Fighting for our freedom to vote



Hello, Daily Kos Community, and welcome back to Daily Kos Week in Action! This weekly series from the Daily Kos Activism team shares the issues we’re working on, and gets your feedback on where we might focus our future efforts.

This week, with Martin Luther King Day, we focused on gathering grassroots support on voting rights. We also started new environmental campaigns to continue advocating for new legislation that begins the hard work of tackling climate change. Let’s find out more about those actions.

Our Freedom to Vote

Voting rights continues to be at the forefront of Daily Kos’ priorities this week. Democrats suffered a terrible blow on Wednesday after Republicans used the filibuster—a Senate rule requiring 60 votes to advance legislationto block a historic voting rights bill. Regardless of what happens in Congress, we, together with our partner organizations, activists, and grassroots supporters like you, refuse to give up the essential freedom to vote that makes a democracy work.

Republicans have shrouded themselves with lies to excuse taking our freedoms away with an onslaught of voting restriction bills. They have pushed our democracy to teeter on a razor-thin edge. Conservative propaganda has convinced one in three Americans that Joe Biden was not legitimately elected. That tension is poised to burst if we don’t restore faith in our democratic institutions with transparency and accountability.

That is why we helped gather grassroots support for several phonebanks and letter campaigns, and will continue to do so until voting rights legislation passes both chambers of Congress. Just this month you have helped us send out over 100,000 letters to Senate members urging them to support voting rights legislation. We must continue to push our leaders on this point if we hope to keep our democracy intact.

Join us in the fight for voting rights by taking these actions and signing up to phonebank:

More Fuel to the Fire

Thick gray flares from a Valero refinery overlook the community of Manchester in Houston, Texas. The refinery is a petrochemical facility that produces plastic pellets, and it’s near the neighborhood’s only greenspace, Hartman Park. The smoke plumes obscure clear skies to the children playing in the park. It’s part of the air they breathe as they rush down the slides and jump onto the swing in a place surrounded by industrial complexes oozing toxic chemicals. The population in that area lives within one mile of a facility that handles hazardous substances. Across the nation, fossil fuel polluters are destroying communities just like Manchester.  

A study of such communities by the Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services found “compelling evidence that Houston-area communities with higher populations of color and higher poverty levels face higher risks from chemical accidents and everyday toxic exposure.” Big Oil deliberately places industrial facilities in more often vulnerable communities of Black and brown folks living in poverty.

Daily Kos has been fighting to expose the fossil fuel industry for what they aregrifters more than content to see the planet burn to line their own pockets. Oil and gas companies have been systematically gaslighting us for years. The industry uses manipulative rhetoric by describing climate as a “risk” versus reality and consumer energy as a “demand” versus supply to create a “Fossil Fuel Savior” framework. That framework downplays the existence and urgency of climate change, normalizes fossil fuel dependency, and shifts responsibility onto the consumer.

The Activism team has launched several campaigns to combat Big Oil’s lies, including a campaign against fossil fuels subsidies, which only adds fuel to the fire. The purpose of government subsidies is to help industries the government wants to promote. While our planet is literally on fire, the last thing we should be doing is promoting the oil industry’s expansion. If the government won’t stop them completely, they at least shouldn’t be helping.

We also launched a campaign promoting the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act introduced in the Senate by Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley. Plastic pollution is so pervasive you can find microplasticsfragments of any type of plastic less than 5 mm in length, from a variety of sources, including cosmetics, clothing, and industrial processeseverywhere, from the summit of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans. We can’t continue to treat our land, waterways, and oceans as dumping grounds for our plastic waste.

Help us in the fight against Big Oil with these actions:

Thank you to all our readers for continuing to join us in the fight for a better, more equitable future for us all. Please let us know what issues you think we should work on next!


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