One Book, One Community 2022
One Book, One Community is a community-wide reading initiative aimed at encouraging residents of the Chippewa Valley to turn their attention to a single book on a social justice topic in order to understand how the issue affects our community, and more importantly, to start conversations about how community members can take positive steps toward change.
Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression in America
Our book for 2022 is Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression in America by Gilda R. Daniels.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is considered one of the most effective pieces of legislation the United States has ever passed. It enfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters, particularly in the American South, and drew attention to the problem of voter suppression. Yet in recent years there has been a continuous assault on access to the ballot box in the form of stricter voter ID requirements, meritless claims of rigged elections, and baseless accusations of voter fraud. In the past these efforts were aimed at eliminating African American voters from the rolls, and today, new laws seek to eliminate voters of color, the poor, and the elderly, groups that historically vote for the Democratic Party.
Uncounted examines the phenomenon of disenfranchisement through the lens of history, race, law, and the democratic process. Gilda R. Daniels, who served as Deputy Chief in the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and has more than two decades of voting rights experience, argues that voter suppression works in cycles, constantly adapting and finding new ways to hinder access for an exponentially growing minority population. She warns that a premeditated strategy of restrictive laws and deceptive practices has taken root and is eroding the very basis of American democracy―the right to vote!
About the Author: Gilda R. Daniels is a Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law. A nationally recognized voting rights and election law expert, she is a former Deputy Chief in the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section. Professor Daniels also served as Litigation Director at Advancement Project National Office-supporting the justice, education, immigrants’ rights and voting projects-and as a staff attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Tuesday, September 20 – Voter Registration
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, 400 Eau Claire Street | September 20 | 2–6 p.m. | FREE | Volunteers from Chippewa Valley Votes will check your voter registration status and register you to vote. Moved? Update your information! Name changed? Update your registration! Please bring Proof of Residence. Plus…our Dabble Box staff will be onsite with voter activities for all ages!
Co-sponsor: Chippewa Valley Votes
Tuesday, September 27 – Democracy at a Crossroads
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, 400 Eau Claire Street (Riverview Room) | September 27 | 6–7 p.m. | FREE | Some of the biggest controversies in American democracy today involve democracy itself. Amid mounting concerns about voter suppression, gerrymandering, election integrity, political misinformation, and more, Americans across the political spectrum are worried about our democracy’s trajectory. This talk will reflect on the challenges we face and how we might strengthen America’s democratic institutions.
About the Presenter: Robert Yablon is an Associate Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director of the State Democracy Research Initiative at the University of Wisconsin Law School. His research interests include political and election law, constitutional law, and state and federal courts. Prior to joining the law faculty, Rob was a practicing attorney and a law clerk to Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. Rob grew up in Wisconsin and got his undergraduate degree from UW-Madison.
Thursday, October 6 – The Fight to Vote for the Right to Vote
Virtual | October 6 | 6–7 p.m. | FREE| Registration required! | Author of this year’s One Book, One Community book, Gilda Daniels will discuss the historical and contemporary ways in which the right to vote has been manipulated. She will offer suggestions on ways to overcome the obstacles to the ballot.
About the Presenter: Gilda R. Daniels is a Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law. A nationally recognized voting rights and election law expert, she is a former Deputy Chief in the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section. Professor Daniels also served as Litigation Director at Advancement Project National Office-supporting the justice, education, immigrants’ rights and voting projects-and as a staff attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Tuesday, October 11 – Failure is Impossible (Performance by ECWIT)
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, 400 Eau Claire Street (Riverview Room) | October 11 | 6–7 p.m. | FREE |The Eau Claire Women in Theater (ECWIT) bring stories to life through quality entertainment that inspires, engages, and challenges audiences. ECWIT presents the story of young barista, Joan, and 10 famous suffragists. Follow Joan as she is visited by Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, and others who draw her into their stories, inspiring her to take advantage of women’s hard-won right to vote.
Other Events & Resources
Monday, October 17 – Referendum Forum: City of Eau Claire and Eau Claire School District
Pablo Center at the Confluence | October 17 | 10–11:30 a.m. | Details & Registration | Tax levy referendums are on the fall election ballot for both the City of Eau Claire and the Eau Claire Area School District. The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce has invited City Council President Terry Weld, City Manager Stephanie Hirsch, School Board President Tim Nordin, School Superintendent Mike Johnson and other key officials to provide information and answer questions about what’s on the ballot, tax implications for property owners, and how the additional revenue would be used. This is a valuable opportunity to get an apples-to-apples understanding of both proposals so you can make an informed voting decision.