By Dierdre Roney
A few months ago, looking out at the national political landscape from my home near Los Angeles, it became clear that Michigan was the place for me to be during the runup to the November 8 election. With voting rights and reproductive freedom both on the ballot here, I saw that the people of the Great Lakes state have the opportunity to send a powerful message of hope to the rest of America. So, here I am knocking doors and talking to voters to protect all of our rights.
The passage of Proposal 2, which ensures that voting rights will be protected, and Proposal 3, which guarantees abortion access for generations to come, will show the nation that support of civil and constitutional rights is a winning proposition.
Such a message has never been more important. Our democracy is under threat by forces that will resort to anything in order to retain power. We saw the lengths they will go to last year on January 6th. Given that somber reality, each of us has to now do whatever we can to fight back against the well-funded attempts to both keep qualified voters from casting ballots and deny half the population control over their own bodies by taking away the right to essential health care.
Overarching all of this are extremist attempts to undermine democracy by denying the legitimacy of fair elections and promoting authoritarianism. The antidote is at the ballot box. We know through polling that a majority of the public is with us. The task now, in these final days before the election, is to do everything possible to get out the truth about what’s on the ballot and urge people to vote.
Clearly, this is not a time for complacency. Equally clear is this: Democracy is best defended by actively engaging in it.
Which is why, in early October, I came back to Michigan, where I was born and raised, to go out knocking on doors in support of Props 2 & 3. Fortunately, I’m at a point in my life where I am free to travel. And I am passionate about the issues represented in Props 2 & 3. Of course, I know my presence alone will not change the outcome of the election. It is more that this is an “all hands on deck” moment, and I felt compelled to directly join the fray.
I’m encouraged by the responses I’m hearing from people as I go door to door. But I also know vast amounts of money are being spent to cloud the issues and deceive voters into casting “no” votes. That is why, along with asking you to vote “yes” on Props 2 & 3, I’m also, along with the ACLU of Michigan, requesting that you also contact three people you know right away and ask them to commit to casting “yes” votes as well. Time is of the essence.
All of us joining together and doing that one simple thing is how we help assure victory.
Someday, in the years to come, I might be asked, “Grandma, where were you when the future of democracy was at stake?” If so, I’ll be able to say with pride, “I was defending it on the frontlines, in Michigan.”
I hope with all my heart that I’ll be able to add, with a mixture of immense joy and great relief, “And we won!”
Will you help me do that?
Dierdre Roney is a volunteer helping to pass Proposals 2 & 3