Our Forum is asking “What Must We Do Now?” For both inspiration and guidance here is a link to the 5/12 livestream How We Thrive | a UU the Vote Event. This 52 minute recording starts with a wonderful virtual choir. UUA President, Susan Frederick-Gray is the first presenter (10:00—17:00 minutes). The overall theme is that while we are enduring a time of tragic crisis, this is also an opportunity to achieve great fundamental change. Ashley Horan is asking UUs to “take shifts for the revolution” recognizing that people need to “cycle in and out” of justice work.
Nicole Pressley describes how the pandemic crisis has required “UU the Vote” to pivot from door knocking voter registration activities to supporting the growing mutual aid movement providing food, masks and other necessities to impoverished communities, advocating for release from prisons and detention centers, distributing absentee ballots, and fighting voter suppression through organizations like Reclaim Our Vote. The most immediate call to action is a national campaign for Voting by Mail in 2020.
UUDAN has helped organize a Consortium of progressive organizations in Delaware and earlier this month we launched an Action Network Letter Campaign to pass HB 175 (Vote by Mail). This campaign already has 175 takers. Network Delaware and Delaware United will be blasting the campaign later in May and the ACLU is posting it. We will be reaching out to other Consortium groups to distribute the campaign and participation should grow substantially before the end of the legislative session. All these emails are going to the Governor as well as legislators.
The UUDAN Leadership Team is also proposing a second call to action asking Governor Carney to extend the Emergency Declaration (see below) for absentee voting to the General Election. We plan to launch another Action Network email campaign asking everyone to call Governor Carney. Action Network has just released a text capability, and we are proposing a mini campaign asking activists to opt in by providing their phone numbers for text and possible phone banking. Our Consortium has strong contacts with the Governor’s office and we will also be lobbying.
This campaign will not replace the robust UUDAN advocacy agenda fighting to oppose the death penalty, end mass incarceration, improve our environment and achieve greater equality. This fall we will begin preparing for the 151th General Assembly.
Governor Carney’s 15th Modification: State of Emergency Declaration
The Department of Elections shall mail absentee ballot applications to all registered Democrats and Republicans in the State of Delaware, in order to provide all such registered voters the opportunity to vote by absentee ballot in the presidential primary election and, pursuant to the Sixth Modification, the ability to select the “sick or physically disabled” reason if a voter is asymptomatic of COVID-19 infection and otherwise abiding by CDC and DPH guidelines by exercising self-quarantine or social distancing to avoid potential exposure to (and community spread of) COVID-19, and who herself or himself freely chooses to use such qualification to vote by absentee ballot.