An open letter to the U.S. Senate

No Filibuster for the For the People Act and the new Voting Rights Act

306 so far! Let’s get to 500 signers!

Republicans across the country are openly undermining our democracy, pushing 165 bills in 33 states that aim to block Democrats from voting. They are publicly plotting to regain state and federal districts through gerrymandering so politicians choose their voters, not the other way around. If they succeed, in the best case scenario, we will be blocked from power for a decade. Worst-case scenario, we will lose our democracy. Either way, the environment will suffer catastrophic damage. Corruption will reign. The fight for racial justice and equality will suffer a possibly fatal blow. We’ll never get back the lives lost to the sacrifice of science at the altar of profit. What we hold dear will be destroyed. In 2018 and 2020, we worked hard. We won. We promised our voters we would make meaningful change, now. If we don’t, we will lose in 2022 and 2024. Period. How can we look our voters in the eyes and ask for another shot if we’ve proven we don’t have the courage of our convictions when it matters most? Fortunately, we can give our voters the change they deserve by passing the For the People Act and the new Voting Rights Act. These reforms would prevent partisan gerrymandering, make voter registration automatic, permit voting by mail, block voter-ID and anti-ballot-harvesting laws, and again require pre-clearance for changes in voting rules for states with recent histories of discriminating against voters. Only the filibuster stands in our way. It is a legislative loophole that ensures the minority can thwart the majority, blocking change when it is needed most. Perhaps nice in theory, in practice it has been a tool of repression, used to block civil rights and anti-lynching bills, and rightfully earning President Obama’s description of it as a “relic of the Jim Crow era.” If you support filibuster reform, at least for these two bills, please reach out to your colleagues who do not. Our country depends on it. If you do not yet support filibuster reform, at least for these two bills, consider your options. If you protect the filibuster—even though Republicans will eliminate it the minute they take power—we will ensure that Democratic voters in states from Arizona to West Virginia cannot vote in the numbers they did in 2018 and 2020. We will not only bar ourselves from power, blocking any dream of passing legislation that improves our constituents’ lives, but we will also ensure we cannot win a statewide election of any type, be it in Arizona, West Virginia, or any number of other states. Alternatively, if we reform the filibuster and do not allow it to block these bills, voters in every state will vote without having countless hurdles thrown in their way. We will move the political playing field away from winning by blocking the most people from voting to winning by having the most popular policy platform. We can win that fight. And, in a democracy, we will.

First sent on February 18 by Team Twilight

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