Former first lady Michelle Obama reached out to fellow Democrats urging them to “vote like the future of our democracy depends on it.”
The wife of former President Barack Obama appears to have jumped into the 2022 midterm election cycle with a letter condemning Republicans, calling for federal voting rights laws, and announcing an action plan to get 1 million people registered to vote before November.
Running as a full-page ad in the New York Times through the progressive group When We All Vote which she founded, Obama’s letter started off by condemning the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
“One year ago, we witnessed an unprecedented assault on our Capitol and our democracy,” she wrote. “From Georgia and Florida to Iowa and Texas, states passed laws designed to make it harder for Americans to vote. And in other state legislatures across the nation, lawmakers have attempted to do the same.”
In 2020, millions made their voices heard at the polls. But now, folks who oppose that progress are making it harder to vote. That’s why I’m asking you to join @WhenWeAllVote and 30 other organizations to turn out more voters and urge Congress to pass voting rights legislation. pic.twitter.com/hwgyyuTGy9
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 9, 2022
“This type of voter suppression is not new. Generations of Americans have persevered through poll taxes, literacy tests, and laws designed to strip away their power—and they’ve done it by organizing, by protesting, and most importantly, by overcoming the barriers in front of them in order to vote. And now, we’ve got to do the same,” she added.
“We’ve got to vote like the future of our democracy depends on it,” she added. “And we must give Congress no choice but to act decisively to protect the right to vote and make the ballot box more accessible for everyone.”
The former first lady, who has dismissed previous calls for her to run for office, then laid out plans to recruit and train at least 100,000 volunteers throughout the coming year
Dozens of other organizations, including Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight Action and LeBron James’ More Than A Vote joined the effort as well as the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, the National Bar Association, Rock the Vote, and Common Cause.
In 2020 we made our power known at the polls; now, those who oppose progress are working to silence us.
— When We All Vote (@WhenWeAllVote) January 9, 2022
“We stand united in our conviction to organize and turn out voters in the 2022 midterm elections, and make our democracy work for all of us,” Obama wrote, adding that the groups will:
- Recruit and train at least 100,000 volunteers throughout 2022 to register and turn out voters in their communities.
- Register more than a million new voters across the country.
- Organize at least 100,000 Americans to contact their Senators, calling on them to do everything they can to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
- Recruit thousands of lawyers to protect voters in the states where the freedom to vote is threatened.
- Commit to educate voters on how to vote safely in their state.
“As John Lewis said, ‘Democracy is not a state. It is an act.’ And protecting it requires all of us. That’s why his generation organized, marched, and died to defend the very rights that are under attack today. And it’s why we’re calling on community leaders, organizations, businesses and all Americans to join our efforts in this critical moment for our history and the future of our country,” Obama’s letter concluded.
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