Civil Rights Leaders: ‘It’s Time for the Senate to Do Their Jobs and Pass the For The People Act’
For Immediate Release: July 19, 2021
Contact: Jeralyn Cave, [email protected]
ATLANTA — Today, the Senate Rules Committee held a rare field hearing in Atlanta, Georgia focused on the state’s new restrictive voting laws introduced by Republicans in the state legislature earlier this year. The hearing was an opportunity to hear from local officials, activists, and voters throughout the state whose access to the ballot box will now require them to navigate around new and unprecedented hurdles in order to fulfill their civic duty and engage in the most fundamental part of our democracy. However, it would be more prudent to honor the voices of those who stood in long lines, purged off the roles, and those concerned citizens that gave sustenance to those exercising their civic duty.
“While we appreciate the Rules Committee taking the time to hear directly from Georgians, the fact of the matter is that today’s hearing was only made possible thanks to the resilience, organization, and strength of Georgia voters who elevated Democrats into the majority in the first place,” said Nse Ufot, executive director of the New Georgia Project. “Georgia’s voters invested in democracy for the Senate to do the right thing and not so that the Senate would engage in a performative version of democracy.”
This hearing comes in the midst of litigation filed by a coalition of faith-based and civic engagement organizations against Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger for his role in assaulting the engines of democracy. So far this year, more than 22 new laws across 14 states including Georgia have been enacted - making the barriers to the ballot box even more pronounced.
“Voters in Georgia and across the country — particularly voters of color, seniors, and first-time voters — are facing an unprecedented assault on their voting rights by lawmakers whose electability is suddenly at risk,” added Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project National Office. “Rather than moving swiftly and boldly to protect American voters, our elected officials have dragged their feet and embraced half-measures while more and more states impede access to the polls. Passing the For the People Act and doing away with the antiquated filibuster rule in the Senate is not the ceiling — it is the floor. Georgians demand it. Americans demand it. Democracy itself demands it.”
“We’re urging the Senate to take action, we’re calling on them to do their job to protect democracy. Voting is a critical part of preserving the civil liberties of historically marginalized communities - most often Black and Brown people across the United States. We’re looking to the Senate to create voting laws that are rooted in justice and equity,” added Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action.
Advancement Project National Office is a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change. Visit www.advancementproject.org
Faith in Action is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.