What's on Our Mind 9-22-2023

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and his extremist colleagues are currently wielding significant influence in the House, pushing an agenda that is compromising the well-being of Americans and threatening our democracy. Today, on the verge of a government shutdown, the GOP shuffled home because infighting within the party prevented the passage of a funding bill to keep the government open.
They have chosen to focus on frivolous investigations and impeachment inquiries while the country is desperately waiting for relief from assault weapons. Women are facing horrific medical complications because there is no federal law guaranteeing them access to reproductive health care. At the same time, our Earth is literally melting, even as the extreme GOP dismisses it as a hoax.
This inaction is a direct result of the Democrats not controlling the House. With six more seats in Congress and an additional 6,600 votes, our world would have looked much different. We would have a Democratic speaker who would have ensured that our issues were protected and our democracy would not become a political football.
We know what’s at stake. We have painfully lived through four years of a dangerous and tumultuous Trump presidency that nearly ripped our country apart. Fourteen months from now, America will hold an election. It is critical that all eligible voters are able to vote.Unfortunately, many will be unable to vote due to voter suppression laws in their states.
On Tuesday, lawmakers in Congress reintroduced the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act for National Voter Registration Day. The Act seeks to strengthen voting rights by expanding the government's ability to respond to voting discrimination. To date, at least 11 states have enacted 13 restrictive voting laws, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Our vote is our voice, and it belongs to every eligible voter, regardless of where they live.
What can you do?
Call your Representative and Senators and urge them to support the John Lewis voting bill.
Make sure you and everyone you know are registered to vote. Click here for voter registration information.
Become a voter registrar. Contact the JAC office for more information.
In the meantime, we must continue to hope that, in the words of Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), “Congress will honor the sacrifices of those who marched, struggled, and even died to secure the right to vote and will rediscover the bipartisan spirit that once animated our work to protect the rights of all Americans to vote.”
Voting has consequences.