As 2014 draws to a close, it’s amazing how far we’ve come, even as there is a long way yet to go.
We the People Project was founded in February 2013 because we believed it was wrong that residents of U.S. territories and DC are treated like second-class citizens. With the political process stalled, we thought we should start looking to the courts and our communities as a source for change
Help support our fight for equality by making a tax-deductible contribution before December 31st (here).
Our first case, Tuaua v. United States, challenges the Insular Cases doctrine and argues for equal constitutional citizenship in U.S. territories. On Monday, February 9th, we'll be arguing this landmark case before the D.C. Circuit.
We’ve received a tremendous amount of support in this effort, with a top national firm serving as our pro bono co-counsel. Four top national firms have also filed “friend of the court” briefs in support of our positions in the case. As a result, we’ve able to leverage every $100 we’ve received in support to over $1,000 of impact.
Our efforts to fight against the Insular Cases and second-class citizenship have also received national attention, including during Harvard Law School’s “Reconsidering the Insular Cases” conference in February, and this Op-Ed on CNN.com.
Building on this success, we plan to file a new federal voting rights lawsuit early next year. Already more than 2,500 residents of U.S. territories have taken our Right to Vote survey to help make the case that the right to vote for President shouldn’t depend on where you live (please encourage your friends and family to take the survey!). And we are working once again with a top national law firm and prominent local attorneys.
Through the case, we hope to tell the story of the more than 150,000 veterans and others living in U.S. territories who are denied the right to vote for President. And while these U.S. citizens have no voting representation in Congress, our lives are impacted on a daily basis by decisions in Washington, from health care, to the price of groceries, to whether those in uniform will be sent to war.
This story of inequality is starting to gain traction. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should watch the powerful PBS special “Island of Warriors,” which looks at inadequate veterans health care services in Guam. We’re working to bring similar stories to new audiences across the nation.
Next year we have even bigger plans. We’re hoping to leverage our advocacy in court to drive change in Congress. And we’d like to continue expanding our grassroots presence in each of the territories and among the diaspora living throughout the States. All this will build towards making the case for the right to vote for President in the 2016 elections.
But we can’t do any of this without your continued support!
Please consider including We the People Project in your end-of-year contributions. Every dollar we receive results in a more than ten-fold impact through our pro bono partnerships.
In particular, we are setting a goal of raising $3,000 to help our Tuaua plaintiffs be able to make it to their day in court in Washington DC in February. If you’d like to specifically help cover these travel expenses, you can do so here. Donations received by December 31st will be matched.
As always, thank you for everything you do to support “Equal Rights, Wherever You Live.” Together, we can bring about real and lasting change.