SOMA Action Hosts ‘Democracy Strikes Back’ Rally May 4 in Maplewood Village

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Calling the outcome of the 2022 “midterm” Congressional elections key “to help save democracy,” local liberal activists are gearing up for a concerted effort to keep Democrats in power in Washington, D.C.

“This is existential. It’s hard to take in all that’s happening, but when facts stop mattering, and people believe whatever they want to believe, where are we?” said Amy Higer, a member of SOMA Action, in an email to Village Green.

Higer says that SOMA Action is launching its midterm election campaign effort with a “Democracy Strikes Back” rally on May 4 from 5-7 p.m. in Maplewood Village at the corner of Highland Place and Maplewood Avenue. Participants are encouraged to come in their “best Star Wars costume” and “dig out your brightest lightsaber. May the fourth be with ALL of us this midterm year.”

The event will feature meet-and-greets with U.S. Reps. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and Tom Malinowski (NJ-07). The campaign is also supporting Andy Kim (NJ-03), who along with Malinowski is seen as one of the most “at risk” seats in the New Jersey Congressional delegation, although Kim will not be present at the May 4 Maplewood rally. Participants can sign up for one of three “Democracy Strikes Back Teams” at the rally: for either Malinowski, Kim or Sherrill. From May through November, teams will have weekly campaign “actions” for local and out-of-state candidates, including phone or text-banking, door-knocking, postcard writing and fundraising. 

SOMA Action also says it will be campaigning for Democrats beyond SOMA and New Jersey, focusing on races in battleground states Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — “that will help determine the future of our democracy.” 

Voter registration will also be available at the event.

Due to redistricting, Sherrill will be on the ballot in Maplewood and South Orange in the primary this June, and, should she win, on the general election ballot for the November.

In recent decades, Maplewood and South Orange have become liberal strongholds for Democrats: In the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, more than 90% of votes cast in Maplewood and South Orange went to Biden/Harris.

Says SOMA Action President Jessica James, “Since our founding in 2017, SOMA Action has channeled the energy of progressives in our community, turning outrage into positive action. The 2022 midterm elections might be the most critical yet for the future of our democracy. We are up against a Republican machine that has undermined our most sacred democratic processes. Democracy Strikes Back is SOMA Action’s response. We’ll work together to win this fall, and have some fun while we do it. The force is with us!”

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