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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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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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).

The Amp: Celebrating the Leadership of Black Women

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to hold confirmation hearings in late March for The Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Her story – and eventual confirmation — marks a historic moment to celebrate in our nation’s journey towards greater opportunity and equal justice for all.

The importance of Judge Brown Jackson’s nomination to break down barriers of systemic racism and sexism in our government and its threat to white supremacy has already resulted in dehumanizing and undermining attacks on her character. To contextualize the significance of this moment for the future of our country, we must uplift:

  • The value Judge Brown Jackson’s distinguished legal career will add to the Supreme Court as it makes key decisions impacting equal rights;
  • The important perspectives Judge Brown Jackson brings because of her experiences and knowledge that is new and currently unrepresented on the High Court; and
  • The powerful message of opportunity Judge Brown Jackson’s nomination, and confirmation, sends to Black women and women of color who strive toward greatness despite the systemic hurdles and prejudices that they experience.

As you talk about Judge Brown Jackson’s nomination, lean on our quick tips and the resources below. Look for opportunities to connect her story to the countless Black women whose leadership and brilliance strengthen our systems of government, and lead with the shared values of Equal Justice, Diversity, and Opportunity.

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Hashtags: #BlackWomensHistory; #WomensHistoryMonth;#RepresentationMatters

The Amp: Leaning in on Issues of Racial Justice

The vision of a truly inclusive democracy and racially just society is what drives much of our work. Yet racism in our communities and government remains a defining feature of our democracy, not a fixture of our history. From tip lines for parents to report the teaching of critical race theory in Virginia schools to the preservation of the filibuster to impede voting rights, we must remain resolute and clear in our commitment to tell an affirmative story about racial justice in the United States.

As we engage in national conversations around critical race theory, voting rights, and criminal justice proceedings, particularly with the backdrop of Black History Month, remember to lead with the values of Equality, Community, and Voice.

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Hashtags: #CriticalRaceTheory;#FreedomToVoteAct;#JohnLewisVotingRightsAct; #BlackHistoryMonth;#BeyondPolicing


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