Democracy Reform: Holiday Wishlist
December 24, 2020
As we look toward 2021, we're calling on activists and administration to make Democracy Reform a priority on Day 1 because a green, just, and peaceful planet depends on it.
Our democracy should be our best tool for advancing climate solutions, but it has been hijacked by fossil fuel interests, and millions of people are blocked from participating through racist restrictions on voting rights and the corroding influence of corporate money in politics.
Although we have been through a lot this year, we’ve remained resilient in strength and energy toward justice in communities, health for our society, and a green and peaceful future for our planet. So it’s only fitting that the FIRST thing on our holiday wish list is passing the For the People Act, also known as House Resolution 1 (HR 1).
Just over a year ago, the House of Representatives passed (and all Senate Democrats cosponsored) the most transformative a once-in-a-generation democracy reform package: HR 1, which will (1) get big money out of politics, (2) make voting simpler, safer, more accessible, and (3) allow us to hold our elected officials accountable – all in one fell swoop.
Our campaigners have been working tirelessly since this bill made it to the floor, and we’re gearing up for 2021 alongside power organizations like Declaration for American Democracy. We also wrote a letter to congress to demand better because, when we can all fairly participate in the democratic process (Black, Brown, Indigenous, working-class people), we can create the kind of future that is best for people and planet.
Although HR 1 has been in a stronghold under our current senate and former president, the solution resides in the SECOND item on our wishlist: Winning in Georgia and flipping the Senate.
We’ve been mobilizing volunteers for months now, and our teams jumped right back in the game after relentless work that resulted in reaching over 4 million climate voters for the presidential election! Now, Greenpeace activists across the country are back at it again increasing voter turnout in Georgia, just in time for the senate runoffs happening in the newly Blue state! Want to join the volunteer team for 2021? Click here to find out more.
It’s no secret that the same people responsible for polluting our air, our water, and resisting efforts to combat climate change also are responsible for polluting our democracy with hundreds of millions of dollars to influence policy-makers and lobbying to silence the voices of the people. Right now, those same people are working to squander our first amendment rights state by state. Our THIRD Holiday wish is to protect the right to protest, especially in Ohio, where a dangerous bill that seeks to intimidate people from protesting at oil, gas, and fracking sites.
Throughout history, people have peacefully protested, died, and defended themselves against undue force for the rights we have today. One of them was civil rights leader, Rep. John R. Lewis, who inspired the FOURTH item on our holiday wishlist: passing HR 4, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 amendment.
The 2013 Shelby v. Holder SCOTUS decision stripped away these protections, but HR 4 could advance us into election transparency, accessibility, and create more checks and balances before a state can change the laws and regulations governing our elections. Coupled with HR 1, this bill could hatch the renewed hope and empowerment we need to put the power of our democracy back into the hands of the people.
As you can see, there’s so much at stake right now and so much more work to restore, protect, and strengthen democracy this holiday season, but rest assured we are winning right now – with a new president-elect, new cabinet selections, a southern blue state – and if that’s not enough, we have some exciting, creative, and impactful people-powered actions for democracy coming in the new year!
The FIFTH item on our wishlist is for you to check out the outstanding work being led by our movement allies (and this great 12 days of congress song):
The campaign for HR51, anchored by DC Vote, aims to give the people who call Washington, DC home, full representation and self-government, just the same as people in other states. Washington, DC is home to more than 700,000 residents, most Black and brown, who pay federal taxes, the amount of which is more taxes than 22 states, but who are denied voting representation in Congress. This is not right. If we truly believe in getting to a healthier future for our planet that means all communities must be fairly represented. A complement to For The People Act, HR1, this bill would be key to empowering communities and paving a pathway to greater equity in our politics.
~Johnathan Butler, Greenpeace Democracy Campaigner
Right now, we have a chance to clean up the corruption in our political system, expand and protect voting rights, and create a democracy that ensures all Americans can have their voices heard.
We are calling for president-elect Biden to make Day 1 for Democracy because this is the kind of reform we need to strengthen our path towards a more green, just, and peaceful planet. We hope you’ll join us for the fight in 2021.