Michelle Obama published an open letter on Sunday that introduced her new action plan ahead of the 2022 midterms.
The former first lady asked her fellow Democrats to “vote like the future of our democracy depends on it” in the letter, which runs a full-page advertisement in The New York Times on Jan. 10.
Obama wants to increase pressure on Congress to pass federal voting rights laws, including the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. As part of her plan, she pledged to “recruit and train” at least 100,000 volunteers who will help Americans register to vote by the midterm elections.
Her plan includes four other major goals including registering one million new voters, organizing volunteers to push their senators to support the voting rights legislation, and recruiting “thousands of lawyers” in each state to fight any attempts to block the legislation.
“The Senate is currently split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote eking out a small edge for Democrats,” reports The Daily Mail. “House Democrats have a slightly wider majority with 221 in their caucus compared to 212 Republicans. But so far 25 Democrats have announced their departures at the end of 2022, while just 12 GOP lawmakers have done the same.”
“We’ve got to vote like the future of our democracy depends on it. And we must give Congress no choice but to act decisively to protect the right to vote and make the ballot box more accessible for everyone,” Obama wrote.
In 2020, millions made their voices heard at the polls. But now, folks who oppose that progress are making it harder to vote. That’s why I’m asking you to join @WhenWeAllVote and 30 other organizations to turn out more voters and urge Congress to pass voting rights legislation. pic.twitter.com/hwgyyuTGy9
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 9, 2022
“One year ago, we witnessed an unprecedented assault on our Capitol and our democracy,” she said, referencing the security breach at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “From Georgia and Florida to Iowa and Texas, states passed laws designed to make it harder for Americans to vote. And in other state legislatures across the nation, lawmakers have attempted to do the same.”
The former first lady attacked alleged “voter suppression” in her letter. She added that “generations of Americans have persevered through poll taxes, literacy tests, and laws designed to strip away their power… by organizing, by protesting, and… by overcoming the barriers in front of them in order to vote.”
Obama’s letter was co-signed by When We All Vote, Obama’s progressive foundation that describes itself as a “leading national, nonpartisan initiative on a mission to change the culture around voting and to increase participation in each and every election by helping to close the race and age gap.”
More than 30 voting rights organizations also signed the letter, including NAACP, Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight Action, LeBron James’ More Than A Vote.