Just before he died in July 2020, John Lewis wrote:
“Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble,” he wrote in his posthumous essay for the Times.
“Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.”
The late Congressman John Lewis shed his blood crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge to fight for the participation of Black voters in America’s electoral process and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
On May 8, Indivisible Tacoma co-sponsored one of 150 simultaneous Votercades nationwide in response to a tsunami of new voter suppression legislation.
We rallied to demand the passage of the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and D.C. Statehood and to address one of the greatest obstacles to the passage of these measures – and one of the last vestiges of slavery – the filibuster!
Our “Votercade” was a motorcade of voters – fifteen cars and two motorcycles, designed to raise the community’s awareness of the urgent need to protect our democracy.
The Votercade proceeded slowly from downtown Tacoma toward Dune Peninsula Park and back along Ruston Way, up to the Hilltop District and around a lively Peoples Park.
We started in front of the Federal Building, to hear speakers and register voters. Sixth District
Congressperson Derek Kilmer, addressing us in person, reminded us of obstacles like requiring ID cards that non-drivers have to buy.
Dave from Veterans for Peace urged us to value each vote, as a very few votes can swing an election.
Julie from Indivisible informed us of voters being removed from the rolls here in Washington.
We thank Sen. Patty Murray who spoke to us via video and Tenth District Congressperson Marilyn Strickland who sent support via Twitter.
We handed out Good Trouble T-shirts and John Lewis buttons.
Damita, as lead organizer, made sure volunteers knew what to do and brought ALL the gear: banner, masks, shirts, signs – everything!
Thanks to Nina for organizing logistics, the map, and press notices, Louisa for handling the sound system, Ellen for introducing Rep. Kilmer, Nina and Liz for the registration table, Elaine for video recording, Julie for flyers, Kathy for social media, Tanya for managing arrivals, Russell for leading the Votercade, and all the volunteers who decorated cars!
And of course we have to thank everyone who showed up in person, were with us in spirit, or watched online.
Co-sponsors for Tacoma’s Votercade were FUSE WA and the A. Phillip Randolph Institute.
Tune in to KTAH 101.9 Radio Tacoma for information on what local citizens are doing to make the world better. The Washington State Indivisible Podcast also airs on Radio Tacoma.
IT Member Eileen’s video:
Tacoma’s Votercade caught the attention of local TV news, KPCQ 13 video coverage:
Day of Action Around the Nation Compilation video
Senator Murray video
Following the record-breaking Black, Brown, and Youth voter turnout in the Georgia Runoff election, at least 361 new laws have been proposed in 47 states to restrict voter access to the ballot box.
reducing time frames for voting by mail
reducing early in-person voting dates
ending, reducing or restricting access to drop boxes
more restrictive identification requirements to vote, and
denying the distribution of food or water to voters waiting in line for hours on Election Day
The sole purpose of implementing these voter suppression tactics is to decrease the votes of millions of Black, Brown, Indigenous and People of Color. An attack on the voting rights of any one state has a direct and consequential effect on the voting rights of every other state.