Today, Democracy for All 2021 Action, a coalition of advocates, labor groups, and community organizations representing millions of Americans, launched a $1 million national voting campaign to elevate the voices of voters across the country fighting for their vote to count. With more than 360 anti-voting bills introduced in state legislatures nationwide and new voter restrictions becoming law, Democracy for All 2021 Action’s “Our Vote, Our Voice” campaign introduces a powerful and coordinated push to fight back. The campaign, which will run nationally and in targeted states, urges the Senate to immediately protect and expand voting rights and give power to the people by passing the For the People Act.
The ads will run in Washington D.C., Arizona, Georgia, and New Hampshire featuring voters in those states sharing personal accounts about how attacks on voting rights aren’t just political — they’re personal. These stories include Ralph Quintana, a veteran with a disability in Arizona, James Maccabe, a teacher in New Hampshire, and Shauna “Cocoa” Swearington, a hotel worker in Georgia.
Coalition members of Democracy for All 2021 Action national voting campaign represent millions of people who voted for equitable COVID recovery, good-paying union jobs, affordable healthcare, high-quality public schools, and justice for all — all of which are under threat without immediate action to defend the right to vote, push back on the power of big money, and prevent politicians from picking their voters. These organizations include the American Federation of Teachers, Center for Popular Democracy, Demos Action, Latino Victory Fund, League of Conservation Voters, MoveOn, NAACP, National Education Association, NextGen America, SEIU, Sierra Club, Supermajority, UFCW, UNITE HERE, and the Working Families Party.
“Black and Brown voters came out in record numbers in the most secure elections we have ever experienced. But now, politicians who are afraid of the power of voters who do not look or think like them are doing everything they can to entrench their power in spite of the will of the people,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “This new rash of voter suppression is modern day Jim Crow, plain and simple. We must pass the For the People Act to protect civil rights and advance the fight for racial justice.”
Arizona and Georgia are among the top three states to have seen the largest number of restrictive bills introduced — and anti-voting legislation has already become law in Georgia, while the highest number of anti-voting bills are being actively considered in New Hampshire. National media placements in Axios and Vox will also call on Senators in D.C. to support the passage of the For the People Act.
“As a former social studies teacher, I can say that the story of America can almost always be connected back to civic participation. When we teach our kids about the responsibilities of citizenship and the importance of voting, we are upholding the best aspirations of our country’s founding and we are priming the pump for the future. And right now, as we watch an onslaught of coordinated attacks on the rights of some people to vote, we know the nation’s students are drawing a lesson on whether the principles of democracy they learn in class are empty promises” said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers. “AFT teachers like James and Ralph help young people learn what it means to be a responsible citizen and how to use their voice every single day – certainly our elected leaders should do no less. The Senate owes it to our children to uphold the sacred right to vote and pass the For the People Act to strengthen our democracy now.”
“The vast majority of Americans agree we need a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour, the right to join a union no matter where you work, and meaningful action for racial equality. That’s only possible if we have a government that works for all of us — not just a wealthy, powerful few,” said Mary Kay Henry, SEIU International President. “The For the People Act would be a huge step toward making that promise a reality. When our elected leaders deliver for the people, working people everywhere can truly be respected, protected and paid.”
People across the political spectrum and all over the country support the bill: a Democracy for All 2021 Action — Data for Progress poll found that 83% of voters—including 86% of Democrats and 83% of Republicans—said they agreed with the major reforms in the For the People Act to ensure that government “represents all of us equally” and “better addresses” the needs of the people.
“Arcane institutions anchored in centuries of segregation laws, along with years’ worth of partisan gerrymandering, restrictions to the ballot and crackdowns on unions, have made it nearly impossible for our government to effectively address the needs of its people,” said Rahna Epting, Executive Director of MoveOn regarding the national voting campaign. “Passing reforms like the For the People Act is how we will finally see the change most of us want on issues like COVID-19, the economy, and ending the continued violence against people of color.”
“Communities of color most impacted by toxic pollution and climate change are the same communities whose voices are being silenced by restrictive voting laws,” said Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters. “Passing the For the People Act and unrigging our political system would return power to the overwhelming majority of people in this country who want to see meaningful action on climate change, environmental justice, and clean energy.”
“This year, we voted for the promise of a new America that is fundamentally different from the democracy and economy we have lived in to date. Congress’ passage of a historic COVID-19 relief bill shows that we are capable of going big and delivering a real victory for the people,” said Maurice Mitchell, National Director of the Working Families Party. “Transformational change doesn’t have to end here: we can do more to meet the historic challenges before us, and that starts with rebuilding our democracy through the For the People Act.”
“It’s past time everyone’s voice — no matter your zip code, race, or background — is heard in our democracy,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “We cannot fully address the climate crisis for every community until each and every one of us has equal representation. Environmental justice starts with justice at the ballot box. That’s why the Sierra Club supports the For the People Act, and why we call on the Senate to pass it without delay.”
“As educators, we teach our students about civics, American history, and the importance of voting. We know that our public schools are more than places of learning – they are the foundation of our democracy,” said Becky Pringle, President of the National Education Association. “Now, as legislatures around the country debate anti-voting bills designed to stop Americans – especially Black, Brown and young voters – from making their voices heard, our democracy is under attack. Our students are not only witnesses to these relentless attacks on voting rights nationwide – oftentimes they are targets of these bills. That is why educators across our nation are speaking out, calling on Congress to make the promise of democracy real for all Americans, starting with passing the For the People Act.”
“If the last few years have shown us anything, it’s that we can’t take our democracy for granted. It’s time for bold reforms to make our government truly work for all of us,” said D. Taylor, International President of UNITE HERE regarding the national voting campaign. “As workers, we need people in power who are committed to making our workplaces better and safer, protecting our health care, fighting for immigration reform, and more. We’re ready for a better future for workers and the For the People Act is critical legislation to get us there.”