To the Editor:
Our two U.S. Senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, are generally decent likeable Democrats. But they are dragging their feet on the critical issue of voting rights. Oh, they’ll tell you they’re on record as supporting the two voting rights bills in the Senate. But that’s not nearly good enough. And that has to change immediately.
Everyone knows the only way we can actually pass these bills into law is to make an exception to the filibuster — that outdated procedure used for decades by racists to block all sorts of civil rights reforms. It allows the Republican minority to block voting rights. It’s why we can’t have nice things.
To get federal voting rights guarantees we must refuse to allow the perpetrators of Jan 6 to block it. The filibuster must be cast aside. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth must do some heavy lifting in the Senate. They must put maximum pressure on any and all of their Senate colleagues. That means calling and meeting with Manchin and Sinema. That means leveraging their relationships with Republicans. That means using all their legislative skill. That means getting on national TV and demanding voting rights legislation now. That means supporting the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and of President Biden.
It means refusing to take no for an answer. It means doing whatever it takes.
When I saw the great Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) make an impassioned and compelling speech on voting rights, I said to myself: where the heck are my Senators? Why aren’t doing that? Why aren’t they putting themselves out there? Why aren’t they fighting hard for what we know is right? Why aren’t they using the great powers we vested them with as the voters of Illinois?
We must pass voting rights in early 2022. Otherwise voters will be disenfranchised. We’ll lose a lot of elections. Democrats will become a permanent minority in both the House and Senate. The very Senators not doing enough right now, will be powerless to help us later. It will be too late.
Please take 5 minutes and call Dick Durbin at (202) 224-2152. Take another 5 minutes and call Tammy Duckworth at (202) 224-2854. It’s a proven fact that the pressure we constituents can put on them matters.