Week of March 7, 2021

1) COVID Relief Thanks: The $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill is nearly through Congress, thanks to near-universal support by Democratic Senators and Representatives. Contact our three Members of Congress to thank them for prioritizing this bill, especially because it addresses much needed financial support for our most vulnerable neighbors. You can read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/07/us/politics/whats-in-the-stimulus-bill.html and https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/03/07/stimulus-politics/.

2) Voting Rights Protections: Fifty-six years ago today, Bloody Sunday occurred as Alabama state troopers attacked 600 people, mostly Black, who were marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. This week, contact our three Members of Congress to ask that they support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act in honor of John Lewis, who was nearly killed on Bloody Sunday. The Act would restore the parts of the Voting Rights Act that were weakened by the Supreme Court in 2013. You can read more about the Act here: https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/how-to-restore-and-strengthen-voting-rights-act. You can read about Republic efforts in Georgia to suppress Black votes here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/06/us/politics/churches-black-voters-georgia.html.

3) Reform the Filibuster: Voting rights protections will likely not be passed through the Senate without reforming the filibuster. Senator Manchin has voiced his opposition to removing the filibuster completely, but today on Meet the Press said that he was open to reforms such as making anyone filibustering a bill have to stand and talk through their filibuster. Contact our two Senators to let them know that this reform would be an important step towards restoring functionality to the Senate. You can read more about why the Senate needs reforms here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/04/opinion/democrats-senate-reconciliation.html.

4) Food Drive: The pandemic has increased food insecurity everywhere. The Western NJ Democrats Community Service Team is conducting a March Food Drive, ending March 15, in support of our local food pantries in Clinton and Flemington. Please help us support our neighbors in need by donating non-perishable food items: boxed pasta, flavored and plain oatmeal, canned vegetables, canned fruit, soups, pasta sauce, coffee, peanut butter, jelly, apple juice, rice, cereal, canned stew, ravioli, mac & cheese, healthy snacks, or juice boxes. Please place these items in Drop Boxes at 7 Brown Court, Annandale, NJ 08801 or 8 Rachel Court, Hampton, NJ 08827. Alternatively, if you would prefer to donate a Shop Rite gift card or write a check, please contact Susan (sdenegre@comcast.net) or Donna (dmccall15@gmail.com). 

Quote of the week: “You have a new consensus in America — that the government has an important role, and that Ronald Reagan was wrong. For the first time in my lifetime, people are saying that the government has done too little rather than doing too much.” – former Congressman Barney Frank