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This is the make-or-break week for democracy reform. 

Last week, Chuck Schumer vowed to hold a vote on democracy reform and the filibuster by Martin Luther King Day -- one week from today. That means we have under a week to ensure that Democrats in the Senate are prepared to fix the filibuster and pass the Freedom to Vote Act, with or without Republican help. 

Here’s what we expect will happen: Sometime before Monday, we think there’ll be another failed Motion to Proceed on the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Then, we think Schumer will bring forward a motion to change or eliminate the filibuster (details: still TBD) that would allow these bills to pass with a simple majority (i.e. actual democracy), rather than a supermajority (i.e. allowing the GOP to block even the most popular bills). There will likely be debate on that rules change, culminating in a final vote on filibuster reform next Monday, January 17. If we win that filibuster reform vote, we can finally have an up-or-down vote on the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

We’re putting just about everything else on hold to devote all our resources to get this over the finish line, and we need you to do the same. So with no further ado, here are your weekly to-dos:

 Your (democracy) weekly to-dos 

  1. Sign up for an MLK Weekend voting rights event. This is the highest-impact (and maybe most fun!) thing you can do to get democracy reform over the finish line. Whether you’re joining MLK Jr.’s family in Arizona or DC or other activists at events nationwide, this is your chance to show your elected officials, neighbors, and the press that we demand voting rights. 
  2. Make some calls! Depending on who you are represented by (or not represented by) make one or both of the calls below:
    • If you have a Democratic senator (or two!): Use this script to call them (every day!). Tell them you expect them to not just vote for voting rights and abolish the filibuster to do it, but to put pressure on their colleagues to do the same. 
    • If you don’t have senators or have a Republican senator: Use this script to call the White House and tell President Biden’s team that you need him to be a champion for democracy. 
    • Text INDIVISIBLE to 97779 to join our mobile rapid response team, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There’s going to be a lot of news over the next week and we’ll get info to you as fast as we can. Text messages and social will likely be the places we can most quickly activate. 

P.S. This week is the culmination of more than a year of work, and we’re throwing everything we have at winning. That means a brand new peer-to-peer texting program, a custom-made website, event support, organizing, swag, and more. All of that costs a lot and since we don’t take any corporate money or money from politicians, we need you. If you’re able, please click here to support this week of action and all we do.

 What about the GOP's "compromise" plans? 

There’s going to be a lot of chatter in the next week about various schemes the GOP comes up with to “compromise” on voting rights.

We’ve already seen Republicans try it — just last week, Republicans all of a sudden declared their interest in working on a bipartisan basis to reform the Electoral Count Act, the law that governs how presidential election results should be certified by Congress. We agree that the Electoral Count Act is woefully out of date and needs reforms, but this is a trap. It is a last-minute attempt on the part of Republicans to divert attention away from the momentum behind the democracy reform bills that are actually moving — the Freedom to Vote Act and the VRA — because they know those bills actually address the root cause of what’s ailing our democracy: gerrymandering, voter suppression, dark money, and more. It makes no sense to pass reforms to the Electoral Count Act on their own. A valid count of election results is meaningless if the election itself was rigged.

So what should you do? It’s simple: Don’t get distracted. If a GOPer’s proposed plan seems out of character or too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t let them win the messaging fight by amplifying their messages. We’ll be working hard to communicate out the real state of play and what’s happening, and if you’re ever confused, feel free to email us (yes, we do check this email, even though it’s called “no reply”) and we’ll do our best to help clarify.

Interested in working to help combat misinformation more generally? Check out the Indivisible Truth Brigade, who do just that!

 National Events 

There are four national events we want to draw your attention to this week, all related to democracy. Please do your best to come to all three, this is one of those weeks we really need all-hands-on-deck.

Tuesday afternoon: President Biden is addressing the nation from Georgia (time still TBD, but after 2pm ET -- keep an eye on news coverage for more details). We expect the White House to stream the event on their website. We’ll be looking for him to take a strong stand supporting passing the Freedom to Vote Act, and if and when he does, we’re asking you all to get loud on social media in support of him and the bill. This is a great time to show how much momentum Democrats have! 

Wednesday at 8pm ET/5pm PT: Movement Organizing Call with voting rights leaders and activists. On this call, we and partner organizations will update you on the path forward for federal voting rights legislation, and provide more information on the MLK Day events and how you can plug in!

Thursday at 9pm ET/5pm PT: The Indivisible National Activist Call is a space held on the first Thursday of every month for activists, group leaders, and new members alike. Join Indivisibles across the country as we discuss what’s coming this weekend and look ahead to 2022: getting our advocacy priorities across the finish line, previewing our midterm election strategy, and more. Additionally, we'll look back at the January 6 insurrection one year removed and talk about where things stand on democracy reform.

Nationwide MLK Weekend Events: This MLK Day, we follow the call to action presented to us by the King family, including Martin Luther King III, Arndrea Waters King, and Yolanda Renee King. There will be no celebration without voting rights legislation, including the Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the Washington D.C. Admissions Act. The King family will lead the charge alongside voting rights advocates chanting Dr. King's Historic Call: Give Us the Ballot! This weekend, communities across the country will gather to mark MLK Day and to raise our voices to demand our elected officials pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, without letting outdated Senate loopholes get in the way. Click here to find an event in your community!

 IndivisiWin of the Week 

A tweet from @IndivisibleHCAN. There are two photos of people in warm clothes standing on a street corner at night, holding signs that support voting rights. The tweet text reads Lots of honks at #Jan6Vigil. Out here in the cold to #DefendDemocracy Pass the #FreedomToVoteAct and the #JohnLewisVotingRightsAct @IndivisibleTeam @pa_indivisible
Pennsylvania Indivisibles joined others across the nation in a vigil and call-to-action last week on the anniversary of the attempted coup in January 2021. They know that the insurrection wasn’t a one-time event: it was a dramatic enactment of ongoing attacks on our democracy, and the only way to end them is to pass real democracy reform right away.

This week is going to be busy, and we’re going to ask a lot of you. But that’s because we know when push comes to shove, Indivisibles are always ready to stand up for what’s right.

In solidarity,
Indivisible Team

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Indivisible Project is a locally-led, people-powered movement of thousands of local groups in red, blue, and purple states, and in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Our mission is to power and lift up a grassroots movement of local groups to defeat the Trump agenda, elect progressive leaders, and realize bold progressive policies.

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