Voter Suppression and Electoral Reform: A Virtual Discussion with J. Mijin Cha, Miles Rapoport, Renitta Shannon, and David Duhalde

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

8:00 PM EDT / 7:00 PM CDT / 6:00 PM MDT / 5:00 PM PDT

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Join the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) Fund, Dissent magazine, The New Press, and the DSA National Electoral Committee for the next installment in an ongoing series of virtual discussions based on the book We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism—American Style. This month’s discussion will focus on J. Mijin Cha’s chapter in the book titled: “We the People: Voting Rights, Campaign Finance, and Election Reform.”

Amidst an unprecedented pandemic and in the face of a racist police state, we must chart a new course. In We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism—American Style, leading  thinkers and activists come together to examine the democratic socialist history of the United States and how we might achieve a world where every human being is guaranteed a life of safety, health, dignity, and even joy, free from the commodification of basic necessities. The chapters of this timely and urgent volume tackle climate change, foreign policy, gender and the family, healthcare, socialist governance, reparations, and more. 

Our event on September 30 will focus on the need for democratic socialists to work for actual democracy through fighting against voter suppression and for electoral reform. 

J. Mijin Cha is an assistant professor of urban and environmental policy at Occidental College. She is also a fellow at the Worker Institute, Cornell University. Dr. Cha’s research explores the intersection of inequality and climate change, particularly labor/climate coalitions. Her current research focus is on just transition- how to transition fossil fuel communities and workers equitably into a low-carbon future.

Miles Rapoport is currently the Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Ash Center of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  He served in the Connecticut legislature representing West Hartford from 1984-1994, and as Connecticut’s Secretary of the State from 1995-1998.  He also served as President of Demos, a public policy center in New York City, and as national President of Common Cause.

Renitta Shannon defeated a four-term Democrat incumbent with a bold progressive message in 2016. In January 2017, she was sworn into the Georgia State House of Representatives, to represent the 84th district. In her first year as a legislator, Renitta was awarded Most Valuable Legislator in “The Nation Magazine’s 2017 Progressive Honor Roll,” for her work on sexual assault policy. She closed out her second year in office by leading a legislators’ boycott of Governor-Elect Brian Kemp’s first public address, for running what she called “a gubernatorial campaign of hate against half of Georgia, targeting black and brown voters, the #LGBTQ  community and women.” Renitta is also the co-founder of Her Term, a Georgia-based initiative committed to targeting, recruiting, and electing progressive women into office. Her work has been featured in TIME Magazine, Cosmo and Elite Daily.

David Duhalde served as DSA’s National Youth Organizer and Deputy Director. Duhalde also served as political director of the Bernie Sanders-inspired Our Revolution and as a Research Analyst for Every Voice, a small donor democracy national advocacy organization. Today, he is the Vice-Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America Fund Board.

This event could go as late as 9:30pm Eastern.