Dear Friends, Partners, & Allies,
A bit of good news: Last month, more than 100 letters were sent to the State Election Commission asking them to support increased transparency and hold those who spend money to influence our elections accountable. As a result, the Commission adopted most of our recommendations to strengthen the rules implementing SB 622, a campaign finance bill that raised the contribution limits for West Virginia elections.
This is what happens when people raise up their voices in collective action!
Now we have another opportunity to make our voices heard in support of a representative democracy where everyone can fully participate no matter who they are.
Please join us Tuesday, August 6 at noon at the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse in Charleston to stand up for voting rights and call on Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1962 by passing the Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR 4).
The VRA was signed into law 54 years ago, on August 6, 1965. It was the most comprehensive piece of legislation passed to ensure that voting rights were awarded to all citizens, especially racial minorities.
When five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the VRA in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder case, they made it easier for states and localities to revert back to discriminatory practices that restrict the voting rights of black, brown, Native American and Asian American people. Since the decision, a number of states have implemented laws that disenfranchise voters, and disproportionately impact young people and communities of color – including voter ID laws, gerrymandering and voter purges.
Earlier this year, Congress introduced the Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR 4), which would restore our ability to prevent racial discrimination in voting so that we can build the truly representative 21st century democracy we deserve.
Please come out and join us in demanding that Congress pass the VRAA! (Not on Facebook? You can RSVP here.)
Bring water and umbrellas for protection from the sun and/or the rain. We look forward to seeing August 6. We have volunteer opportunities, before and during the even (see list below).
Julie Archer, Coordinator
Volunteer Opportunities before August 6
–Hand out fliers inviting people to the August 6 event at Multifest in Charleston this weekend. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help. You can also download and print your own fliers here.
–Make signs to bring to the event and share.
–Spread the word though social media:
Congress must restore the protections against #racialdiscrimination in voting that #SCOTUS destroyed in 2013. Building a government that is representative of ALL its people is critical to our ability to solve some of our country’s most pressing challenges. bit.ly/restorethevrawv. #RestoreTheVOTE #WVProDemocracy
More sample social and graphics available here.
Volunteer Opportunities on August 6
–At the event, help register people to vote.
More on how voting rights and our courts are under attack:
Trump Has Put Judges All Over The Courts With Awful Records On Voting Rights “This administration is weaponizing the federal judiciary to restrict the vote,” the NAACP warns in a new report.