I was incredibly inspired by the stories coming out of Texas this weekend, and I wanted to be sure you all heard about it, too.
As fellow citizens who care about voting rights, I’m sure you remember that last month, the Texas state legislature was trying to jam through an incredibly restrictive voting bill at the very end of their regular session. Well, at the last minute, the Democratic legislators walked out and refused to return for a vote on the terrible bill, which prevented the Republicans from having a quorum (there has to be a minimum number of legislators in order to have a vote count), and the session ended without a resolution on that bill.
Well, Governor Abbott was livid and decided to call a 30 day special session of the legislature to take care of what he called “unfinished business” including the voting rights bill.
(Side note: The list of issues Abbott wants to work on is basically a “Republican gone wild” situation. Punishing transgender kids, attacking CRT, and so on. You can see his agenda HERE. The one thing that every Texan would like to see fixed that’s not on the list? The power grid, of course.)
Back to the restrictive voting bill. The Republicans (who are of course in the majority) chose to hold marathon hearings, in both the state House and state Senate chambers simultaneously, on a weekend, to ram these bills through the special session.
Well, with just a couple days notice, Black Voters Matter, the Texas Right to Vote Coalition, and other advocacy groups organized and got HUNDREDS of activists and citizens from all over Texas to descend on the capitol to testify about the importance of voting rights and how the proposed bill would be tantamount to voter suppression. Some of these activists had to wait until 1am to testify, but they waited to make sure their voice was heard. (One of my Twitter friends was among them and was giving me updates.)
Keep in mind, short of walking out again, there is almost nothing the Democratic legislators can do to stop these bills from passing. But did that sad reality stop all these activists from showing up and exercising their rights as citizens? No, it did not. The issue of voting rights was that important to them and their communities.
I am deeply inspired by their actions, and hope you are, too.
If you want to show your support, I encourage you to make a donation to the Texas Democrats or Black Voters Matter. Also, let this be a reminder to make sure you are plugged into your local organizations that are fighting for the change you want to see in the world.