States will get $400 million to make voting in the coronavirus presidential election easier and safer, but with almost no strings attached, under the massive economic recovery package unveiled Wednesday.
The pot of money in the nearly $2 trillion stimulus deal, on a fast track to pass the Senate by day's end with the House vote timetable uncertain, is the result of an unusually intense and coordinated lobbying campaign by some of the major players in the democracy reform movement.
While celebrating a rare victory for one of their causes, some groups nonetheless said they would seek much more money in what's likely to be another pandemic response package from Congress this spring. These groups warned the initial infusion of cash will prove insufficient to prevent justifiable anxiety about voting this fall, and that an absence of any legislative mandates will allow too much of the grant money to get spent unwisely.
While the novel coronavirus has upended life across the country, the democracy reform community is sounding determined to stay on course through an election year that could prove pivotal for its goals.
The rapid spread of Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenge to lobbyists and advocates for all causes, including those working to fix the broken political system. Not only have logistics been jumbled and planned campaigns threatened, but the public and the nation's policymakers are now singularly focused on the pandemic and the economic collapse it's threatening — leaving almost no room for discussing any other national ills.
Highlighting how fix-the-system efforts are in limbo, one of the most prominent and best-financed advocacy groups, RepresentUs, planned to announce that its Unrig convention, scheduled to take place in eight weeks, would be postponed for at least several months.
At the same time, the infectious and potentially deadly virus is also scrambling the democracy reform agenda, with an optimistic coalition rapidly assembling behind what had been a second-tier cause: expanding access to the polls by making voting at home the American standard.
- Meet anti-corruption organizers in your area.
- Learn about what you can do to help unrig our system both locally and nationally.
- Discuss the American Anti-Corruption Act and what we can do to support it.
If you are interested in making Bay Area work for everyday people want to learn how you can contribute, join the presentation and become a part of the movement!
Location: Berkeley Bowl West Community Room, 920 Heinz Ave., Berkeley, CA
If you've never been to Springfield to meet with your legislators before, this is a great opportunity! On the morning of the 26th, buses will pick people up from across the state to head to Springfield. With the help of CHANGE Illinois staff and our coalition partners, participants will have a chance to meet with their elected officials and urge them to support fair maps and come together for a massive rally in the State Capitol with some great speakers.
When it comes to ending gerrymandering, there is such a thing as being too late. If our legislators don't take action in the next 100 days, we will be stuck with politically-motivated maps that allow politicians to choose their own voters for the next decade. That's why it is so important that we have you at this rally.
Location: Illinois State Capitol, 301 S 2nd St., Springfield IL