A new group plans to bring together more than 500 state and local Democrats across the country to fight growing GOP efforts to subvert elections and restrict voter access.
The group, Leaders for American Democracy, will include representatives from city councils and state legislatures, as well as attorneys general and secretaries of state. It was created by End Citizens United / Let America Vote, which will fund its efforts; the organization plans to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring together and strategize with officials.
The group will serve as a clearinghouse for members to share strategies, messages and policy proposals on how to expand access to voting where possible and counter Donald Trump-inspired attempts by Republican elected officials. to undermine confidence in the elections.
Trump has previously backed the Republican Secretary of State’s candidates in Michigan, Arizona, and Georgia, all of which echoed his lies about the 2020 election. He also backs state lawmakers in Arizona, Texas and of Wisconsin who have requested audits of election results. There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
“The alarming thing about what the Republicans are doing is they are running an incredibly coordinated and sophisticated campaign,” said Georgia State Representative Bee Nguyen (D), candidate for secretary of the government. State in Peach State, citing how GOP elected officials across the country made similar bogus complaints about the 2020 election results and introduced similar laws restricting voting rights. “I think we can strengthen our movement by making sure we coordinate across the country. “
The group’s initial list includes several Democrats considered rising stars in their home state, including Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Richmond, Va. Mayor Levar Stoney. .
“The attacks on our democracy will not stop,” Stoney said. “We need a unified effort to push back.”
But the group also aims to promote lower-profile members: it hopes that a quarter of its members will seek a senior position by 2024. It plans to have 250 members by the end of 2021, and another 250 will join. next year.
The focus will be on recruiting members in key states where Republicans could attempt to undermine election results in 2024: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and Virginia .
Nguyen said the group will need to focus on tackling audits and attempts to restrict voting rights now, while preparing for a showdown in 2024. The biggest challenge, she said, might be to remind Americans of the threat democracy faces.
“What I fear is that, generally speaking, people are not aware of the urgency of this threat to our democracy, in part because you know that we are in a space where we are exhausted every time. electoral cycle, ”she said. “For most people, we believe in the strength of our democracy, and that America is a country that will continue to be a democratic republic.”
But Nguyen – the daughter of Vietnamese refugees – said her family history shows there is no guarantee that democracy will continue indefinitely.
“The writing was on the wall, all the signs were there, but they never, ever believed they were going to lose their country, and they did,” Nguyen said. “And I think we’re in this moment, right now, the writing is on the wall, all the signs are there. And we have to make it the most pressing issue for Americans.”