There’s a path forward in the states: If the Supreme Court does indeed overturn Roe, enshrining reproductive rights in state constitutions via ballot measures will guarantee the protection of reproductive health care for years to come, particularly in states where Republicans control the legislature.
We talk with Kelly Hall of the Fairness Project, which is gathering signatures to put a referendum on the ballot this fall to bypass the legislature and take the matter directly to voters. If they approve it, the measure would amend the state’s constitution to make reproductive freedom a right.
While much of the media and advocacy attention has focused on these suppressive efforts, missing from the conversation is another pernicious and coordinated attempt to short-circuit democracy: the increasingly aggressive campaign by Republican-dominated state legislatures to shut down the citizen-driven ballot measure process.
“It is a death by 1,000 cuts,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project, an organization that focuses on economic and social justice ballot measures. “Very rarely do we see an attack on our democracy that is an outright ban on voting or on ballot measures.”
Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project, told Axios: "All of these barriers may not feel like they're insurmountable, but just like the other accounts on voting rights, it's sort of cumulative, which makes using direct democracy harder."
“It's certainly the most ballot measures we've ever seen referred to curtail ballot measure access,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of the liberal Fairness Project, which launched a $5 million effort last year to battle changes to the initiative process. “We have seen one per cycle, basically, and now we've already got six.”
We toss around the term "democracy is under attack" quite often without thinking too much, but one organization is actually stepping up to do something about it. The Fairness Project is a group that funds and organizes state ballot measures across the country.
Joel is joined by Kelly Hall, Executive Director for The Fairness Project to discuss her work on the issue of state ballot measures across the country. They discuss a new project that The Fairness Project is launching and broader geopolitical impacts of ballot measures, especially for progressives.