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Blue Wave News

Friday, November 13, 2020

Harris Becomes First Woman Co-Executive 

With the election over, reality is setting in that Kamala Harris has become the first of a lot of categories in her position as Vice-President-Elect.



COVID19 Is Not Going Away

Across America and in the White House, the Coronavirus Pandemic is still wreaking havoc.

Currently the U.S. is experiencing a daily average of 150,000 new cases each day along with 1200 deaths from the disease. The situation is dire in most states, with hospitals expanding well past their capacity in many areas. The immediate future looks to become worse as America moves into our most vulnerable winter/holiday season. President-Elect Joe Biden has assembled a team of medical researchers and epidemiologists to plan an effective response, and may in fact propose several actions even prior to January 20th.

Voter Suppression, Felon Disenfranchisement and the Gravity of Voting Down Ballot

By Cori Wilbur


Currently, there remain restrictions on the right to vote, restrictions which have universally existed in our system, overtly and subvertly. 


“Any restrictions on [the right to vote], strike at the heart of what it means to have a representative government,” said Bardis Vakili, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU of San Diego. In the United States, the court system, particularly the Supreme Court under the current Chief Justice John Roberts, is not here to protect the right to vote.


In 2013, the Shelby County v. Holder landmark decision struck down Sections 4(b) and 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965–sections which required the most historically racist districts to gain pre-clearance for active voting restrictions. The 5-4 decision made on the basis that we are not as racist as we were in the 1960s. Currently, all voter suppression within Shelby County occurs in these Section 5 districts.


One major voting obstacle that our society faces is felon disenfranchisement. This major problem has its origins in the Jim Crow South. However, even in California, laws cling to this notion that you waive your right to vote if you go to prison. 


When the southern states were being readmitted into the union, they were prohibited from preventing the right to vote on the basis of race–as outlined in the 14th and 15th Amendments. So, convicting African Americans of crimes became the loophole way of limiting the right to vote. Before 1850, only 35 percent of states supported felon disenfranchisement; as of 2008, 95 percent of states have some type of law which limits the right to vote for those convicted of a crime. 


This pattern of suppression is not unique to the south: after the Civil War, California refused to ratify the 15th Amendment. In 1962, nearly 100 years after the end of the Civil War, California became the 34th state to ratify it.


About six million Americans cannot vote due to the mass incarceration problem; 4.7 million of these individuals are no longer in prison or jail. One third of these individuals are Black. One in 20 Black people in this country have been disenfranchised due to a ubiquitous and bipartisan attack on the right to vote–an attack steeped in our history of racism.

Voter Suppression, Cont'd

In this upcoming election, Californians can vote on a ballot measure with very important implications. Currently, Black people make up six percent of the state population and 26 percent of the people on parole in California. A ‘yes’ vote on Proposition 17 would amend the state constitution and restore the right to vote to approximately 50,000 Californians who are currently on parole. 


In a state like California, the turnout of the election seems predetermined that the state will vote blue and it is easy to question the necessity to vote at all. However, we must consider the weight of impact that our city council has on our daily lives and the politics of our city. As we are learning, judges have a lot of jurisdiction over the way our democracy works. 

“Your school board member of today is your Congress member of tomorrow,” Vakili emphasized. We must get these individuals on record early on in their careers and hold them accountable for sticking to the values they tote. 


In short, we must care about the way local elections transpire. Realistically, these local elections can turn on a matter of a small amount of votes. 


Race Called Saturday Night with Trump's Loss of Pennsylvania

The Blue Wall in the Great Lakes area made a comeback this election year, and though the in-person votes in Pennsylvania made it look promising for the GOP, Democrats didn't need it. Nevertheless, on Saturday night, with even more Blue votes flooding in, the Keystone State was called for the Biden/Harris ticket and with that, the 270 EV threshold was crossed. Joe's call for patience payed off. The evening was topped of with dynamite victory speeches from the two members of the victorious team. A lot of tears of joy were shed in those moments, as volunteers across the country began to realize that their 4-year struggle had actually succeeded. Ms. Harris reminded us that that the real battle was far longer than those 4 years.

With the addition of Nevada and Arizona into the Blue column, the current EV count for BIden/Harris stands at 290. If Georgia stays in Dem territory after the recount (hint: it will) that count will rise to 306.

Postcard Effort Turns to Georgia Special Election

There's no doubt that the postcard-to-voters effort played a significant role in encouraging voters to weigh in this year.

Now, with the Senate majority hanging in the balance, two Senate races in Georgia are headed to January 5th runoffs, and Democrats are sensing opportunity with that state's Stacy Abrams running the GOTV activities there.

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