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Voting Rights, Equity and the Political Process, with journalist Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America and Ann Ravel, former Chair of the Federal Election Commission and California Fair Political Practices Commission. Join this conversation about the legacy of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and what local, state and federal laws and practices are promoting or hindering voting rights and democracy today.
This program, cosponsored by Mechanics' Institute and the League of Women Voters of San Francisco, is a non-partisan event.
Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America
by Ari Berman
Countless books have been written about the civil rights movement, but far less attention has been paid to what happened after the dramatic passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and the turbulent forces it unleashed. In this groundbreaking narrative history, Ari Berman charts both the transformation of American democracy under the VRA and the counterrevolution that has sought to limit it from the moment the act was signed into law. Through meticulous research, in-depth interviews, and incisive on-the-ground reporting, Give Us the Ballot offers the first comprehensive history of its kind, and provides new insight into one of the most vital political and civil rights issues of our time.
Ari Berman is a political correspondent for The Nation and an investigative journalism Fellow at the Nation Institute. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times and Rolling Stone, and he is a frequent commentator on MSNBC and NPR. His first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, was published in 2010. He lives in New York City.
Ann Ravel’s lifetime of public service has been defined by her fights to protect consumers and empower voters. She served as Vice-Chair and Chair on the Federal Election Commission from 2013 to 2017, and served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, as a direct appointee by President Obama. Prior, Ravel chaired the California Fair Political Practices Commission and served as Santa Clara County Counsel for over a decade. She’s been named the California Attorney of the Year (2014) by California Lawyer Magazine and Public Attorney of the Year (2007) by the State Bar of California. Ann received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
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