Groups Take Out Full Page Ads in Roanoke Times and Richmond Times-Dispatch
On Wednesday, June 5th, local chapters of civil rights and voting groups are taking out full page ads in the Roanoke Times and Richmond Times-Dispatch calling on their members of Congress to move the congressional process forward on the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA).
The ads, which were taken out in collaboration with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, highlight the unique influence that Congressmen Bob Goodlatte and Eric Cantor have over the future of the VRAA, which would update and modernize the landmark Voting Rights Act to protect voters from discrimination in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision last June in Shelby County v. Holder. As the ads state, the Voting Rights Act “has protected voters for 50 years, approved time and again by bipartisan majorities in Congress and signed into law by presidents from both parties—from Lyndon Johnson, to Ronald Reagan, to George W. Bush.”
The Roanoke Times ad (Click here for a PDF) highlights Rep. Goodlatte’s role as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, where the bipartisan VRAA has been awaiting committee action since its introduction in January. The ad was sponsored by LULAC Council 4609, the League of Women Voters Lynchburg, the Virginia State Conference NAACP, the Roanoke Branch NAACP, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. It says “we are calling on Congress and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to act. A bipartisan bill has been introduced to modernize the Voting Rights Act and provide modern protection to all voters. We urge the House Judiciary Committee to advance this needed legislation, and ensure that no voter is denied his or her right to vote this November.”
The Richmond Times-Dispatch ad (Click here for a PDF) highlights Rep. Cantor’s role as House Majority Leader, stating that “every day that goes by without a modern Voting Rights Act is a threat to voters everywhere. Majority Leader Cantor and Congress have the power to modernize protections for all voters. We ask them to move forward on this historic opportunity.” The ad was signed by the Virginia State Conference NAACP, LULAC Council 4609, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. The Richmond Times-Dispatch buy also includes online banner ads targeting Rep. Cantor’s constituents.
Joan MacCallum, President of the League of Women Voters of Lynchburg
“The League of Women Voters of Lynchburg is counting on Congress to come together to restore the Voting Rights Act after a bipartisan group of legislators introduced H.R. 3899, the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014. Protecting the right to vote is something that every member of Congress should be able to agree on. It has been nearly six months after the legislation was introduced and little progress has been made to keep it moving forward. Lynchburg’s own, Representative Bob Goodlatte, has the power to move this legislation to the next level as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Chairman Goodlatte, the right to vote is not about politics or the outcome of elections; it is about equality and justice. Virginians and all Americans deserve to hear a debate on this issue. We’re counting on you to move this legislation to the next level.”
Vivian Sanchez-Jones, LULAC Supporter/Community Organizer (Roanoke, VA)
“Congress must pass a Voting Rights Act Amendment that meets the needs of the 21st century. LULAC urges Chairman Goodlatte to give the VRAA real consideration and move the bill through the legislative process. Every month, more than 52,000 young Latinos turn 18, many of whom are U.S. born citizens and eligible to vote. LULAC believes that the cornerstone of our democracy is the right of every American citizen to vote. Passage of an effective VRAA ensures that the right of every American to vote is respected. It also helps to encourage greater participation, particularly for young people, who may be casting their first ballot in the next election.”