If you are like me, you might have commented from time to time that 2020 feels like the worst year ever. It’s been rough. Many of us are just entering Phase 1 of our states’ re-opening plans. We’ve seen challenges to our democracy, a global pandemic, and more Black lives lost because of the color of their skin. It’s hard not to feel hopeless. But what if 2020 is actually a turning point?
Yes, America is going through some very difficult labor pains right now, but I believe that our democracy can be reborn. I believe that now, more than ever, we have the power to change our country and our society for the better. Right now, there is an awakening the likes of which I’ve never seen in my life, and I am, for the first time in a long time, hopeful.
This past week, we’ve seen people from throughout the country exercise their First Amendment right in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. You may have already joined the many protests happening throughout the country or may be planning to participate in one in the coming weeks. You also may be new to protesting and not really sure how to “show up” at a public demonstration. For that reason, LWUS developed a resource for you on How to be Good Allies at the Protests.
Today, the LWV UN observers joined a coalition letter asking the United Nations Human Rights Council to conduct an inquiry into the recent violence against African Americans. New justice reform legislation is also being introduced, and LWVUS will be evaluating these bills for opportunities to lean in.
As Americans are rising up to demand police accountability, the need for everyone’s voice to be heard in our elections is clear, but that is at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Join Speaker Nancy Pelosi, voting rights leader Reverend Barber, civil rights and labor icon Dolores Huerta, and representatives of voting rights and racial justice organizations on Tuesday, June 9 at 7pm ET to hear about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our elections and the need to provide funding to ensure we can vote safely during COVID-19.
We recently opened up registration for those wishing to attend our virtual national convention as observers rather than voting delegates. Convention observers cannot submit motions or amendments to motions, participate in debates, or vote. Instead, they will be able to watch the proceedings via YouTube livestream at no cost. To learn more, click the registration button at lwv.org/2020Convention.
Finally, don’t forget to join the LWVUS Organizing team for our second League-wide community call on Tuesday, June 9th at 3pm ET. We invite you to join us for a discussion about power, responsibility, and impact, led by LWVUS staff and League leader Debra Cronmiller of LWV of Wisconsin.
Being democracy defenders means standing up to injustice with all our power: the power of our voices, the power of our resources, and the power of our votes. That is how we continue the push for a more perfect democracy. Thank you for using your power in this moment.