by Gara LaMarche
March 25, 2021
The horrific attacks in Atlanta and Boulder have brought gun violence, the national scourge that resurfaces on a sickeningly regular basis, back to the forefront of the national conversation. Vast majorities support necessary and sensible gun regulation, but we seem unable to achieve it, no matter how many innocents are slaughtered.
Why is that? It’s because the outsized role of money in politics enables groups like the NRA to block vital reforms. It’s because the Senate filibuster, a tool of the Jim Crow era, is a straitjacket for much progressive legislation. It’s because voting restrictions and gerrymandering perpetuate minority rule. The same is true for many other key progressive priorities where our plans have majority support, but we can’t get traction.
DA Partners are deeply engaged in leadership on this issue. Ning Mosberger-Tang has organized a Democracy Working Group that meets every Friday, has heard from key experts like voting rights litigator Marc Elias and grassroots leaders from Arizona and West Virginia, identified organizations and initiatives for focused investment, and raised $670,000 for those priorities so far.
We are off to a great start with the sweeping American Rescue Plan, the greatest piece of progressive legislation since the Great Society. But as President Biden and Congressional leaders have stressed, the next set of urgent priorities – infrastructure, climate change, immigration reform and more – may depend on the urgent reforms needed to make sure our legislative processes and our elections at every level fairly reflect the increasingly diverse and progressive American majority.