I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones faring as well as possible during these challenging times.
Last week I shared a video message
imploring us to seek reputable sources of information about COVID-19
while remaining civically engaged. Those messages are still relevant,
yet last week seems like ages ago now as we continue to navigate life
alongside an unseen enemy that is wreaking havoc throughout the world,
our nation and our city. At the same time, issues impacting our
democracy are evolving on a daily basis, and as I write this letter, I
am struck by the urgency in which we must act to defend it.
To that end, I am strongly encouraging you to do the following:
Contact your elected officials and representatives about online registration and voting by mail. We
do not want large numbers of citizens afraid to go to the polls because
of COVID-19! There are effective solutions that many other states have
already adopted to safeguard voters and encourage participation in the
upcoming elections—online voter registration and expanded vote-by-mail
ballots. Our Texas League has contacted the Governor and the Secretary
of State, as well as the House Elections Committee and the Senate State
Affairs Committee to share detailed best practices that can easily be
implemented at this time, but we must do our part. Please contact Governor Abbott and elected officials today to let them know how important these issues are to you. Just go to Demand Safe Vote
on the League of Women Voters of Texas website and you will see
everything you need to make it easy to do so. Our elected officials need
to hear loudly, clearly and in great numbers that our democracy is
extremely important to their constituents.
Participate in, and communicate about, the 2020 Census. Completing the online 2020 Census Form
is incredibly easy—it takes only 10 minutes. Those without access to
computers can complete the form by mail or phone, and questions can be
answered in multiple languages at any of the numbers listed at 2020 Census Contact Us.
But please don’t stop there! Tell your friends and family to complete
it, too. Remind them that the 2020 Census will determine congressional
representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every
year and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade.
We need to be all in for representation to be fair and accurate.
It is understandably easy to take our eyes off of our League of Women Voters mission when we are concerned for the safety and wellbeing of ourselves, our loved ones and others. Thank you for your consideration in setting time aside to proactively pursue the suggestions above, because although it may not seem like it right now, this terrible pandemic will one day be behind us.
And when it is, we’ll know we’ve done our part to empower voters and defend democracy.
Thank you and be well.
MaryJane Mudd President League of Women Voters of Houston
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