On Friday, July 2nd, Indivisible AVL turned out on the steps of the Historic County Courthouse in Hendersonville, in front of Sen. Tillis’s WNC office, in a show of support for the critical voting rights protections and democracy reforms in the FOR THE PEOPLE ACT (Senate bill S.1). This Deadline for Democracy Rally was part of a nationwide campaign, with over 375 events in 40 states and Washington DC held during the July Congressional recess (June 28 through July 10), to call attention to the urgency of passing the FOR THE PEOPLE ACT.
We opened with a solemn reading from five of our nation’s founding documents:
- The Declaration of Independence
- The Preamble to the Constitution
- The Bill of Rights
- The Emancipation Proclamation
- The Gettysburg Address
You can listen to the readings, which begin at the 5:45 minute mark in the video below.
Rescuing the Stars of Freedom
Senators Tillis and Burr, along with every other Republican in the Senate, have opposed the democracy protections included in the FOR THE PEOPLE ACT.
Each of these key reforms was represented by a star, rescued from the trash where Sen.Tillis would leave it, then placed on the top of the Statue of Liberty:
- VOTING RIGHTS—“By blocking the For The People Act, Tillis and Republicans are greenlighting voter suppression, intimidation, and even the act of changing the outcome of elections when they don’t like the results. The For The People Act guarantee access to voter registration, early voting, mail-in ballots, and equal treatment at the polls.”
- FAIR MAPS—“By blocking the For The People Act, Tillis and Republicans are allowing extreme partisan gerrymandering to determine how we draw congressional districts, allowing those in power to choose their voters instead of voters choosing their representatives. The For The People Act will outlaw partisan gerrymandering and make the redistricting process more transparent and nonpartisan.”
- CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM—“By blocking the For The People Act, Tillis and the other Republicans are making sure we have auctions, not elections. The For The People Act will reform campaign finance and keep dark money out of politics.”
- ELECTION SECURITY—“By blocking the For The People Act, Tillis and the Republicans are leaving obsolete voting systems open to breakdowns and foreign interference. The For The People Act will strengthen the security of our elections with paper ballots, election audits, and oversight of private vendors.“
- ETHICS—“By blocking the For The People Act, Tillis and Republicans are making sure that corruption and conflicts of interest are allowed to run unchecked in our elected officials. The For The People Act will require transparency and honesty for candidates and elected officials, so we can trust that OUR representatives are working for US, not their own self-interests.”
We ended with the singing of the national anthem and a pledge to continue to fight for democracy, as long as it takes.
Our message for Senators Tillis and Burr is clear: “Democracy is not a partisan issue. WE support Voting Rights, Fair Maps, Campaign Finance Reform, Election Security, and Ethics in Government. And YOU SHOULD, TOO!”
For more on the rally and the For The People Act, read the speaker’s notes here.
For next-step actions and downloadable postcards for your senators, click here.
Rally photos courtesy of Jonathan Ross & Edwin Shelton.