The Battle for Democracy in Alabama.

Date01 June 2022
AuthorLove, Kendra

There is power in the collective.

That's something those of us with Alabama Values Progress and our partner organizations have found to be true as we navigate the rough waters riled by the GOP-controlled Alabama legislature's constant attacks on democracy.

We have learned that working collectively can be a successful strategy to bring about the change we seek. And that there is power in numbers.

Our first challenge as a collective was working to convince our legislature's reapportionment committee--which is tasked with drawing up new voting maps based on Census data--that there needs to be a second majority-minority district in the state. We created talking points and worked on strategy.

We also noticed that the meeting times were during daytime working hours, making them inaccessible to some Alabamians. Sure, the legislature provided livestream access, but the audio was subpar. And because Alabama still lags behind other states in broadband Internet access, not everyone could tune in. A group of us pushed for answers on this lack of transparency.

Last fall, as the redistricting process was playing out, we held a series of community education forums, drawing more than 100 people each night.

We didn't get our way with the legislature, as the Republican supermajority passed maps without a single Democrat supporting the result. Our partner organizations challenged the maps in the case Milligan v. Merrill. And a three-judge panel sided with the Milligan plaintiffs, requiring the state to draw new Congressional maps. The state then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which stopped the order for new maps from going into effect. The court will hear arguments in the case in October.

Our partners have been busy fighting countless undemocratic bills from the Alabama legislature, which wrapped up its session in early April. We had some success defeating an anti-riot and protest bill that was introduced in response to protests in Birmingham after the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

We were also successful in helping defeat a divisive bill that sought to place constraints on what school-aged and college-aged students could learn about race, sex, and gender. Many of our partners rallied on the...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT