FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2021
March On for Voting Rights Responds to John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Introduction in the House
Martin Luther King III, Arndrea Waters King, Rev. Al Sharpton, Andi Pringle and other voting rights leaders organize mass mobilization to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
Washington, D.C. — Today, standing on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which will restore critical provisions of the Voting Rights Act gutted by the Supreme Court. Expected to receive a vote in the House of Representatives next week, the bill will help stem the rush of attacks on voting rights across the country by ensuring that states with a recent history of voter discrimination are once again subject to federal oversight.
March On for Voting Rights will call on the Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act on Saturday, August 28, when millions join the March On for Voting Rights in D.C., Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston, Miami and more than 40 other cities across the country to make their voices heard. Marchers will also call for the Senate to remove the filibuster as a roadblock to critical voting rights legislation.
Rev. Al Sharpton, President and Founder of National Action Network, commented in response:
“If you want to understand why the vote is so important, look at the last 4 years, the last 10 years, and the last 100 years. Freedom fighter and Congressman John Lewis knew it was essential that every vote must count in order to assure every voice is represented, but unfortunately through federal voter suppression and gerrymandering, that hasn’t been the case. Today, Members of Congress continue to fight for the rights of the voiceless with the introduction of H.R.4, the first step to right the wrongs done to the Voting Rights Act and reassert our Constitutional authority over democracy. Whether in Congress, in the streets, or during our March On for Voting Rights, this is the summer of activism.”
Martin Luther King III, Chairman of the Drum Major Institute, commented in response:
“Both John Lewis and my father agreed that there is no right more central to democracy than our right to vote. It is the cornerstone of democracy, the way we have our voices heard. Congress must pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Restoration Act. Our nation is being put to the test, and we must remember my father’s words about the fierce urgency of now.
Arndrea Waters King, President of the Drum Major Institute, commented in response:
“Coretta Scott King told us, ‘Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.’ Now is the time to earn and win our sacred right to vote. It is up to us to remind Congress they represent the people, and the people demand the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Restoration Act.”
Andi Pringle, Political and Strategic Campaigns Director at March On, commented in response:
“Voting rights in America hang by a thread, and we are grateful to our leaders in Congress who understand the gravity of this moment. But some of those in Congress act as though voting rights are debatable. They are not—voting rights are a fundamental requirement of democracy. Without legislation like the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act to protect both voters and elections, millions will be disenfranchised and America will cease to be the democracy we claim to be. This is why millions will take to the streets on August 28 to demand passage of this legislation before it’s too late.”
Stasha Rhodes, Campaign Manager of 51 for 51, commented in response:
“We are resolved to march on August 28 to make sure Congress does everything in its power to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the For the People Act and the Washington D.C. Admissions Act. We can no longer allow states with long histories of disenfranchising our communities to strip away voting rights for Black and Brown people. After it passes the House, the Senate must remove the Jim Crow filibuster as a roadblock. Millions will march to make that call crystal clear.”
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About March On for Voting Rights
March On for Voting Rights is a mass mobilization to demand that elected officials protect democracy, denounce voter suppression, make D.C. a state, and ensure fair, easy access to the vote. On August 28, the 58th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, we will march on cities across America to demand that the vision of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech be deferred no longer. That means passing the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the Washington, D.C. Admission Act. The march is led by Drum Major Institute, March On, the National Action Network, Future Coalition, SEIU, and 51 for 51, and is joined by over 140 other partners. The march is funded through the #ForJohn campaign, a grassroots effort co-founded by Martin Luther King III and Arndrea King to fight voter suppression.