By: John Zippert,
The Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy (SOS) together with other organizations held a statewide rally to increase voter turnout in the upcoming November 8th General Election and raise the importance of the issue of Medicaid Expansion and others as reasons to vote in this election.
SOS was joined by the Alabama Women’s Roundtable headed by Jefferson County Commissioner, Sheila Tyson; Faith and Works, an organization of church leaders promoting voting, Alabama New South Coalition, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Democracy Project, and other groups supported this statewide convening.
Yolanda Flowers, Democratic candidate for Governor, stopped by the meeting and made some short remarks on the importance of voting. She also referenced her platform of educational reform, criminal justice reforms and approving Medicaid Expansion as part of her agenda to improve health care for Alabamians.
Attorney Faya Rose Toure, SOS Steering Committee member, opened the meeting with a plea for unity and solidarity among organizations in Alabama working on counteracting voter suppression and preserving democracy. She also communicated a warning that the powers against democracy have used violence in the January 6th attack on Congress and threaten to use violence again to defeat democracy.
Faya Rose also warned that the opponents of democracy have prepared a legal case, Moore vs. Harper, which will be heard by the conservative leaning Supreme Court in the Fall term. “This case asserts the independent state legislative theory, which would give the state legislatures the final authority in deciding voting matters, including certification of electors for the Electoral College, which determines who will be elected President. This would give Republican Legislatures the power to override the choice of voters in statewide elections, based on any rationale they choose,” said Toure.
“Democracy is in danger in this country and the Supreme Court’s decision in Moore vs Harper will be a key to the future of democracy in our nation. So, we need to pay close attention to this case when it comes before the Supreme Court,” said Toure
Ushe Bean with Faith and Works spoke about her efforts to re-engage Black churches in social justice work and encouraging voting, based on teachings in the Bible. She asked interested clergy and churches to contact her organization through their website at faith and church.com.
John Zippert and Mayor Johnny Ford, Co-chairs of the SOS Health Committee, stressed the importance of elevating the issue of Medicaid Expansion, as an issue in the upcoming November election. “Medicaid Expansion, which would provide health insurance to over 250,000 working poor Alabamians, would improve the health care of all Alabamians. This decision has been on Governor Ivey’s desk for seven years and she has not acted,” said Ford.
John Zippert reminded the group that Ivey’s reservations that the funds are not available for Medicaid Expansion was not true. “The funds are available to the State of Alabama in the American Rescue Plan to Expand Medicaid. Alabama can get an increased reimbursement for its current Medicaid recipients which would pay for Medicaid Expansion for three years. After three years, the 30,000 new jobs and revenues created in the health system by Medicaid Expansion would support the state’s matching contribution going forward. There is no reason not to pursue this policy which would help people and save lives,” said Zippert.
Several representatives of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity were present who spoke to their Voting and Democracy Project, which seeks to involve the 324,000 Black voters, who did not vote in the 2018 Gubernatorial Election, and register the 300,000 Black eligible voters in Alabama who are not registered. October 24, 2022 is the last day to register before the November 8th election, which is now about 50 days away.
The people present agreed to work on a “20 for 20 program” to register 20,000 people each on September 20 and October 20 before the November 8 election.
At the end of the meeting, SOS held a press conference to highlight the issue of Medicaid Expansion in the upcoming election. You can contact SOS on our website, Facebook page or by calling 334/262-0932.