By now, you’ve hopefully heard of the Deadline For Democracy mobilization plan that is taking place during the upcoming congressional recess, which is scheduled for June 28 through July 10. Indivisible, along with more than 80 other organizations (including, happily, DemCast), launched the mobilization plan “to demand lawmakers act urgently to defend democracy and pass the For the People Act (FTPA) by August.”
It wasn’t entirely unexpected that the Republicans used the Jim Crow filibuster to block the act on Tuesday. The outright lies that GOP senators use to combat the FTPA — and to counter any positive movement with regard to racial justice, LGBTQ rights, and so on and so on — are no longer shocking to me. Florida Sen. Rick Scott managed to say without blinking an eye, “We had to stop it or we never would have had a free election again.” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has vowed to block President Joe Biden on nearly everything, said the bill was “a solution looking for a problem.”
It also isn’t surprising that when given the chance, the GOP chooses to do the wrong thing every single time, even when their constituents overwhelmingly disagree with their opposition. According to a Southern Poverty Law Center poll, two-thirds of voters supported “enacting a federal law to establish nationwide baseline standards for voting registration and methods.”
We have to make this support known. We have to put the pressure on our senators — all of our senators — to get this passed as soon as possible. Enough is enough. We can’t continue to cower, as Democrats, as senators, as Americans.
In California, the East Bay and San Francisco Indivisible chapters, in partnership with other local organizations, are “calling all warriors for justice” to come together on Wednesday, July 7, beginning at 6 p.m. at Oscar Grant Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall.
Organizer Jennifer Mertens said, “The rally will call on the Senate to pass S.1. We will demand that our representatives listen to the grassroots as we fight the threat of voter suppression efforts unfolding across the country. We will thank Senator Padilla, who has spoken out strongly for abolishing the filibuster to pass S.1, and will call on Senator Feinstein to demonstrate a similar urgency for democracy reform (unfortunately her perspective is problematic).”
Janani Ramachandran, the candidate for the vacant AD-18 seat, is the headline speaker in Oakland. Mertens expects a large crowd given the number of other grassroots groups in their coalition. She said, “We will also have music, artivism, and audience participation!”
Along with several others, I’ve been phone banking, reaching out to Indivisible East Bay members to tell them about the rally and encourage them to attend (and bring a friend or a dozen). I tell them why this is necessary, liberally quoting from the rally sign-up page, “The Deadline for Democracy is a literal one — the bill needs to pass this summer for states to have time to apply its provisions to the 2022 midterm elections. There will be nationwide Deadline for Democracy rallies in support of S.1. Stand up for every American’s right to vote at our Oakland event — and let’s get so LOUD that there is no way that Congress and the media can ignore us!”
Indivisible co-founder and co-executive director Ezra Levin said, “We’re running out of time to pass the For the People Act. Senator Schumer has said repeatedly that ‘failure is not an option’ and we’re taking him at his word.”
Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn said, “From protecting the freedom to vote, to ending gerrymandering, to getting big money out of politics and strengthening ethics, the For the People Act is the bold solution that the American people are demanding.”
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, as of June 21, 17 states have put into effect 28 laws restricting access to voting. Worse, another 61 bills are making their way through 18 state legislatures. The For the People Act needs to pass to counter these many “For the Politicians” bills and laws. We are supposed to choose our elected officials. That’s our right. Don’t let state after state take that away.
There are events throughout the country during the recess. If you’re not close enough to make the downtown Oakland rally, you can find an event near you by clicking here. Recess really is the time to mete out justice.
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