For Immediate Release
July 13, 2021
Call to Eliminate the Filibuster Missing From President Biden’s Speech on Voting Rights
QUOTE: “Black and Brown organizers didn’t turn out over 80 million voters to elect an Organizer-In-Chief.”
QUOTE: “President Biden’s speech missed the more critical point today: until Congress eliminates the filibuster, voting rights remain under attack.”
Philadelphia, PA — Today, President Joe Biden delivered a speech in Philadelphia on the importance of strengthening and protecting voting rights, calling for a “new coalition” to fight against voter suppression laws. His speech follows Leader Clyburn’s call to change the filibuster for voting rights, as well as the president’s meeting with civil rights groups last week and his recent promise to do everything in his power to “protect the sacred right to vote.”
Stephany Spaulding, Just Democracy Spokesperson and Founder of Truth & Conciliation, issued the following statement:
“President Biden’s speech missed the more critical point today: until Congress eliminates the filibuster, voting rights remain under attack. President Biden laid out an important moral argument, but fell short of the leadership the moment demands.
He called for a coalition of advocates and organizers to stand up, but we’ve been standing up and leading the decades-long fight for voting rights. Black and Brown organizers didn’t turn out over 80 million voters to elect an Organizer-In-Chief. Now, it’s time for the President and the Senate to do their jobs—use the power of their offices to end the Jim Crow filibuster and change the law to protect voting rights.”
Key excerpts from President Biden’s speech:
- “Twenty-first century Jim Crow is real—it’s unrelenting, and we’re going to challenge it vigorously. While this broad assault on voting rights is not unprecedented, it is taking on new and pernicious forms...It’s about who gets to count whether your vote counted at all. This is election subversion, and it is dangerous... We must ask those who represent us at the local, state, and federal levels: Are you on the side of democracy, or autocracy?”
- "Legislation is one tool but not the only tool."
- “[We need] a new coalition of advocates, activists, students, faith leaders, labor leaders, and business executives to overcome this un-American trend and meet the moment through turnout and voter education.”
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About Just Democracy
Just Democracy is an intersectional coalition with racial justice at its core — uplifting voices from all walks of American life that are too often left out of the conversation. The coalition is made up of over 40 Black and Brown-led organizations working across issue areas. It mobilizes thousands who know that advancing social and racial justice issues first requires bold structural democracy reform.
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