Words Alone Are Not Enough, Says Democracy Initiative

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

For Immediate Release:

Words Alone Are Not Enough, Says Democracy Initiative:
Time for Corporate America to Join
Nationwide Fight for Fair Elections

The following statement is from Wendy Fields, Executive Director of the Democracy Initiative

Ms. Fields will speak at a virtual “Vote for Our Lives” rally on Tuesday, June 9 at 7 pm ET, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rev. William Barber and labor leader Delores Huerta

“At this moment of crisis, we’re seeing corporate America sharing advertisements and social media messages supporting “Black Lives Matter.” But words alone are not enough; we need to seize the opportunity for change and take concrete action. Right now, that means actively supporting the call for Congress to fully fund safe and equitable elections amid the pandemic.

“As a Black woman, I live with the painful reality that the brutal knee of racism can take away the breath of life, the basic right to vote and the bread and butter that feeds my family. The 75 partner organizations of the Democracy Initiative know how important voting and fair elections are to combatting the structural and strategic racism that has been used for decades by the wealthy and powerful who defend their positions of privilege by actively demonizing people of color and stoking fear in white communities.

“Now is the time to reject any scheme to divide us, and instead focus on aggressive efforts to overcome voter suppression, renew our democratic institutions and expand civic participation.

“Our bold, audacious goal is to move to a culture of 75 percent participation by eligible voters. The HEROES Act, passed by the U.S. House and now before the U.S. Senate, includes $3.6 billion to support local and state elections.

“If you really want change, if you really want to end polarization and begin to undo racism, it must start with expanded vote-by-mail and safe in-person voting options as part of a fully-funded safe, accessible and equitable election in 2020.

“Corporations have thousands and thousands of lobbyists in Washington and spend millions to influence elections. On behalf of our Board of Directors and the 45 million members represented by our coalition, I am urging every one of them to call, write and Tweet the U.S. Senate to immediately provide $3.6 billion for safe, fair and equitable voting. The last thing we need is soothing platitudes and hollow rhetoric. We need to put our money where our values are and take real action to remove obstacles to voting.”

 

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The Democracy Initiative is a coalition of 75 organizations with a collective 45 million members fighting for workers, civil rights, social justice and the environment. DI partner organizations are united in their commitment to realizing the promise of American democracy where all people have an equal seat at the governance table.