Our biweekly lists lay out notable issues in the news and tell you what you can do about them.
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Hi Teen Resisters!
Hope you and your loved ones are staying safe & doing well. This week's list covers the new Georgia voting law,
Before you dive in, we wanted to draw your attention to a few quick things:
Take care of & be kind to yourselves if you are feeling exhausted, hopeless and/or burned out. (As the NYT recently wrote, We Have All Hit a Wall.) Thank you always for all your amazing work!
Peace & power,
what went down
The results of these changes are predicted to include much longer wait times and less access to voting in more urban areas such as Atlanta, which have a higher population of Black people and are also majority Democratic. By getting rid of the ability to bring snacks and water, the policy discourages people even further from waiting in line.
Republicans have focused the branding on the voter ID part of the policy-- which is supported by the majority of Americans for its seeming common sense, but in reality, is a policy that will create new inequities because of ID access, and isn’t necessary at all because voter fraud is so incredibly low. The policies all fit into the long history of voter suppression in America (read more history from us here).
The main policy meant to protect against laws like this is the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Prior to 2013, one of the most important sections of the VRA was Section 5, which required a certain group of states with histories of voter suppression (including Georgia) to get pre-clearance from the Dept. of Justice on any election-related changes. A Biden DOJ evaluation would have likely stopped this new Georgia law in its tracks. Unfortunately, in 2013, the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 in the infamous Shelby v. Holder case; the justification that Chief Justice John Roberts used in his opinion was that the pre-clearance policy was no longer necessary, and could not justify disparate treatment to states. At the time, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented by saying that the fact that preclearance seemed unnecessary-- that voter suppression had gone down-- was just proof that it was working, and taking it away would be foolish. She was, of course, correct.
Now, the main function of the VRA in opposition to laws like this, is Section 2, which prohibits any election practices that discriminate on the basis of race. The problem with this is that it is based on proven effects, not pre-clearance, and so usually Section 2 lawsuits (many of which have been filed for this law) take years and elections to complete.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act intends to repair the damage done by Shelby v. Holder by circumventing the parts of Section 5 that the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional and reinstate preclearance. We will give resources to push for this act in the action section.
There has also been an outbreak of protests in opposition of this law. There have been boycotts on companies that stayed silent during this process. This has pushed many businesses to take a stand and speak out against the suppression this law promotes. Yet, the fight is not over. All across the state, people are voicing this disapproval of the new voting law and are attempting to hold big corporations accountable to receive more support from more powerful industries.
WHAT YOU CAN DO (for now):
As the movement’s website explains, the pandemic has led over two million women to leave the workforce to care for their children. Direct payments to all, it claims, are the best way to help these families until they regain a stable source of income.
The proposal has been quite popular, with many famous and powerful figures backing the idea. Among them are celebrities like Stephen Curry, Eva Longoria, and Charlize Theron, and politicians like Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang.
What led to this movement, anyway?
The pandemic has hurt almost everyone economically, but the movement especially reflects the U.S.’ inadequate support for families with children. Key welfare programs like universal child care, pre-kindergarten, and paid parental leave are unavailable to them, despite being a mainstay in other developed countries.
In the past year, over 2 million women left the labor force and millions more cut back on their hours; many of them are moms who did so to pick up the slack of caregiving that resulted from remote school. This has particularly affected moms of color and low-income moms.
Our society expects moms, and women in general, to pick up caregiving needs in times of crisis, and the pandemic is no exception. These articles explain more:
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The need for food insecurity assistance in New York is more dire now than ever. To contribute to this amazing project find a Community Fridge below using this locator map. If there is not a community fridge near your home, do what many other volunteers have and start your own community fridge!
If you would like to donate food, money, or time to a Hunger charity click on a link below:
This list was written by Ananya Gera, Christopher Giang, Samantha Desch, Kate Griem, and Sonia Chajet Wides
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