Michelle Obama wades into 2022 election cycle, urging Americans to ‘Fight For Our Vote’

In a speech entitled “The Fight for Our Vote” which was Published Sunday as an ad in the New York Times, Obama and her “When We All Vote” advocacy organization called on Americans to continue engaging in democracy amid a historic attack on voting rights.

The letter — which comes as Congress has yet to act on federal-level voting rights legislation — was signed by 30 other civic participation, voting rights, and voter mobilization organizations including the NAACP, Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight Action, Voto Latino Foundation and NextGen America and LeBron James’ Over Vote and Rock the Vote.

“We are united in our conviction to organize and vote out the 2022 midterm elections, and to make our democracy work for all of us,” Obama wrote in the letter.

The former first lady laid out a plan of action and said that over the next year, when we all vote and a coalition of other organizations they will “recruit and train at least 100,000 volunteers” and “register over a million new voters.”

Obama said the coalition will also recruit thousands of lawyers to protect American voters, work to educate Americans on how to ensure their voting is safe, and encourage at least 100,000 Americans to call on senators to support the Freedom of Voting Act and the John Lewis Act. The Voting Rights Advancement Act, two proposed laws that faltered in the Senate as a result of the stalling, require 60 votes to overcome.

Obama’s letter — published days after the first anniversary of the riots at the US Capitol — noted the rebellion and a slew of voting restrictions passed statewide across the country in its wake. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has pledged the House will vote on whether to change pending legislative rules for the Senate by Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 17, if Republicans block recent Democrats’ efforts to advance voting rights legislation.

Citing obstacles to reaching the vote around Date, Obama wrote that in 2022, Americans must continue to fight for their rights.

“Generations of Americans have persevered through ballot taxes, literacy tests, and laws designed to strip them of their power—and they have done so by organizing, protesting, and most importantly, by overcoming barriers to voting,” Obama wrote. We do the same.”

Obama added: “We must give Congress no choice but to act decisively to protect the right to vote and to make the ballot box accessible to all.”

Whereas when We All Vote previously focused on voter registration and mobilizationAnd The organization recently added an emphasis on education and advocacy.

Last year, Obama and celebrities including Tom Hanks, Tracy Ellis Ross and Kerry Washington called on Americans to encourage senators to support a bill for the people, a sweeping voting rights package later blocked by Senate Republicans.

“We spent all of 2021 really fighting for federal voting rights legislation. Over 20,000 people took action (advocacy) with us (last year), and we knew we were going this year, and we saw that Congress wasn’t acting, that stalling was happening by the way, we realized that we really had to take matters into our own hands,” Stephanie Young, CEO of When We All Vote, told CNN.

“We know, ultimately, that we will not be able to outsource when it comes to reforming and modernizing our voting system, replacing federal legislation, and for that reason it is twofold,” Young said..

The Coalition of Signatures to the Obama Pledge was formed to bring together some of the largest voting rights organizations.

For its part, Fair Fight Action — the organization founded by voting rights advocate and Democratic candidate for Georgia Governor Stacy Abrams — has worked to protect the right to vote in Georgia and across the country.

“Fair Fight Action’s work with dedicated voting rights activists across Georgia has resulted in massive gains in voter registration in our state—particularly among voters of color, who have helped lead the call for important federal voting rights legislation to protect our democracy while also preventing Republicans,” Hillary Holley said. Organizing Director of Fair Fight Action, she told CNN that “the most dangerous anti-voter proposals are in state legislatures.”

Now, with the Republican-led campaign of voter suppression intensifying in state homes across the country, Fair Fight Action is proud to join Michelle Obama and When We All Vote alongside other civil rights and voting rights organizations to fight against the Republican anti-voter agenda. “We stand ready to work with our allies to recruit new volunteers and continue to organize Americans to pressure the Senate to pass new federal protections for voting rights at a time when we need it more than ever,” Holly said.

For her part, Young said that this type of alliance is the first such initiative of When We All Vote.

“While these groups have worked closely together for years, we have never seen them come together with concrete common goals in this way before,” Young said of the alliance.

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