Leading civil rights organizations issued the following joint statement to reflect on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday and to urge Congress to remain focused on protecting the fundamental right to vote for the American people:
“As thousands gather in Selma, Alabama for the 57th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, we are reminded that our right to vote–the right that sparked the infamous march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the right that Americans were beaten and died for–is still under assault.
“President Biden made it clear during his State of the Union address that in order to ensure our right to vote is protected and counted, Congress must do everything in its power to pass the protections that were included in the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, which would:
“Although these bills are designed to address racial discrimination in voting, they will also benefit Americans of all races, ages, ethnicities, and political affiliations. Now more than ever, the need for federal legislative intervention could not be more urgent. We call on every member of Congress to put partisanship aside and defend our Constitutional right to a safe and fair electoral process.
“States across the country have passed dozens of voter suppression laws. In Alabama, 23 bills have been introduced that would allow for excessive voter purging, permit racial and partisan gerrymandering, and encourage voter intimidation, and implement stricter voter I.D. requirements. Just last month, the United States Supreme Court allowed Alabama to implement a redistricting plan that would limit the voting power of communities of color. There is a shameful, anti-democratic effort being undertaken by partisan state legislatures to impede and restrict our most vulnerable populations from voting. These cynical efforts to preserve political power at all costs are a threat to our democracy and need to be challenged directly and undeniably.
“Without congressional action, legislatures in states like Alabama will continue to threaten our democracy by limiting access to the ballot. As civil rights leaders, we will never stop fighting to preserve and defend the right to vote–the one generations before us have bled and died for right here in Selma. Our democracy is at a crossroads and the time has come for Congress to do the right thing.”
This statement was signed by the following organizations:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, CONTACT:
Niambé Tomlinson (National Urban League): (202) 629-5750| firstname.lastname@example.org
Kiren Marshall (The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights): email@example.com
Lacy Crawford (Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law): 202-558-7900| firstname.lastname@example.org
Juan Martinez (NAACP Legal Defense Fund): email@example.com
Angelo Greco (National Coalition on Black Civic Participation/Black Women’s Roundtable): 917-499-2688 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc Banks (NAACP): 443-608-4073 | email@example.com
Tkeban X.T. Jahannes (National Council of Negro Women): 404-944-1615 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Noerdlinger (National Action Network): email@example.com