January 6th Vigils Draw Hundreds of Thousands

League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville (LWVBAE) members and supporters joined hundreds of thousands across the country on January 6, 2022 – during a critical month of organizing for American democracy – for a day of remembrance and action by hosting an evening vigil at which 200 people attended.

“We are here tonight because what we witnessed on January 6, 2021 created a collective trauma. It was an assault on our democracy, arguably unlike anything seen since the Civil War that brought the end of slavery,” LWVBAE President Kandea Mosley Gandi began.

“We’re here to remember those who gave their lives defending our democracy on January 6th, recognize that the attacks on our democratic system of governance are continuing, and rededicate ourselves to mass mobilization in defense of our most basic of freedoms, our right to vote,” she continued.

The evening included other notable representatives of LWVBAE, League of Women Voters of the Bay Area (LWVBA), League of Women Voters of the United States (LWUS), as well as attendees who shared their views and thoughts on the solemn occasion.

“What we know is the attacks are continuing. One year later, the same faction that attacked our country on January 6th is hard at work silencing our voices by restricting our freedom to vote, attacking fair voting districts, and quietly preparing future attempts to sabotage free and fair elections and with it our democracy,” Action Coordinator Jinky Gardner said.

Alicia Gurrieri, LWVUS Organizing Manager, presented options so that attendees could take ongoing  action in defense of American democracy when the evening’s event came to a close.

“We are in a pivotal moment and as soon as next week there could be movement on filibuster reform and the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act could come to a vote,” Gurrieri said.” We need to contact our Senators and White House every day of the week AND ask at least five people to do the same.”

Steve Blumenkrantz, Diversity Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Team member, then led the group in a moment of silence to remember the lives lost on January 6th, and to play a video of Arizona college students who led a hunger strike to advocate immediate action on voting rights. When the silence ended, attendees shared how they were feeling on the anniversary of the January 6, 2021 insurrection, and LWVBAE distributed ways to stay active and engaged in the important weeks ahead.

Please see below for the actions recommended by LWVUS:

Call the Senate Line: 833-345-2551
• Tell your Senator you want to protect our democracy and demand they put their words into action and act on filibuster reform

Continue Pressure on the White House!
• Call: 833-345-2554 

• Contact Form: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ 

• Demand that President Biden do everything in his power to help overcome the filibuster and pass the Freedom to Vote Act, JL VRAA, and DC Statehood!

Support MLK Family call to action: No Celebration without Legislation
• https://deliverforvotingrights.com/

Please see more information about the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – and how our advocacy is working here.

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