For Immediate Release

March 7, 2021

Press Contact

On Bloody Sunday Anniversary, Black- and Brown-Led Coalition Calls on the Senate to Pass D.C. Statehood and Eliminate the Filibuster

Honoring the Legacy of Congressman John Lewis Means Enacting Bold Democracy Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, on the 56th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, Just Democracy continues advocating for justice in honor of Congressman Lewis by calling on the Senate to unrig the rules of democracy and enfranchise the over 700,000 mostly Black and Brown residents of D.C.

The coalition released a powerful video featuring Congressman Lewis speaking on the House floor in 1993, ahead of the first ever D.C. statehood vote. In his speech, Congressman Lewis compelled his fellow members of Congress to remember the message from Selma decades before: “one man, one vote.” He rose in support of equal representation for the residents of D.C. and called on other members to rise with him. 

Nearly three decades after the first failed statehood vote — and over a half century after the first walk for justice across the Edmund Pettus Bridge — another D.C. statehood bill has been introduced. Just Democracy rises in honor of Congressman Lewis by calling on the Senate to eliminate the filibuster, a Jim Crow relic, and make D.C. a state.  

Just Democracy Coalition Member and Founder of the Black Male Voter Project, Mondale Robinson, shared the following words honoring Congressman Lewis in a piece published in Blavity on Friday: 

“Over 56 years after Bloody Sunday and 28 years after Congressman Lewis’s speech, more than 700,000 mostly Black and brown residents in D.C. remain locked out of equal representation. The injustice harkens back to a South of my nightmares. Denying voting rights to a majority Black and brown community is a relic of our Jim Crow South — a constant reminder that our struggle for justice requires Black Americans to secure rights so fundamental, they are in enshrined in the constitution.”

“We are living through our generation’s Bloody Sunday — we’re in the middle of a mammoth moment in the long, continuous struggle for justice.” 

“We need to rise up to honor the legacy and memory of Congressman Lewis, and make the history we failed to make in 1993. We need to call our Senators on behalf of the residents of D.C. — who have no Senators to call — and ask them to support the struggle for D.C. statehood. We cannot sit idle. It’s time to make good trouble — it’s time to make D.C. the 51st state with 51 votes in the Senate.”

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