By Suzanne Potter
This story was originally published by Public News Service.
Groups are banding together on Thursday for pro-democracy events in Reno and Las Vegas, one year after thousands of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., in a failed attempt to stop lawmakers from certifying the election of President Joe Biden.
Kimberly Carden, a member of the group Indivisible Northern Nevada, noted that since the Capitol riot, other states have introduced more than 400 bills to restrict voting or to appoint partisans to certify state electoral votes.
“If we don’t stand up to this, then we risk losing our freedoms, losing our right to vote,” she said. “I mean, that’s what America is all about. America is about democracy.”
Advocates are calling on Nevada’s two senators to support a change to the filibuster rules to require a simple majority for voting-rights bills. Four bills are stalled in the U.S. Senate: bills that aim to increase access to voting, grant statehood to Washington, D-C., outlaw gerrymandering, restrict the flow of “dark money” in politics, and block the abuse of power by a president or federal agencies. Critics say the bills would tilt the field in favor of the Democratic Party.
Carden says in Nevada, advocates plan to bring back a ballot initiative to establish a citizens’ redistricting commission, which would take the power to draw legislative districts out of the hands of state legislators.
“They’re revitalizing that,” she said, “and they’re going to be trying to get that on the ballot again, so that we can have fair districts.”
The downtown Reno rally is set for noon at the City Plaza near the “Believe” sign. In southern Nevada, people will gather for a candlelight vigil at 5:30 p.m. at Lake Mead Boulevard and Clifford Street in Las Vegas, in a rally organized by the Service Employees International Union, SEIU.