“Regardless of one’s position on the subject matter, the leadership of the city should make every effort to allow direct citizen engagement by vote.”–Stacey Abrams, in response to the anti-democratic actions taken by Atlanta city officials in response to electoral organizing against Cop City.
What we’re seeing in Atlanta right now isn’t a uniquely Georgia issue or a Cop City problem. The erosion of the democratic process, the outright dismissal of voters, and the willingness to use the court system to circumnavigate the very process all are meant to defend is a crisis for our country – and the tactics being used in Atlanta are being used all over the US to prevent or overturn the will of the voters.
We’re grateful that UUs are joining the wider coalition of democracy, climate, racial justice, and decriminalization organizations fighting to Stop Cop City.
Last time we wrote you, Revs. Dave Dunn and Jeff Jones were arrested after stopping construction at Cop City in Atlanta with their bodies. We are happy to share that all five arrested were released from jail with misdemeanor charges!
Additionally, Rev. Christina Branum-Martin, Rev. Misha Sanders, and other UUs joined others to deliver over 116,000 petition signatures collected by the Cop City Vote Coalition in support of letting Atlantans vote on whether or not to move forward with Cop City. The City of Atlanta is trying a legal appeal to avoid verifying signatures, a decision that Senator Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams both criticized as deeply anti-democratic.
As UU the Vote volunteers and supporters, we hope you’ll join us in fighting to protect the democratic process. The on-the-ground campaign moves quickly as organizers continue to respond to the many varied attacks, so we’ve set up ways for UUs to stay connected and respond quickly when needed.
- Sign up for rapid response text alerts to be notified of urgent actions
- Join our weekly huddle for updates on the landscape and evolving needs
- Explore our six-lesson small group discussion guide to explore the connection between our faith and the calls to defund policing and law enforcement
- Learn how you can support those who are arrested for resisting injustice
Of course, we’re also keeping an eye on federal legislation too. Along with the more than 240 allied pro-democracy organizations that comprise the Declaration for American Democracy coalition, UU The Vote is informing and activating our constituents to push for passage of the Freedom to Vote Act (FTVA) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2023. These bills are essential to thwarting the ongoing assaults on our democracy, as demonstrated by 13 restrictive new voting laws passed by states in just the first six months of 2023.
These bills renew efforts that were set back when Senators allowed the anti-democratic custom of filibusters to thwart the passage of voting rights protections in the U.S. Senate last year. The bills essentially replicate legislation we summarized in the spring. Please keep up the pressure to pass these proactive bills to secure democratic rights and thwart ongoing voter suppression tactics.