Join New Republic deputy editor Jason Linkins for a discussion about the importance of protecting voting rights and the idea of “majority rule."
This event is produced in partnership with the New Republic.
- Matt Ford, Staff Writer, the New Republic
- Jeff Merkley, U.S. Senator, Oregon
- Osita Nwanevu, Staff Writer, the New Republic
- John Sarbanes, U.S. Representative, Maryland
- Wendy Weiser, Vice President, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice
- Moderator: Jason Linkins, Deputy Editor, the New Republic
Matt Ford is a staff writer at the New Republic. His work focuses on law, the courts, and democracy. Originally from Nevada, Matt previously wrote for The Atlantic.
As Oregon’s U.S. Senator, Jeff Merkley’s goal is to make Washington work for working Americans. He is fighting to create good jobs for working Oregonians, protect consumers from predatory practices, and ensure that all Oregonians have access to high-quality, affordable education. Jeff is the son of a millwright and the first in his family to attend college. Jeff went on to serve as president of the World Affairs Council in Portland before entering the Oregon House of Representatives in 1998. He became Speaker of the House in 2007. In the U.S. Senate, Jeff continues to stand up for working families. He fights to create living-wage jobs and to push back on unfair trade policies that ship Oregon’s jobs overseas. He has worked to make college more affordable and make retirement more secure for seniors. A true reformer, he led a historic coalition to fix the broken Senate by breaking up the gridlock, making it more responsive to the concerns of working families. Jeff serves on the Senate Committees on Appropriations; Environment and Public Works; Budget; and Foreign Relations.
Osita Nwanevu is a staff writer at the New Republic and a former staff writer at the New Yorker and Slate. His work has also appeared in Harper’s, Mic, In These Times, and the Chicago Reader. He is the former editor of the South Side Weekly, a Chicago alternative newspaper.
Congressman John Sarbanes has represented Maryland’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. Congress since 2007. He currently serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change. He serves as Vice-Chair of the House Subcommittee on Health. Congressman Sarbanes also serves on the House Oversight and Reform Committee and its Subcommittee on Government Operations. He chairs the Democracy Reform Task Force, which has assembled HR1, the For The People Act, to reform and strengthen our democracy.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Congressman Sarbanes has experience working in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He and his family live in Towson, giving him the opportunity to drive home every night and hear from the people he serves in Congress. Listening to their concerns allows him to better represent Maryland and has shaped his work in the House of Representatives.
Wendy Weiser directs the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan think tank and public interest law center that works to revitalize, reform, and defend systems of democracy and justice. Her program focuses on voting rights and elections, money in politics and ethics, redistricting and representation, government dysfunction, rule of law, and fair courts. She founded and directed the program’s Voting Rights and Elections Project, directing litigation, research, and advocacy efforts to enhance political participation and prevent voter disenfranchisement across the country.
Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Weiser was a senior attorney at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she worked on issues of access to the courts and domestic violence; a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; and a law clerk to Judge Eugene H. Nickerson in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She received her BA from Yale College and her JD from Yale Law School.
Jason Linkins is a senior editor at the New Republic. Previously, he was a founding member of the Huffington Post’s Washington bureau, before becoming a senior editor at ThinkProgress. He is the co-author of Schoolhouse Wreck: The Betsy DeVos Story and his work has also appeared in The Baffler, The Awl, Maclean’s, DCist, and NBC News Think.