This year tested the strength and resilience of our democracy.
The right-wing backlash to the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and a Democratic Congress was immediate. We heard cries for recounts and false accusations of a ‘stolen’ election. Conservatives used every trick at their disposal to use the “Big Lie” to roll back voting rights—decrying vote by mail, drawing partisan district maps, and passing voter suppression laws across the country.
How did the Stand Up America community respond? We fought back. In massive numbers.
Together, we made over 200,000 calls to Congress and state legislatures, sent over 175,000 emails to lawmakers; collected over 400,000 signatures urging President Biden to help end the filibuster; and submitted over 25,000 letters to the editor to educate our communities on the threats facing our democracy. And now, we’re closer than ever to passing the most sweeping voting rights legislation in a generation.
We refuse to give up the fight to protect and expand our voting rights and make our democracy work for everyone. Realizing a more representative democracy is a marathon, not a sprint, and we appreciate you running beside us.
VICTORIES TO CELEBRATE
In January, we started the year off strong with the Georgia Senate run-offs, getting out the vote through phone banking and texting, and helping to win Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock’s Senate seats. With these key victories, Democrats gained control of both chambers of Congress.
Across the country, we rolled up our sleeves to work alongside local partners on the ground to protect voting rights and expand our democracy for all. We fought for and secured voting rights for tens of thousands of formerly incarcerated people in New York State and Connecticut. We also won statewide access to mail-in voting in Nevada and stopped a number of voter suppression bills from becoming law in Arizona.
In the House of Representatives, we won a number of big victories throughout the year. The For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act were passed. For the first time, legislation to make Washington, D.C. our 51st state passed in the House. Finally, the House also passed the Protecting Our Democracy Act (PODA) this November, which would make sure that no president is above the law by instating much needed checks and balances on the office.
The Senate is another story. Conservative senators continued to abuse the filibuster throughout the year, blocking voting rights four times in 2021. But, in recent days, we’ve seen more senators go on the record in support of protecting our freedom to vote by amending the filibuster, bringing us closer than ever before to passing these bills into law.
As we end the year, our one remaining impediment to federal action to protect our democracy? The filibuster.
Recent media reports suggest that behind the scenes, filibuster negotiations are heating up. Democratic senators are having serious conversations about changing the filibuster to pass voting rights. And President Biden is putting the fight to protect our freedom to vote front and center. We’ll be continuing the fight to end the filibuster, protect our voting rights, and pass the Protecting Our Democracy Act in the new year.
The Stand Up community played a key role in getting out the vote in 2020, and you’ll be hearing from us in 2022 about how you can plug in to some of the most important races. We’ll be keeping an eye on any new voter suppression bills popping up in state legislatures and opportunities to continue our streak of actually winning increased access to voting rights in the states.
Finally, we’re facing some difficult SCOTUS decisions, particularly around reproductive rights, the environment, and gun safety. In 2021, we helped get 42 House Democrats on board as cosponsors of the Judiciary Act—which would rebalance the court by adding four seats. Next year, we’re doubling down to build an even bigger groundswell in Congress. Rebalancing the Supreme Court won’t happen overnight, but we need everyone to know that the number of judges on the court can and should be changed to protect our most basic rights.
It’s not easy to watch the foundations of our democracy continue to be chipped away at before our eyes. But progress is just within reach—and there have been bright spots, even this year. The Stand Up America community is ready to defend our democracy in 2022. Please consider chipping in to help us demand the democracy we deserve.
We’re on the brink of securing the national voting standards our country so dearly needs. If you’re ready for the fight ahead, consider funding our future work together. Every bit counts to help achieve the more representative democracy we deserve.