Marshall Fire Reflection: Why We Must Break the Filibuster

Nine months ago, there was a mass shooting in my grocery store. Ten innocent people died. The store is still closed — a reminder of what happened when we drive by the store every day.

Thursday, my neighborhood Target and Costco burned, as well as hundreds of homes.

What do these two events have in common other than the shock and devastation? Our country’s utter inability to create legislation FOR the people.

The vast majority of us want common-sense gun control. The vast majority of us want to address climate change. A decade ago, the Congress could have passed meaningful legislation for both, but they were blocked by filibuster. The inability for our country’s top legislators to pass any meaningful legislation has dire consequences, including what we are experiencing today.

We need to thank the first responders and firefighters, we need to help our neighbors get over the trauma and rebuild their lives, we need to support each other mentally, physically and financially. But in the meantime, we also need to advocate for fundamental changes and address the root of these issues, otherwise we’ll just be moving from tragedy to tragedy to tragedy.

January is the month when we MUST address the filibuster — call your senators and look up local events to attend on Jan. 6 (Capitol insurrection anniversary), Jan 17 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Jan. 20 (presidential inauguration anniversary), or Jan. 21 (Citizens v. United U.S. Supreme Court decision anniversary).

Addressing the filibuster isn’t just necessary for us to protect voting rights (which is the key of everything), it’s also necessary for us to pass climate and gun legislation.

Without federal policy changes currently blocked by the filibuster, we can’t fundamentally address any of these issues. We will be stuck in a Groundhog Day of shock, disbelief, and mourning.

We need to break the loop.

-Ning, Founder and President [bio]
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