Hi, all, and happy Wednesday. I have, indeed, contracted COVID, so I’m going to keep this intro brief, and the newsletter itself a little short than usual. Mostly, I want to send out a virtual hug to everyone reeling from the second mass shooting in a week. We are living in extremely challenging times, and the fear and pain I, for one, feel with every new event like this is almost overwhelming.
Hang in there Jess. I came down with Covid for the first time Monday. So I’m lying in bed writing postcards for Warnock and watching Hulu ;)
Best Thanksgiving wishes to you and MJ - we hope that you all get a good rest and recover soon.
We're thankful that you continue to chop down injustice & prejudice and carry forward the fight for an equitable, peaceful & healthy world.
Big virtual hugs!
I hope you recover quickly. Drink lots of fluids and rest. Jess, we need your happy warrior spirit. I’m going back to writing VoteForward letters. Take good care
My prayers and positive energy for your, and your family's, speedy recovery. The persistence of COVID is a physical mirror of the persistence of the "ruling class", in trying to keep the rest of us down. So, yes, we, the must be that much more persistent and stubborn-not to take away the legitimate rights of those with whom we disagree, but to ensure that our own such rights are maintained.
Wishing you a good recovery, Jess and a blessed Thanksgiving. Thank
Thank you for chopping wood and
and carrying water for so many.
Wishing you a speedy recovery, Jess! Grateful for all that you do for us and for our country. :)
Please rest and get well. Thank you for everything Jessica.
Hope you recover quickly!
It was the district office I tried. I'll call the D.C. office tomorrow.
I hope you're feeling better, Jess.
Best wishes for a full recovery, ASAP Jess!
Over the weekend, would your readers pick up their phones and call (202) 224-3121 to each of their Senators and ask each of them:
To meet with their other progressive Senators and reach out to Senators Murkowski, Sinema and Manchin so they reconsider their votes for the filibuster against H.R. 5746. and put the John R Lewis Freedom to Vote Act: H.R. 5746 back on the floor of the Senate TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE with the loss of the House in the next session of Congress.
Cases now before the Court (Merrill v Mulligan and Moore v. Harper) threaten the power of Congress. Now is the time for Congress to guarantee full voting rights for all Americans.
The debate over the filibuster has become absurd. The Republicans have made it more than clear they will use any means to win, regardless of the costs. And if the Republicans had control of the Senate, Sen. McConnell would not hesitate for a second to end the filibuster in order to pass something his party wanted. The Democrats must do that now – to make progress on voting rights, re-balancing the Supreme Court, raising the minimum wage, creating a fair tax system, and other long-overdue changes that have been paralyzed by partisan gridlock.
Suspend the filibuster for voting rights, and pass H.R.5746, John R Lewis Voting Rights Act!! Our ZIP code should not determine how, if or when we can vote!
Some facts for the Senate to consider:
The Rise and Fall of Voting Rights in the United States
The Supreme Court has effectively ruled that unless Congress acts directly and specifically, voting rights can be determined by individual state legislatures – potentially even overriding that state’s constitution.
But Congress does have the power to set national standards for voting rights, under the Constitution of the United States of America:
Article 1.4 grants to each State Legislature the power to set the times, places and manner of holding elections for US Senators and Representatives “but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations.....”
How Did We Get Here?
The Rise of Voting Rights
· The 14th and 15th Amendments guarantee rights to citizenship and equal protection regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
· Under the powers in Article 1.4, and 14th and 15th Amendments, Congress extended voting rights to Native Americans (1924) and Asian Americans (1952).
· The Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 declared that “No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure, shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”
· The VRA’s greatest impact was in its pre clearance requirement for Federal Court or Justice Department approval before jurisdictions that had historically discriminated could change voting rules, processes or procedures. One result: Mississippi’s black voters up from 6% to 59% registered to vote by 1969.
The Fall of Voting Rights under Supreme Court decisions
· Citizens United v FEC (2010) unleashed the right for Corporations and Unions to use corporate money in politics.
· Shelby County v Holder (2013) held that the pre-clearance formula is unconstitutional. Impact: 1688 polling places CLOSED in previously covered States; 30 million voters purged from rolls; restrictive voting laws passed in many states.
· Rucho v Common Cause (2019) ruled that state laws permitting partisan (not racial) gerrymandering are “beyond the reach of the federal courts.”
· Brnovich v DNC (2021) stopped people from collecting ballots to deliver to precincts and stopped counting ballots from people who go to the wrong precinct.
To reiterate: The Solution
Suspend the filibuster for voting rights, and pass the John R Lewis Voting Rights Act!!
Our ZIP code should not determine how, if or when we can vote!
Alice Schaffer Smith
National Voter Corps
a nonpartisan 501(c) (3) a project under the Social Good Fund
I’m terribly grateful for you and they.
You must have been a cheerleader at one time in your life. Your consistent enthusiasm and praise is very energizing, it got me motivated to start calling my congress critters! It is a first for me and it feels really good to be taking action. Something needs to change, that's for sure, and YOUR gentle persistence of giving us simple little daily tasks that anyone can accomplish is facilitating that change! Yay you, Jessica!
I hope that you and your kid get better fast! Take it easy.
Oh Jess - sending you so much love and thank you for the beautiful note! 🌈🌺
Take care and may there be no long lasting effects
Take care, Jess. You know we need you as our awesome resistance leader. I hope you have a good day tomorrow and get some rest to help fight the Vid as my adult kids call it. ❤️