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The Soul of Democracy

Politics & Public Policy

The Soul of Democracy

In-Person Forum

Friday, February 4, 2022
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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"When you talk about democracy, it's not about my side, your side, or what side is better. When we talk about democracy it's about both sides being able to fully engage and participate on the same level field." – Desmond Meade

There's a battle over the soul of democracy today, and recently, access to the ballot box has become the site of some of the most important legislative conflicts. Across the country--Georgia, Texas, and here in Ohio--legislators and activists are clashing over whether the simple act of voting should be easy and accessible, or limited by ID requirements and other constraints.

In 2018, as the executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition--and a returning citizen himself, Desmond Meade led the movement to restore voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians with past felony convictions. That painstaking campaign secured a victory at the ballot box, amending the Florida constitution, and producing one of the largest expansions of voting rights in history.

At the height of the 2020 presidential race, the activist and advocate saw some of his success undone by the Florida legislature, but when he spoke as part of the City Club's Democracy Unchained series, his optimism was persistent. "We know that when we're a part of a democracy, we make it more inclusive," he said. "And when we make it more inclusive, we make our democracy more vibrant. And when we have a vibrant democracy, that's good for everyone."

Join Desmond Meade, 2021 MacArthur “genius” Fellowship recipient, for a candid presentation about the current battles over the most fundamental right in a democratic society: the right to vote.

The livestream will be available beginning at 12:30p.m. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.

Effective October 1, 2021, the City Club will be requiring ticketholders to provide proof of Covid vaccination or a recent negative Covid test. Email with any questions.

Production and distribution of City Club forums in partnership with Ideastream Public Media is generously provided by PNC and the United Black Fund.

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