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February 17, 2019
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Voting Rights Act
Posted On: Jan 15, 2019
January 4, 2019
Dear Colleagues:
For many years now, our union has recognized the urgency of fixing our broken democracy. Corporate CEOs and the wealthiest 1% have spent decades rigging the system to reduce our power and we have been finding it harder and harder to engage and win political fights.
The same corporate interests that fight us at the bargaining table are stacking the electoral rules against us through gerrymandering, voter suppression efforts that make it harder for working people to vote and activist conservative judges that have allowed our elections to be flooded with massive amounts of unreported corporate money.
That’s why a number of years ago, CWA chose to lead the way in fighting for critical reforms that would help ensure a fair and functioning democracy for all. We helped found the Democracy Initiative - a national group that has brought together organizations like CWA, the NAACP, Sierra Club and the AFL-CIO to work together on successful campaigns in a number of states.
Now we have an historic opportunity to act at the national level. Democrats have promised that the first major piece of legislation they will pass with their new majority in the House of Representatives is a comprehensive bill that would enact many of the reforms called for by CWA and our allies. The For the People Act of 2019 (H.R. 1) would:
  • Make it easier, not harder, to vote by restoring the Voting Rights Act, implementing national voter registration, expanding early voting and ending gerrymandering.
  • Get big money out of our democracy by regulating big money in politics like Super PACS, requiring all political organizations to disclose their donors, and building a campaign finance system to increase and multiply the power of small donors.
  • Ensure public officials work for the public interest by expanding conflict of interest law, strengthening oversight of lobbyists, and more.
This is an historic opportunity for us to demonstrate not only that these critical reforms can be accomplished but to hold politicians accountable by making them take a stand for or against these common sense reforms. As such, this will be the first major national legislative campaign for CWA in the new year and in this new Congress.
Today, we rolled out the components of the campaign to our District and key state LPAT leadership throughout the union. We are asking every local to engage in this fight to reclaim our Democracy by participating in these efforts. We are asking locals to:
  1. Send a letter on behalf of your local to your U.S. Representative urging them to support the legislation.
  2. Send an email to your membership encouraging them to contact their Congressmembers.
  3. Have your local LPAT activists participate in leafleting worksites and generating phone calls to Congress.
  4. Share social media content about the legislation through your local’s social media accounts.
Materials including a sample letter, a sample membership email, a leaflet and suggested social media content are available at https://cwa-union.org/hr1-materials
Brothers and sisters, we must engage in this fight. And for the sake of our democracy, we must win. Please make this a priority in the new year.
In Unity,
Christopher M. Shelton
President
cc: Executive Board
    CWA National Staff

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