Solidarity Statement with Representative Park Cannon and Representative Leslie Herod
Vote Run Lead rises in solidarity with Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod (CO-8) and Georgia State Representative Park Cannon (GA-58) who yesterday were threatened and arrested, respectively, for doing their jobs. We will not stand idly by as the power of two Black LGBTQIA women are undermined. Representative Herod and Representative Cannon are Vote Run Lead alumnae, trainers, and mentors.
For Vote Run Lead, this is personal.
It was reported yesterday that the Sheriff of Weld County in Colorado, Steven Reams, called Representative Herod a “terrorist” simply because she led a bipartisan effort last year to pass Senate Bill 217, a law enforcement accountability and reform bill that passed the Colorado state legislature with almost unanimous support. At the time, the bill was hailed as a healing balm for the state and an effort towards building more trust between the community and law enforcement officers. Ironically, Sheriff Reams slandered Representative Herod while speaking to a roomful of people who have “repeatedly said they wanted to take the law into their own hands” and have argued that they can reject or ignore laws they disagree with.
Yesterday, Representative Cannon was arrested and is now facing two felony charges for knocking on the door of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s office and allegedly delaying the signing of Senate Bill 202, which will drastically disenfranchise Black, Indigenous and people of color voters in Georgia. The new law “limits absentee ballots and early voting, restricts ballot drop boxes and imposes tough new voter ID requirements. It also allows the state, currently controlled by Republicans, to take over county election boards that the state deems problematic.” One of the most egregious features of the new law is that it now makes it a crime to approach voters in line and provide them with food or water.
As women, and especially women of color, rise to power, we have seen traditional sources of power strike back. From name calling, to intimidation, to outright arrest and confinement, white supremacy and its cousin the patriarchy will not give up without a struggle. And make no mistake, this is about power and who gets access to it and who gets to wield it in our democracy.
At Vote Run Lead, we believe a better democracy is possible. We affirm our commitment to orient our work towards dismantling white supremacy and the patriarchy and replacing them with shared humanity and the strength of a connected, caring national community. We affirm our commitment to using the full weight of our organizational resources to embolden and empower intersectional, anti-racist, reform-minded women like Representative Herod and Representative Cannon to amplify their leadership, and to put more women like them in positions of power. As we rise up, as we run as we are and win, and as the voters continue to elect more of us, we will wield our power. We will not be intimidated. We know we are the ones we've been waiting for, and we will lead America forward and make good on its promise of liberty and justice for all.