DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) — Many people gathered in Davis Thursday evening to remember the events that unfolded last year at the U.S. Capitol and to make sure it never happens again.
People in attendance at Central Park spoke about how it reminded them how fragile democracy can be and what needs to be done to strengthen it.
“The memory will never be a year ago, the memory is always there,” Congressman John Garamendi said. “The day started out with those memories. Memories of that night, memories of that brutality.”
Garamendi said he hopes the country will never see those moments again. It was a sentiment felt by many at the park.
“This day reminds us all how fragile our democracy is and how important it is for people to care about preserving our democratic republic or we may not have it anymore,” Michelle Family, with the League of Women Voters Davis, said.
While many reflected on the events of that day, local elected leaders and organizations hope people remember that voting rights are important and that those rights are at risk.
“Until we are ready to secure voting right for each individual and make it as easily accessible as we can possibly manage, we are falling behind what we claim to be, which is the heart of democracy,” Lisette Van Vliet said.
Those in attendance urge Congress, specifically the Senate, to pass several federal acts to protect people’s right to vote and have a fair election: The Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Protecting Our Democracy Act.
“We will not allow this country to descend into some sort of autocracy into the kind of hateful, bigotry that we have seen in the previous four years,” Garamendi said.
“I’m glad to see I have company here in this struggle. I’m just so scared for our country,” Alan Hirsch said.
Garamendi hopes what happened on Jan. 6, 2020, has a lasting impact.
“The words out there often hide the fact, but these are not lying eyes. This really happened,” Garamendi said.
The three votings acts have passed the House and currently sit in the Senate.