For Immediate Release
July 19, 2021
Call to Eliminate the Filibuster Missing From President Biden’s Speech on Voting Rights
Just Democracy: “Black organizers should not have to ‘out-organize’ Republican attacks on our right to vote — we already organized our coalition to victory in 2020 and now Congress must do its job”
Atlanta, GA — Today, the Senate Rules Committee held a field hearing in Georgia about the scourge of voter suppression laws sweeping the country and the need to pass federal voting rights legislation. This is the first field hearing by the Senate Rules Committee in twenty years.
Mondale Robinson, Founder of the Black Male Voter Project and Georgia-based Coalition Member of Just Democracy issued the following statement in response:
“Senators were confronted today with the human cost of Jim Crow voter suppression tactics — now we need their commitment to eliminate the filibuster to pass national protections. Black, Latino, and Asian organizers should not have to ‘out-organize’ Republican attacks on our right to vote — we already organized our coalition to victory in 2020 and now Congress must do its job. This is a moment for the history books — Congress has a brief, closing window to defend our right to vote, or America will fully backslide into the terror of poll taxes and literacy tests.”
“This is a coordinated effort to limit Americans’ freedom to vote,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, Chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee. “Our Constitution, in Article One, Section Four, has equipped us to do exactly what we should do. That provision makes clear that Congress has the power to make or alter laws governing federal elections at any time. It is as clear as day. We must meet this moment.”
“Some people don't want some people to vote, so they're trying to deny access to the ballot, creating a set of hurdles that voters have to cross, as if voting is a privilege and not a right,” said Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia. “We Americans live in a great house that democracy built. Right now that house is on fire. [...] Voting rights provides the framework in which all of the other debates about issues impacting our lives take place. Infrastructure, climate change, healthcare, you name it — all critical issues. But democracy is the framework. So Congress has a unique responsibility to protect voting rights for every eligible American.”
"It's just three days since we marked the first anniversary of the passing of Congressman John Lewis, a man who had his skull fractured marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama,” said Senator Jon Ossoff of Georgia. “His self sacrifice and the sacrifice of hundreds of others that day paved the way for passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As you all know well, Congressman Lewis was proud of the progress that our country has made, but he also urged vigilance, because the right to vote can never be taken for granted. And that vigilance is seriously needed today, as the Georgia State legislature has passed restrictions on ballot access surgically targeting Black voters in the state of Georgia.”
“We've worked too hard to ensure equal and fair access to the ballot to turn back now,” said Helen Butler, Executive Director for Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda. “The people that wait the longest in this state are people of color — Black, Latino, Asian American, and other people of color.”
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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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