WELCOME BACK. TODAY IS FRIDAY, APRIL 14.
Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Jake Vojcek (he/him), Supermajority’s deputy director of legal and compliance. Jake’s work enables Supermajority to engage and mobilize our community in its work to build a world where the Majority Rules are reality by ensuring all SM programs adhere to IRS and FEC compliance (in other words, Jake ensures the work we do is transparent and legal).
Well, hello! Welcome to this week’s edition of The Newsletter, this time brought to you by me, Jake!
I know, you probably saw my name and thought “Wait, who’s that?!,” which is a very fair question. While I have been a part of the Supermajority team for almost three years, most of my work happens behind the scenes! Part of my time is spent chatting with our program teams, working to hone the amazing events, trainings, and countless other pieces of work they put out throughout the year. The other part of my time is spent doing even more exciting things like talking to our lawyers and filing reports with the federal government. I joke! In all honesty, it might not be the most glamorous aspect of our work, but I must say it remains equally as rewarding :)
What you might find more interesting than submitting IRS and FEC reports is that, outside of work hours, I am also a yoga instructor! I know, funny combination—yoga and compliance—but I’ve always loved a good juxtaposition, especially considering life in the concrete jungle that is NYC. Over the past three years on planet Earth, and more specifically here in the States, we have experienced so many immensely tumultuous times, to put it lightly. My yoga practice really helps me remain grounded and remember that, even when we experience suffering, there is an infinite amount of joy to be had. And that is what keeps me going in this incredible work!
I would also be remiss if I didn’t share one last thing: MY KITTEN! Well, she might not technically be a kitten anymore, but she will forever be a baby in my heart. Her name is Millicent, or Millie for short, and she brings me an incredible amount of joy… and just a tinge of frustration… But how can you be mad at this face!!
So, continuing in the spirit of joy, let’s review what you’ll find in today’s biweekly newsletter: how to get involved in Black Maternal Health week, an update on Tennessee and on Wisconsin, an invite to join Supermajority and the Sunrise Movement, and a big win in Michigan. Plus, I’ll share more of what’s bringing me joy lately.
Let’s get started:
BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH WEEK
Tuesday, April 11 was the first day of Black Maternal Health Week, a week of awareness and advocacy coined by Black Mamas Matter Alliance—and just this week recognized officially by the Biden Administration. We’ve talked about Black maternal health in newsletters before, but as a reminder: Black people face rampant medical racism in the United States, including but not limited to birthing a child. The maternal mortality rate in the United States is one of the highest in the world, and that rate more than doubles for Black women, as well as indigenous women.
Every birthing person in this country, especially Black women, deserve to feel safe, cared for, and protected. Our work and our values remind us that the right to safety and the right to have your body respected are not to be compromised.
AN UPDATE ON WHAT’S HAPPENING IN TENNESSEE
There’s an important and exciting update on the Tennessee lawmakers who were expelled from the state’s legislature last week. In two unanimous votes, both Justin Pearson of Shelby County and Justin Jones from Davidson County were reinstated. This is a huge win and an important example of the voices of the people, particularly the more than 32,000 young voters in those counties, prevailing over power-hungry politicians. It also sends a clear message to politicians who try to silence young elected leaders of color and the voters they represent—we won’t let them.
Earlier this month, Milwaukee County circuit court judge Janet Protasiewicz won the Wisconsin Supreme Court race over conservative sitting judge Daniel Kelly, an ally of former President Donald Trump, by 11 percentage points. On the line was the future of reproductive freedom. As it stood following last year’s overturning of the constitutional right to abortion, Wisconsin’s current law is from 1849 and bans abortion in all cases except when the life of the mother is in danger. With the help of judge Janet Protasiewicz, the abortion ban should be overturned as well as addressing the state’s most recent redistricting map that heavily favors Republicans, and unjust barriers to voting should be removed.
Yet again, women and young voters have proven their strength—and we should not be underestimated.
SUPERWOMEN WEDNESDAY WITH SUNRISE MOVEMENT
Next Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET, join Supermajority and the Sunrise Movement for a special climate-focused evening of learning and action.
The Sunrise Movement is a youth movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process. They’re building an army of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people.
A WIN IN MICHIGAN
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation repealing Michigan’s extreme 1931 law banning abortion without exceptions for rape or incest and criminalizing nurses and doctors for doing their jobs. Last year, Supermajority put boots on the ground and helped secure a democratic trifecta in government. Governor Whitmer repealing this legislation is a dream realized and a prime example of what happens when women vote and can make their own decisions about their own bodies. Thank you to Governor Whitmer for fulfilling a campaign promise.
MY WEEKEND READS + LISTENS
WHAT’S BEEN BRINGING ME JOY
- Daily meditations and deep breaths.
- Sunny spring days in NYC… minus the sudden onslaught of pollen!
- Lemon lavender lattes from my local coffee shop, Apo (iced, of course)!
- Long nights filled with dancing and friends.
- The Real Housewives. I can’t get enough.
- Knowing that summer is just around the corner!
Thanks for reading—you’ll hear from another staff member in two weeks.
Jake Vojcek (he/him)
Deputy Director, Legal and Compliance