If you weren’t already proud of Texas Democrats for blocking the Jim Crow voter suppression bills in the 11th hour of the 87th Legislature, this week, Texas Democrats flew to Washington DC and got Joe Manchin to see the light.
Texas Democrats are rock stars! For years, the Democratic base has said repeatedly that our elected officials need to stand up to Republicans and quit being pushovers. So when they walked out of the 87th Legislature and stopped the Texas GOP from taking us back to 1950, we were so proud. Not only did Democrats stop the GOP from walking all over us, but they were also Texas Democrats.
Here in Texas, we’ve been dealing with loons and oppressive elected Republicans for years, and our Democrats handled them so well that it made Greg Abbott cry. But, while that moment was great and will forever be burned into the etches of our minds, it didn’t end the battle over voting rights in Texas.
With Greg Abbott threatening a special session and Joe Manchin refusing to get behind the “For the People Act,” it’s clear that we still have a battle ahead of us.
Texas Democrats have true grit and aren’t going to let that happen.
A handful of them reached into their own pockets and hopped a plane to Washington DC. They met with Kamala Harris, Amy Klobachar, and they met with Joe Manchin.
Here are the amazing Texas Democrats who went to DC:
- Senator Royce West
- Senator Carol Alvarado
- Senator Jose Menendez
- Representative Chris Turner
- Representative Senfronia Thompson
- Representative Rafael Anchia
- Representative Jessica Gonzalez
- Representative Jasmine Crockett
- Representative Trey Martinez Fischer
- Representative Nicole Collier
- Representative Armando Martinez
- Representative Gina Hinojosa
- Representative Diego Bernal
- Representative Armando Walle
- Representative Victoria Neave
- Representative Yvonne Davis
Please take the time to call, email, or drop a note on social media to each of these amazing people and thank them for fighting for democracy.
Do you know what they did?
After meeting with Senator Joe Manchin, they managed to get him to budge on voting rights.
Representative Chris Turner was on Joy Reid the other night talking about the meeting with Joe Manchin. He said that the voting laws in Virginia are much different than the voting laws in Texas. Once Texas Democrats could explain what the Republicans were trying to do in Texas, he said he was willing to compromise on the “For the People Act.”
After meeting with Texas Democrats, Manchin said he would support:
- Making Election Day a public holiday
- Expand early voting to at least 15 consecutive days
- Ban partisan gerrymandering
- Allowing automatic voter registration at the DMV
- Require voter ID with allowable alternatives to provide identity to vote
Sure, it’s not everything that Democrats asked for in SR1, but automatic voter registration and ending partisan gerrymandering, alone would flip Texas blue.
Texas is about 42% white, and our maps have been drawn intentionally to make sure that Black and brown people don’t have a voice and urban areas are stuck with Republicans who don’t represent them. It’s been a problem for a while, and ever since SCOTUS overturned the preclearance part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, it’s only gotten worse.
If Texas maps were drawn fairly, everyone in Texas would have elected representation, which they don’t have right now.
Texas Democrats are heroes because they got Joe Manchin to budge when no one else could.
The fight is far from over, SR1 still has to be voted for in the Senate, and the filibuster is still a problem. Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans still might call a special session to implement some other creative way to take away voting rights. But at least we know that Texas Democrats will be at the forefront, fighting for democracy and fighting for our rights to vote.
Don’t forget to thank them.
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