Michelle Obama is marking the 53rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act by announcing a week of action dedicated to registering voters ahead of November's midterm elections.
The Voting Rights Act has strengthened American democracy, the former First Lady wrote in a message on Twitter, "But the work is far from finished."
The Voting Rights Act makes our democracy stronger, giving every American, from all walks of life, the right to vot… https://t.co/mB4kOkoRFT— Michelle Obama (@Michelle Obama) 1533563865.0
The When We All Vote Week of Action will be held Sept. 22-29. Members of the initiative will travel across the country to register voters, and flagship events will be held in at least 12 cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Miami. The group has several co-chairs, including Forrest Gump actor Tom Hanks, Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, singer Janelle Monae, country music power couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul.
Those who would like to participate in the Week of Action can start by signing up HERE.
"With so much at stake in our country, sitting on the sidelines isn't an option," Obama said in an email to supporters.
In a press release last month, she elaborated further:
Voting is the only way to ensure that our values and priorities are represented in the halls of power. And it's not enough to just vote for president every four years. We all have to vote in every single election: for mayor, governor, school board, state legislature and Congress. The leaders we elect to these offices help determine just about every aspect of our lives and our democracy. So the future of our families, our communities and our country belongs to those of us who show up, cast our votes, and make our voices heard.
Obama received nearly unanimous praise, and others joined her call, too.
@MichelleObama @WhenWeAllVote Thank you for continuing to fight for us, Mrs. Obama. We miss you and your husband. https://t.co/ZN6IRLjiXJ— Jon Zal (@Jon Zal) 1533563911.0
@MichelleObama @WhenWeAllVote PLEASE verify that you are registered to vote.A LOT of purging going on.Seriously. #VoteBlue— kim dunn (@kim dunn) 1533565990.0
@MichelleObama @WhenWeAllVote Let's honor Mrs. Obama by V.O.T.I.N.G! ✅ that your registration is current at… https://t.co/SqdAFEttwq— Rachel Maria 🇺🇸💙🇺🇸 (@Rachel Maria 🇺🇸💙🇺🇸) 1533569768.0
@MichelleObama @WhenWeAllVote Absolutely we must seek those who didn't vote in 2016. Their vote, as all votes matte… https://t.co/gaR7W9tc6S— Karen Sather (@Karen Sather) 1533564074.0
@MichelleObama @WhenWeAllVote Voting is power. Democracy is freedom we can all take for granted. Vote this November… https://t.co/rSd5Lhkwpx— Ray Julian Torres (@Ray Julian Torres) 1533564459.0
@MichelleObama @WhenWeAllVote As a high school teacher, I will make it my mission to encourage every single student… https://t.co/Tys97azDcX— Lesley (@Lesley) 1533568136.0
The former First Lady has a long history of championing voting rights, and she has in the past made headlines for her remarks on how inaction and election fatigue contributed to President Donald Trump's win in 2016.
In April, Mrs. Obama employed a parenting metaphor to describe the Trump administration while speaking at the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston. She likened her husband’s presidency to having “the good parent” at home; the Trump administration, she said, is the total opposite.
“I think what we see is what happens when we take things for granted,” Obama said. “I always felt like for the eight years Barack was president, it was like having the ‘good parent’ at home. The responsible parent, the one who told you to eat your carrots and go to bed on time.
She added: “And now we have the other parent. We thought it’d feel fun, maybe it feels fun for now because we can eat candy all day and stay up late, and not follow the rules. We’re gonna at a point in time look at those two experiences and see how we feel.”
So how did the United States end up with “the other parent”? The answer is simple, Obama said, and it comes down to one thing: Voting responsibly.
“I think it’s going to take young people, the next generation of leaders, to really determine what kind of world they want to be in — and voting has got to be a part of that equation,” she said.