Today we’re talking Voting Rights. In my mind, there is no issue of greater importance in the country right now – and that’s because it affects every other issue.
As you may know, I’ve put a good chunk of time into this cause. I spent four years fighting voter suppression as Secretary of State in Missouri and I’ve spent the last year fighting it as the President of Let America Vote, an organization I founded.
It’s a broad issue because there are a lot of different pieces to it, so in the second segment of today’s show I’ll go a little deeper than usual. I’ll get into the recent history of voter suppression, the tactics of vote suppressors, and how we fight back – as well as doing what we usually do in segment two: I’ll tell you how to talk about it with friends who don’t yet agree with you.
So segment 2 will tackle the issue as a whole, but for today’s conversation with a guest, I wanted to zero in on an aspect of voter suppression I don’t think gets enough attention: disenfranchisement of formerly incarcerated individuals.
Desmond Meade is the Founder and President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, but he’s also impacted directly by this issue, because he in years past he was addicted to drugs and spent some time in prison. He is one of the well over one million U.S. citizens living in Florida with very little hope of ever having their civil rights – including their voting rights – restored.
He has a law degree, but he can’t sit for the bar. He’s active in his community and his wife ran for the state legislature, but he can’t vote. But Desmond isn’t discouraged. He’s fighting back and he’s inspiring a lot of people, including me.
Senator Yvanna Cancela is a millennial union leader who thought she was headed for a much different destination. She listened to her calling and became the leader of Culinary Local 226, Nevada’s largest union. Now, Cancela has led protests, lobbied state lawmakers and played a pivotal role in turning Nevada blue last November when most of the nation wound up red. We’re going to discuss how unions are perceived in America, both positively and negatively, and what the future of organized labor looks like.
He's a District Attorney for Nueces County in Texas. He's a proponent of criminal justice reform. He's a self-proclaimed "Mexican biker lawyer covered in tattoos." He's a Dallas Cowboys fan. He's never prosecuted a single case. He's Mark Gonzalez, and he's our guest today.
Trump hits a bump in the road on his way to the Nobel Peace Prize, Republicans try their hardest to make 2018 about immigrant gang members, and 700 Trump investigation stories break in one day. Then Jason Kander joins Jon and Dan to talk about the midterms and the new season of Majority 54, and Inimai Chettiar of the Brennan Center for Justice talks about the prison reform bill moving through Congress.
Today we’re talking health care, taxes, and activism with Ady Barkan. You probably first became aware of Ady when a video of him confronting Sen. Jeff Flake went viral. Eighteen months ago, at the age of 33, Ady and his wife Rachel welcomed a son, Carl, and shortly thereafter, Ady was diagnosed with ALS.