Our Democracy is in Danger, But You Can Help Save It - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Our Democracy is in Danger, But You Can Help Save It

By Jenna Israel, Communications Intern

As a young person, it often feels like there’s not a lot you can do to change a world that seems like it’s not listening to you. But for me, helping other people vote, engage their government, and make their voices heard is my activity of choice during my free time. It is empowering.

One of the most heartbreaking things to hear when speaking to people in my community is that someone won’t vote. Sometimes it’s because they can’t. Maybe they’ve lost their right to vote as the result of incarceration. Or maybe they can’t get to the polling location because of a disability or because the poll is too far away. Or maybe they don’t have time to stand in line for hours to vote. These challenges disproportionately impact Black and Brown communities and weaken their voice in our political process.

There can be no doubt that the voting rights of Black and Brown Americans are still under attack. Forty-eight states have passed or introduced 389 laws since 2013 to make it harder for these communities to vote.

Today is actually the eight-year anniversary of the Shelby County v. Holder decision, which weakened Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the crowning achievements of the Civil Rights Movement. Next week, we expect the Supreme Court to announce its decision on Brnovitch v. DNC, a case that could weaken Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the provision that bars discrimination against people of color in state and local election laws.

With a wave of voter suppression sweeping the country, it is no wonder that communities of color are advocating for the passage of federal legislation like the For the People Act, which would end partisan gerrymandering, restore the voting rights of Returning Citizens and those with felony convictions, and generally improve access to the ballot box. Advocates are also calling for the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would reinvigorate the parts of the Voting Rights Act that the Shelby Supreme Court decision weakened.

Despite these challenges to voting rights expansion, there is still a lot we can do. Organizing remains critically important and it is inspiring to see so many people attend events like the Black Voters Matter Freedom Ride Bus Tour—including staff at Advancement Project National Office! On Monday, they traveled to Atlanta to join the bus tour and support our partners in the fight against voter suppression.


The Freedom Ride isn’t over! You can join Advancement Project and our partners at the final stop in Washington, D.C. this Saturday from 12-4pm at the National Mall between 3rd and 4th St SW. RSVP here and show up to make your voice heard! Can’t make it in-person? You can still participate by sharing why voting rights matter on social media using #FreedomRide2021. Together, we can demand a more just and inclusive democracy we can all believe in.

Headshot of Jenna Israel

Jenna Israel is a Communications Intern at Advancement Project and a recent graduate of Brown University. Connect with her on Twitter @Jenna_Israel.


Advancement Project National Office Applauds the Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

CONTACT Jeralyn Cave [email protected] 202-921-7321 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The legislation restores key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and helps prevent racial discrimination in voting by requiring states to obtain federal approval before enacting specific types of voting changes known to be racially discriminatory. The legislation also restores voters’ ability to challenge racial discrimination in court. Advancement Project National Office, a national racial justice and civil rights organization, released the following statement: “We applaud the efforts of the U.S.

Read More
Congress Must Combat New Wave of Voter Suppression, Pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

On Monday, the U.S. House Judiciary hosted a hearing on H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), discussing the need to restore federal oversight of elections in the wake of a new wave of voter suppression sweeping the nation.

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Statement on Brnovich v. DNC Supreme Court Case

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court further weakened the Voting Rights Act in its ruling in Brnovich v. DNC, a case challenging voting laws in Arizona that discard provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct and limit who can return absentee ballots. In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that Arizona's voting laws do not violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and its ban on ballot harvesting was not enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose. Advancement Project National Office, a 21st century racial justice organization release the following statement.

Read More
With Democracy at a Crossroads, Senate Must End Jim Crow Filibuster

For Immediate Release: June 22, 2021 Contact: Jeralyn Cave, [email protected] WASHINGTON — In light of the Senate blocking S. 1, the For the People Act, Advancement Project’s national office, a multiracial civil rights organization, released the following statement:  “It is indisputable that Republican leaders would rather fuel their rhetoric of white grievance and villainize people of color than protect our democracy,” said Jorge Vasquez, Power and Democracy Director of Advancement Project National Office. “They have long attempted to distract from their failures and pass anti-voter bills at the state…

Read More
New PSA Unveil: Why Georgia Ministers are Mobilizing their Communities for Voting Rights

We are excited to unveil a new PSA around SB 202, Georgia egregious voter suppression law

Read More
National Civil Rights Org: Florida’s New Jim Crow Law Will Not Stand

Senate Bill 90 is a full-frontal assault on the political power of Black and Brown Floridians. Florida politicians are advancing baseless claims of fraud and abuse as an excuse to eliminate voting tools and procedures that enabled Floridians to vote safety and securely during a public health crisis.

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Condemns Passage of Florida Voter Suppression Bill

Yesterday, Florida’s state legislature passed Senate Bill 90, a monster voter suppression bill aimed at reducing access to the ballot box for Black and Brown voters.

Read More
Democracy on the Ropes

On April 7, 2021, Advancement Project National Office hosted Democracy on the Ropes, a special conversation with voting rights and racial justice leaders, on the intersections of voter suppression and the criminalization of protest. Held during the National #ForThePeople Week of Action, panelists explored how states have attempted to silence communities of color at the ballot box and in the streets. At least 43 states have advanced legislation making it harder to vote. In the last six months, states have also introduced 85 bills criminalizing freedom of assembly and restricting First Amendment. Speakers highlighted the organizing strategies, litigation and tools…

Read More