“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
―Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s demanded the equal participation of every citizen in our democracy. As one of the architects, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that true democracy was a prize worth pursuing urgently, even at the cost of his life.
By lowering voting barriers for Black Americans, the 1965 Voting Rights Act had a ripple effect. Indigenous Americans and low-income people of all races benefitted from more opportunities to vote. A decade later, the Act was expanded to include Latino voters. This is how good policy focused on improving lives can work: major progress sets the stage for the work still undone.
Unfortunately, the same anti-democratic forces that opposed giving all citizens the right to vote then are still working to preserve their power. They’ve had some success. When the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act at the federal level, the right to vote was sent back to the states to determine. In states where rightwing majorities control elections, they are passing laws to limit voting rights while trying to give themselves the right to select election winners, regardless of who the people elect.
This is a moment for “vigorous and positive action.” To pick up the baton and continue to honor the legacy of those who sacrificed for our future — people like Dr. King.
We believe that building governing power for state lawmakers is the most effective way to protect every citizen’s right to vote and preserve our democracy. Let’s work together against apathy and complacency today: share this article with two people you want to join you to protect our democracy — now.