Defend democracy in the South.

joe manchin

INSTITUTE INDEX: How Build Back Better would transform dirty rural electric systems

December 1, 2021 - Born of the New Deal's anti-poverty initiatives, rural electric cooperatives today serve 42 million Americans, most in the South, Midwest, and Great Plains. They still depend heavily on coal, but the $1.8 trillion spending bill passed by the House has a provision giving billions of dollars to speed their transition to renewables. Will it survive corporate Democrats' obstructionism in the Senate?

A Senate fight is brewing over the Freedom to Vote Act — and the filibuster

September 29, 2021 - Senate Democrats recently introduced the Freedom to Vote Act, a compromise alternative to the For the People Act, far-reaching pro-democracy legislation blocked by a Republican filibuster. If the GOP again uses the filibuster to obstruct the bill, Democrats say they'll take on reforming the Senate policy, which requires 60 votes to end debate on a measure. But that will require moving conservative Democrats like West Virginia's Joe Manchin, a filibuster defender who's also among the new bill's sponsors.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Remembering West Virginia's Battle of Blair Mountain at 100

August 27, 2021 - This Labor Day weekend, people will gather in West Virginia to mark the centennial of the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest labor uprising in U.S. history. We look at what led to the bloody battle — when 10,000 Black, white, and immigrant coal miners joined together to fight for union rights against coal companies allied with corrupt law enforcement — and how it's being commemorated.

Demonstrators will gather in Washington to demand federal voting protections

August 18, 2021 - On the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, protestors will once again descend on the nation's capital as well as cities across the South to demand congressional action on civil rights. They're pressing for passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which have been stalled in the Senate because of Republican obstruction and some Democrats' unwillingness to end the filibuster.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Democratic senator from Virginia blocking key pro-union bill

April 29, 2021 - Three Democratic members of the evenly divided U.S. Senate have so far refused to sign on to the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, legislation endorsed by President Biden that would provide stronger protections for workers trying to form a union. Among the naysayers is Mark Warner of Virginia, the Senate's second-richest member and a venture capitalist with a nine-figure estimated net worth.