HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Over 50 Democratic state representatives remain out of the state today in protest of Republican-backed bills that Democrats say will suppress voters.
“Voting rights and democracy is not a noun, it’s a verb,” said Zeren Perez, the managing director for MOVE Texas. “We practice it every day, and we have to practice it every day to make sure we don’t lose it.”
Making sure democracy isn’t lost is what Perez told KVEO his group does every day.
“To make sure that folks in, especially our generation, people of color, immigrants, Black folks, communities that have been marginalized and left excluded, don’t have any barriers to participation,” said Perez.
MOVE activists were among those who waited long into the night at the start of the special session to testify against bills designed to restrict voting.
Perez said that “we had young people in that room waiting more than 24 hours to testify.”
MOVE has been rallying opposition against bills like senate bill seven since the regular session began in March. Perez said their efforts have shown lawmakers that things need to change.
“The work that groups like MOVE and other groups have been doing to basically demand that legislators stand up to these types of lies and these types of policies instead of just going along with it the way it has happened the last 20-30 years,” explained Perez.
The move for Democrats to leave the state was an escalation of their walkout in May, but according to Perez, it’s no different than Governor Abbott ignoring bigger issues to focus on voting.
“My family froze, we went through a pandemic, and we have (sic) literally going through an economic crisis right now too, went through employment and other poverty and hunger issues that have happened. And where is the special sessions on those?” asked Perez.