Coalition of Over 180 Groups Announce Launch of the National John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Action Day; Peace & Justice Community of St. Cross, Hermosa Beach, CA EPF Chapter Among the Lead Sponsors
Local Groups Host Massive 100+ City Mobilization In the Streets Via Votercades To Defeat Voter Suppression Efforts and Promote Democratic Reforms
TORRANCE, CA –On April 21, a group of organizations dedicated to the protection and expansion of voting rights announced the launch of the National John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Action Day during a virtual press conference. Scheduled for May 8th, this national day of activism will bring together over 180 coalition partners to raise awareness and create energy around protecting the right to vote. Specifically, the event will urge Congress to immediately pass S 1, the For the People Act, H.R. 4 the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, and to eliminate the filibuster.
Led by the Transformative Justice Coalition, an organization founded by voting rights champion Barbara Arnwine and led by its Board Chair Daryl Jones, the event will be organized by groups like Declaration For American Democracy (DFAD), Public Citizen, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Indivisible, and many others. This day of action will feature over 100 “Votercades” held simultaneously in 100 cities. The day will also feature educational opportunities such as a free 2 hour National Broadcast, Voter Education Teach-Ins, Celebration and Activism Villages.
Following the record-breaking Black, Brown and Youth voter turnout in the Georgia Runoff election, state legislatures across America have released an offensive onslaught of undemocratic legislation designed to specifically suppress the vote of communities of color and youth voters. Most publicly, Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp and his fellow republicans in the state legislature passed S.B. 202 -- a highly restrictive voter suppression bill that has been compared to Jim Crow laws. Georgia is one of 47 states that have introduced or passed over 360 anti-voter legislation.
“The scourge of racist voter suppression laws sweeping across our nation is a direct threat to the continued vitality of our democracy,” said Barbara Arnwine Esq, President of the Transformative Justice Coalition (TJC). “On May 8th, Americans will collectively rise up in major US cities, share in the National Broadcast and take to the streets in their cars to loudly demand that Congress protect All voters by passing uniform standards for federal elections and restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.”
"In crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, John Lewis risked his life to gain and protect the right to vote for every American,” said Daryl Jones Esq., Board Chairman of the Transformative Justice Coalition. On May 8, we continue to honor his legacy by crossing every Edmund Pettus Bridge in America that separates American voters from their right to cast a meaningful ballot and demanding the passage of HR1/S1 and HR4."
“Georgia may have passed Jim Crow 2.0, but the passage of John Lewis Voting Rights Act can negate this egregious law and move us forward,” said Helen Butler, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda.
“This Congress might be the last chance Democrats have to fix our democracy. With state Republicans ramming through new voting restrictions and anti-democratic laws across the country, we need urgent action to protect the right to vote and ensure our elections are fair and the will of the people is respected. That's why grassroots activists like Indivisibles are holding nothing back as we work to abolish the filibuster, pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the For the People Act, and make D.C. the 51st state. The fate of our democracy depends on action." said Leah Greenberg Co-Executive Director of the Indivisible Project.
“A thriving democracy is dependent on maximum participation. Each of our votes strengthens America,” said Voto Latino Co-Founder and President María Teresa Kumar. “Today, we continue John Lewis’ good trouble by demanding Congress pass the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Fulfilling our democratic promise towards a more just country means that each eligible voter should be able to cast her ballot without prejudice. The health of our nation demands it.”
Events in Los Angeles County will be held in Torrance / South Bay, South Central Los Angeles, Venice / Santa Monica, Sierra Madre, Whittier, and others. Details can be found at National John Lewis Voting Rights Day of Action. A media storm sponsored by Field Team 6 can be accessed from anywhere; Sign up here.