Oakland, CA – Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement marking the 50th anniversary of the entrance into effect of the Voting Rights Act:
“The right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy. We cannot allow this sacred right to be undone by laws and policies designed to suppress the voice of the American people.
Fifty years ago, our nation took an enormous leap for equality with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. This landmark legislation was not inevitable. It was realized through the tireless struggle of civil rights foot soldiers who organized, protested and marched for equal rights. We must honor their legacy and struggle by protecting the voice of all Americans at the ballot box.
Two years ago, the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act and put our fundamental right to vote in jeopardy.
As we celebrate the golden anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Congress must recommit to protecting the voting rights of all Americans.
We must pass the Voter Empowerment Act (H.R. 12), the Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 2867) and the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act (H.R. 885) – all of which I am proud to co-sponsor.
The American people’s right to vote is sacred and we cannot allow unnecessary restrictions to undermine that right or our democracy.”
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.