Democrats Stave Off Disaster, For Now?

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Were grassroots activists able to defend democracy in 2022? For this post-election roundtable, Laura convenes organizers to discuss some of the critical takeaways from this year’s election. What have grassroots activists on the frontlines of our democracy learned from this significant midterm election when so many of their issues have been weaponized — from criminal justice, the Native vote, women’s self determination and racism. Laura is joined by Sakira Cook, the Co-Interim Vice President of Color Of Change, who works to overhaul the criminal justice system and safeguard democracy; Jacqueline DeLeón is an enrolled member of the Isleta Pueblo and is an attorney with the Native Rights Fund where she helped lead field hearings across Indian Country on Native American voting rights, and Heidi Sieck, the co-founder of #VOTEPROCHOICE and an organizer in the reproductive rights and feminist movement for over 30 years. Democrats had high expectations on how the GOP’s rollbacks on many fronts would mobilize voters. What worked, and what didn’t?

“We don’t have residential mail delivery to many of our homes. We don’t have working roads when the election is in November, during the wintertime . . . These types of absurd realities are exploited when you have laws that are designed to make it more difficult for Native Americans specifically to vote.” – Jacqueline DeLeón

“The amount of mobilization that abortion was inspiring was underestimated and unsupported at scale . . . We knew that this was an activating issue, and we also saw across the board a failure to invest in mobilizing folks that were really angry about this.” – Heidi L. Sieck

“The people do not support the things that support. They have to try every tactic, changing the laws . . . These are things that should not be happening in our democracy.” – Sakira Cook


  • Sakira Cook: Co-Interim Vice President of Campaigns, Color Of Change
  • Jacqueline DeLeón (Isleta Pueblo): Attorney, Native American Rights Fund
  • Heidi L. Sieck: Co-founder/CEO, #VOTEPROCHOICE

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