By VAL BENAVIDEZ
Texas Freedom Network
Despite delaying Gov. Greg Abbott’s suppression session for over a month, the Texas House finally reached quorum to pass SB1 out of the floor.
In the face of overwhelming opposition from Texas citizens, advocates and more than 50 Democratic lawmakers, the latest bill in Abbott’s tyrannical and anti-democratic power grab now advances on a likely path to becoming law.
Senate Bill 1 is just the latest example in Abbott’s assault on Texas democracy, and to pass such a vile and corrupt voter suppression bill while ignoring the increasing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic is as low as it gets. For months now, Texans have made it unmistakably clear that we didn’t want this bill. The passage of SB 1 in the Texas House proves that when it comes to listening to Texans, Abbott just can’t be bothered.
As the Delta variant runs rampant throughout the state and overpowers our ICU’s, Abbott has worked tirelessly to rid himself of any responsibility and instead think of new, creative ways to strip Texans of their American rights.
While Abbott has villainously spent the past few months toying with our rights, this is an important moment to recognize the heroism of the advocates and activists who fought hard for the future of our democracy. For months now, activists throughout the state have spoken up in defense of our right to vote and the world has listened. Even as SB1 now advances, the advocacy of every single person made a true difference in this battle by forcing lawmakers to eliminate some of the most harmful provisions of these voter suppression bills. This same collective effort is what we’ll need to break voter registration records and educate our community about the new ridiculous laws. We’ll teach thousands and they in turn will register more folks than ever before as we take this fight to the ballot box!
Together, Texans have shown that we believe in the American promise of a more perfect union, despite the current lack of evidence for it from our governor’s mansion. We understand that for democracy to work, there must be fair and just access for us all. As we look ahead to the fights still to come, we implore every Texan to get involved – not just on Election Day, but every day.
This was not the first time Abbott ignored the will of his constituents, and it certainly will not be the last. This was not our first fight for the future of Texas democracy, and rest assured, it certainly will not be our last.
Val Benavidez is the president and executive director of the Texas Freedom Network. She can be reached through https://www.tfn.org.