By BRIANNA BROWN
Texas Organizing Project
Today’s passage of Senate Bill 1 is a travesty for our state, but our resolve to fight Jim and Jane Crow 2.0 policies remains as strong as ever. There is no denying that this legislation will make it harder for all Texans to exercise our right to vote, weakening democracy in our state and disenfranchising millions. SB 1 is part of a vicious and coordinated nationwide effort from Republicans to target Black and Latino voters to restrict ballot access.
At a time when Texas is facing a true crisis – the deadly spread of COVID-19 – Gov. Abbott and Texas Republicans are more focused on suppressing voters than saving lives. Dozens of hospitals in our state are near 100% ICU capacity, and yet Abbott is focused on banning lifesaving vaccine mandates.
We appreciate the work of those Texas House Democrats who fought hard in the last few months to prevent this bill from passing. But we also recognize that the decisions of a few ultimately allowed SB 1 to pass today. In our work to protect access to the ballot box, it is crucial that we stand together and do all we can in our collective power to prevent implementation of this bill.
Working with progressive allies across the state, TOP remains committed to fighting voter suppression in all its forms across Texas, and we demand the White House and our Democratic-controlled Congress to use all of the legislative levers of power available to them to pass federal voting rights legislation immediately. It is crucial that the U.S. Senate pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to counter SB 1 and other state-level legislation that seeks to restrict ballot access. There can be no more excuses and delays. Texas voters need action now from our Washington leaders.
Brianna Brown is the co-executive director for the Texas Organizing Project