Democracy Reform: Redistricting
Senators - Pass the For the People Act
We have been advocating for the For the People Act (FTPA) since President Biden took office with a Democratic majority in the House and the Senate. We believe we have now reached a pivotal moment - not just for the bill, but also for the future of our country. Let me explain why.
Four years of political turmoil had left its mark by emboldening an antidemocratic minority. We all saw what happened on January 6, 2021. Since then, the antidemocratic force has doubled down on the false narrative of voter fraud and used that narrative to rush through voter suppression bills in state after state, in a coordinated effort backed by conservative groups. By mid-July, 18 states had already enacted 30 voter suppression laws. In addition, 2020 census data has been released. Republican-led states including Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Arizona are fully prepared to pass gerrymandered Congressional maps as quickly as possible and lock in a House majority for a decade.
The Congress can and must respond with federal legislation to set a national baseline for voting access and push back on undemocratic voter suppression laws, and ban partisan gerrymandering before it’s too late.
With more than 200 other organizations in the Declaration for American Democracy coalition, Blue Wave Postcard Movement urgently advocated for the FTPA in an all-hands-on-deck grassroots campaign. Since February, partnering with Common Cause and Swing Blue Alliance, we have launched several postcard campaigns in West Virginia, Arizona, and other states. We asked voters to reach out to their Senators about the FTPA. We printed and distributed over half a million postcards to voters and generated thousands of phone calls to key Senators.
We didn't do this in vain. On June 22, all 50 Senators in the Democratic caucus voted to open debate on the FTPA. Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly), Republican Senators blocked the debate with a filibuster. Nonetheless, it was a big victory that we got all 50 Senators in the Democratic caucus on board. This is the number of votes we need to reform the filibuster and pass the bill.
At this moment, there’s truly nothing more important than passing the bill and protecting democracy. As Senator Schumer said a few months ago, “failure is not an option”. It was true then; it’s even more true now.
Democracy is the foundation of our country. America has been referred to as "the shining city on the hill" - we need a solid foundation to build the city on lest it will fall apart.
Through the passage of the FTPA, we can fix the dangerous cracks in the foundation and begin to address many urgent issues we’re facing, including climate change. We need decades of sensible and consistent policies to address the climate crisis, and the only way to ensure that is to have democracy and majority rule. The majority of Americans are on the right side of science and the right side of history. That has been proven by poll after poll, not just on the issue of climate, but also on other important issues like fair economy, immigration reform, and gun control. Give the voice and power back to the people, then we’ll be able to address these issues for real.
Should we remain hopeful? Yes! We have already made huge progress since January. Of course, it has been a roller coaster ride so far and it’s not guaranteed that we’re going to prevail, but things can move quickly in the Senate (yes!) if there’s a will to do so. We are much closer to the finish line than what the so-called pundits are espousing. The Senate has a version of the bill supported by key Senators. It needs to get on the floor for a vote. With enough Senators motivated to pass the bill, it can break through the filibuster with 50 votes and pass in the Senate.
The coalition advocating for the bill is growing by the day. At this moment, there are Texas State House Representatives in Washington, D.C. They left Texas as a last resort to prevent voter suppression bills from passing in the state. They are advocating for the FTPA as the best (and perhaps the only) way to push back on voter suppression bills in Texas. Unfortunately, their valiant effort failed for now and Texas Republicans got enough quorum to pass new voting restrictions. However, that won’t be the end of it.
A group of veterans led by Common Defense is also in DC. They have sacrificed a great deal to protect our freedom to vote; some were disabled in combat and rely on voting access that is being taken away from them. We have a moral imperative and obligation to protect their freedom to vote by passing the FTPA.
Please call your Senators and ask them to support Senator Schumer and President Biden in doing everything they can to pass the bill. It’s not that much to ask for compared to what the veterans have sacrificed for our country. They have done their duty valiantly, and now it’s time for the Senators - and the Commander in Chief - to do their duty, as well.
Colorado Senators’ contact information can be found here: http://tiny.cc/co-senators.
-Ning, Founder and President [bio]