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.
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has a history of public service, and now he’s continuing it from the private sector. Now, he's challenging the way we as progressives think about big business. We think big business should pay its fair share of taxes and should treat workers fairly, but Deval doesn’t stop there - he’s saying there’s no reason companies can’t also seek to make the world a better place too.
"Outside The Wire" tells the story of Jason Kander's experiences as a deployed American soldier and what he's learned about working in politics while keeping your soul intact. Join us for this Crooked crossover episode with the host of Lovett or Leave It, and find out why risking your life for a Whopper may not be worth it.
This episode is for everyone who has listened to this show, thought about the change they’d like to make in the world, and hesitated to take action because they either weren’t an expert or weren’t directly affected by the thing they wanted to change. We’ve been debating the Muslim ban since the 2016 campaign, and we’ve even done an episode of this show on Islamophobia, but today we wanted to tell you about the woman behind the legal fight for refugees: Becca Heller.
Every ten years, the party in power works with recent census data to determine the "best" way for voters to be represented. The process is becoming a bitter power play, and the people who are fighting against it are finding incredible backing from other voters who are tired of watching their voice in our government get muted more with each passing election. Guest Katie Fahey refused to accept this status quo, and so with a single Facebook post, she wound up launching one of the biggest social forces fighting gerrymander-- all from her home in Michigan.