Video link to the Acceptance Speech by Ning Mosberger-Tang
On the 50th Anniversary of Common Cause, I’m very honored to receive the Chairwoman’s Award for Transformational Leadership for my work on Democracy Reform.
I believe there are many people who are far more deserving of this award than I. Countless people have dedicated their lives to bring us peace and democracy, and I’m simply asking folks to pay attention and warning them that democracy may be lost and our right to vote may be taken away if we don’t take heed.
After the record high turnout in the 2020 election, lawmakers in 48 states have introduced at least 389 bills restricting voting access. At least 22 of these bills have passed into law so far. This is undemocratic and un-American.
HR1/S1, the For the People Act, is our best tool to fight back against that. HR1 will set a national baseline for voting access. It will establish automatic and online voter registration, universal vote-by-mail and early voting, and make Election Day a federal holiday. In addition, it will change campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of big money in politics, ban partisan gerrymandering, and create new ethics rules for federal officeholders.
HR1 will preempt many of the voter suppression laws already enacted in some states. It will protect the right to vote for all Americans. The right to vote is a cornerstone of American democracy, and democracy provides the foundation for us to address many issues we face.
My top issue is climate change, which I have been working on for the past 15 years. One of the battles that we’ll surely lose if democracy is lost is climate change mitigation. We need bold and consistent policies prioritizing the health of ordinary people and the future of the planet for the next three decades in order to address the climate crisis. Will any of these policies last if we prioritize the profit of a small minority? The answer is a resounding no. That’s why I fiercely and unapologetically advocate for the passage of HR1. I encourage you to join me, regardless of what your top issues are. Whether you care about economic equity, racial justice, gun control, immigration policies, or anything else, I hope you’ll join me in advocating for the passage of HR1. Democracy alone won’t fix everything, but without democracy, everything will be lost.
Common Cause has been a leader in protecting democracy. It has engaged in this fight for fifty years. I’m fortunate to have found a partner and ally such as Common Cause. Join us. As Senator Schumer said, “failure is not an option”. Together, we will not fail. We will prevail and build a better future for ourselves, for our children, and for all generations to come.
-Ning Mosberger-Tang, Founder and President [bio]