The Supreme Court’s decision to throw out a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act and dismiss the Proposition 8 case this morning weren’t the only big political headlines this week. In fact, we’re being inundated by stories packed with historical precedent. Yesterday morning, the Supreme Court threw out an integral portion of the Voting Rights Act. In the afternoon, President Obama delivered a major speech on climate change. Meanwhile, we’re still digesting the ruling on affirmative action and the immigration legislation quickly moving through Congress. There’s no doubt that we are living in an incredibly challenging era. Nearly every day Republican ideologues are eliminating rights and privileges at the very core of our society. It’s time for us to stand against these austere actions, and last night one woman did.
Of course I’m talking about Texas Senator Wendy Davis, who worked with her Democratic colleagues throughout the Texas Legislature’s special session to delay debate on an extremely prohibitive abortion ban that would have resulted in the closure of 37 of Texas’ 42 abortion clinics. Last night, the final night of the session, she filibustered the bill for nearly 13 hours with the help of other Senators and her supporters in the gallery. What’s more amazing? This isn’t the first time Senator Davis won with her words.
In 2011, Senator Davis brought the regular legislative session to a grinding halt by refusing to settle on an issue near and dear to our hearts. She filibustered a school finance plan that would have cut $4 billion from Texas’ public schools. This, my friends and readers, is the kind of action we need not only in the Texas Senate, but in communities across the country. We’re going to continue to be stepped on until we stand up and loudly say no to the extreme policies plaguing our local, state, and national politics.
It’s not hard to get involved, and, once you start, it’s infectious. Stay abreast of the news. Find your issue. Find like minds on the internet who can help you find like minds in your community. If it’s about your school, then talk to your colleagues. I guarantee you that once somebody starts the conversation, everybody’s going to be talking about it. Who better to start the conversation than you?
Whether you are union or non-union, stand up. Whether you are 10,000 strong or dependent upon your own two feet, stand up. Whether you’ve marched for freedom since 1963 or you’re planning your own march for the first time, stand up. Let Wendy Davis be your guide. Because if you don’t stand up, then don’t expect anyone else to carry you. We’re living in some backwards times but if we stand up we can make a difference. I believe in us.