The Amp: U.S. Senate Action on Voting & COVID Surges

Congressional Action on Voting Rights

This week, Senator Schumer (D-NY) announced that he would call a vote to change Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation, a move designed to side-step the 60-vote filibuster. The senator’s letter to colleagues puts narratives about our democracy center stage on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Creating a truly inclusive democracy in our country will require bold action. The threat white supremacy poses to ensuring every voice is heard and every vote counted is bigger than last year’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol building. It manifests in threats of vigilante violence at polling locations, disinformation campaigns that undermine public trust in government, and state-level legislation restricting fair access to polling locations nationwide.

Federal legislation, such as The For the People Act or the Freedom to Vote Act, would directly address voter suppression tactics and help us lean into the country we aspire to be. The United States stands at a crossroads leading up to the 2022 Midterms, and it is important that we highlight where these crossroads lead: one towards a more inclusive democracy where every vote counts and another where elected officials choose whose votes matter to them. When responding to the events of last year, remind audiences of the organizing prowess and community care that led to record voter turnout in 2020, particularly among Black, Latinx, and APIA voters.

Take action:

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Polling and research:

Hashtags: #RestoreTheVRA; #FreedomToVoteAct; #DeliverOurVotingRights

Our COVID Winter Déjà Vu

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has simultaneously reminded us of the importance of caring for one another and the work we have before us to create unified responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Families are struggling with whether to send children to school. Overwhelmed hospitals threaten access to quality care. People are torn between earning much-needed income and caring for themselves or sick loved ones. And xenophobic messages rooted in anti-Asian racism are filling social media timelines.

In this context, it is our job as social justice leaders and communicators to push back calmly and directly against the fear and stigma surrounding COVID-19 with powerful language of inclusion, unity, empowerment, and justice. This will help us be allies to communities of color, immigrant communities, low-income communities, and incarcerated communities, who have disproportionately borne the brunt of economic and health consequences during the pandemic. Through unity – in community – we can overcome what lies ahead.

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Social media graphics and tools:

Hashtags: #TimeToCare; #PaidLeave; #VaccineEquity; #GetVaccinated

Photo credits: Black Voters Matter, Freedom Ride bus tour and Anthony Quintano, COVID-19 Testing Site in Times Square (Flickr/CC BY 2.0).

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