long time.The Challenge Before UsIf our hard work in 2020 is going to last, we can’t sit out 2021. 2022 will be here before we know it. Here’s the work before us:Pass the boldest and most sweeping democracy reform bill in decades, “The For the People Act” (HR1/S1) now before Congress.Support volunteers and voting rights organizations in five states — New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia — to protect voting rights, register voters, and provide information about voting. Keep Virginia blue in this year’s state election.Support Democratic candidates at all levels of government.In the spirit of the 1964 Freedom Summer volunteers, Lean Left Vermont is again on the move to build a base of dedicated volunteers. Check out the actions you can take below and our website for information and the tools to get started.
Join us in strengthening our democracy.
Building Power Happy Hour
Wednesday, April 28, 4:30 to 6:00 PM EDT
Join Lean Left Vermont for a Happy Hour kick-off to 2021/2022. Together, we’ll share our thoughts about our work in 2020, and the Lean Left Team will lay out the 2021/2022 strategy for building power and strengthening our democracy.Bring your favorite beverage and join us on zoom for a toast to YOUR work!Make your reservation here!
Actions You Can Take Immediately! Right now the most important action we can take is to push Congress to pass “The For the People Act.” The House of Representatives has passed this bill. It is now in the Senate. To get started check out the Federal Actions page. To learn more about this legislation go to Federal Legislation or Voting Reform on our website. Also visit the State Actions page for opportunities to write postcards, make calls, and text. States matter regardless of who controls Washington.
Be sure to keep checking the Events page for up-to-date information.
Lunch & Learn about HR1/S1 “The For the People Act”
Every Thursday from 1:00 to 1:45 EDT Join End Citizens United//Let America Vote and special guests for an ongoing weekly discussion with updates, current misinformation and how to respond, and actions you can take. Sign Up Here!
Push “The For the People Act” on Social Media
Every Tuesday 5:00 to 8:00 PM Demcast will be sharing regular updates about messaging strategy and offering tools to help you use your social media account strategically. Sign Up Here! Sister District State Bridges Event
April 7, 2021, 8:00-8:45 Guest Speaker: New Virginia Majority, Co-Executive Director Tram Nguyen
In 2021, all statewide seats in Virginia are up for election as is the entire House of Delegates. Maintaining control of these offices will not be easy! Lean Left Vermont will once again support candidates selected by the Sister District Project in Virginia. Sign Up Here!
Fund the Movement
For too many years, Democrats and progressives failed to run for office. Lean Left Vermont’s first fundraising recipients are working to change this! For the month of April our beneficiaries are EveryDistrict, which supports Democratic candidates in state legislative races long left wide open to Republican candidates, and Run for Something, which recruits and supports young, diverse progressives to run for down-ballot races to build sustainable power for Democrats.
We have the questions, you have the answers!If you have taken our survey, thank you very much. Knowing what you are interested in doing is important to getting you the right information.
If you haven’t taken the survey, please consider doing it today.
Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.
— John Lewis, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th District
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