While we fight to preserve our health care, other critical battles are being waged in the House and Senate. This week, the Trump administration laid the groundwork for an unprecedented attack on voting rights, defunding the Election Assistance Committee (which helps prevent hacked voting machines), demanding personally identifying voter information from all 50 states, and signaling an intent to sue states to force them to trim their voting rolls.
I felt positively queasy when I read this news, and then I got angry. This administration, and the Republicans in Congress who allow it to flourish, don’t care about democracy. They only care about consolidating and retaining power. They’ve figured out that they will lose elections unless they rig the system to prevent millions from exercising their right as citizens to cast a vote. So they increase gerrymandering, gut the Voting Rights Act, reduce early voting, and do everything they can to prevent fair elections.
There is some good news: California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has already rejected 45’s request for voter information, and as of Friday, at least 9 other states have done the same. Another 10 states have signaled resistance to the request, and voter advocacy groups like the ACLU have also come out against it, and are working diligently to promote access to the ballot and to sue the Trump administration for its many violations of our laws.
Senator Harris, who endorsed the Indivisible process to protect health care in her email blast this week, took to Facebook to oppose these disturbing attempts to curtail our freedom to vote, while Senator Feinstein was more circumspect. This week, we’ll be asking you to thank them both for their critiques, but also to pressure Senator Feinstein to make a stronger public statement.
Next week, you’ll have the chance to ask Congresswoman Pelosi to speak out against this attack on our voting rights, and to ask her staff what she — and we — can do to protect Americans from disenfranchisement.
Something to look forward to
Party with Stand Up SF members! A member is graciously opening her home to us for an afternoon of Mexican food and margaritas, coming up on July 29th. You’ll get an invitation soon. We look forward to seeing you there.
This week’s Stand Up SF actions:
- Call Senator Harris and thank her for standing up for voting rights. You can say, “My name is _____ and I’m calling to thank the senator for her strong public statement in opposition to Trump’s request for personal voting information and her dedication to protecting our voting rights. I appreciate the senator using her public platform to raise awareness of this attempt at disenfranchisement.”
- Call Senator Feinstein and thank her for voicing her concerns about Trump’s request for voter information, but prompt her to do more. You can say, “My name is _____ and I’m calling to thank the senator for voicing her concerns about Trump’s request for personal voting information. I’d like the senator to go further and make a strong statement condemning this transparent attempt at racial profiling and disenfranchisement of American citizens.”
- Shore up our senators for the battle ahead: Call to thank Senator Harris and Senator Feinstein for their unwavering public opposition to TrumpCare. Remind them that they must withhold consent on all Senate business until the bill receives public review. Tell them not to vote for any amendments that will help Republicans pass TrumpCare. If you reach a human on the phone, take the opportunity to share a little bit about why this issue is important to you. (script)
- Take local action on campaign finance reform: The California Disclose Act, AB 249, is going to move to the state Senate for a vote soon. AB 249 will strike a major blow against dark money in elections by requiring ballot measure ads to clearly and prominently show their true funders on the ads themselves – the first bill in the nation to do so. Call CA Assemblymembers and say “I believe that voters deserve to know who is paying for political ads. I therefore ask Assemblymember ______ to endorse, publicly support, and vote for AB 249, the California DISCLOSE Act.”
Actions with other groups
- Sun 7/9: Register voters with Democracy Action at Stonestown. Sign up.
- Support Common Cause’s campaign to win Automatic Voter Registration in states before 2018.
- Join the Oil Money Out campaign to get oil money out of politics! Governor Jerry Brown and your state legislators to tell them to stop taking money from oil companies. Calling tool and script.
Thanks for all you do.