WASHINGTON, DC—Tonight, members and partners of the Declaration for American Democracy (DFAD) issued a joint call for Senate Democrats to hold the Senate floor and have a robust and extended debate until they pass this critical legislation. 

Jana Morgan, director of the DFAD coalition, said, “Throughout our country’s history, Americans have protested, marched, and even sacrificed their lives to be able to cast their ballot and fight for more people to have their right to vote honored. Now is the time for Senate Democrats to show up for us. Our Constitutional rights are under attack from partisan politicians, and make no mistake: Any senator who fails to rise up and protect these rights will be remembered as contributing to the irreversible fall of American democracy.”

Morgan continued, “In this critical moment, senators must protect every American’s freedom to vote. We cannot tolerate barriers to voting for voters of color, veterans, voters with disabilities, rural voters, new Americans, or young people. 

History will judge senators on voting rights, not Senate rules. We encourage Senate Democrats to do the right thing and have a robust debate in front of the American people, holding the floor until the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act is passed. The world is watching.”

Quotations from leaders of 63 DFAD member organizations and partners regarding the importance of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act are below. 

Kelly Burton, president of All On The Line and affiliates

  • “The Freedom To Vote: John R. Lewis Act includes important protections for voters, not the least of which is banning congressional gerrymandering. As states finalize maps, this bill only gets more important by the day. The Senate needs to debate this bill fully, and not leave Washington until an agreement is reached to pass this important legislation.”

Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers

  • “When it comes to voting rights—the most essential right in a democracy—procedural delays and political stall tactics should not be countenanced. The future of our democracy is on the line and in this critical moment, the U.S. Senate must do the job of safeguarding it, especially given that the former president made clear that there is no suppression or subversion of the vote that is off limits to him or those who follow him. Those safeguards for our elections—to counteract that very behavior and to make sure every voice is heard, and every vote is counted—is essential. It’s time to get this done.”

Christine Chen, executive director, Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote)

  • “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders came out to the polls in historic numbers in 2020, voting largely early or by mail. We know that voting rights give all our communities a voice in guiding the policies most impactful on our lives and we cannot let this right be diluted or suppressed. The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act will protect the voting process and voting rights but the Senate must not only debate this vital bill, it must have a vote on final passage.”

Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Washington director of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action

  • “We are praying for an America where everyone’s vote counts. The choice now in front of every senator is clear: Will your legacy be supporting the freedom to vote, or will you side with laws designed to silence the voices of millions of voters across the country? We won’t accept empty promises or platitudes. It’s time to deliver for voting rights.”

Cliff Albright, executive director, Black Voters Matter

  • “Today, as the senate began debate on the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, 28 activists and I were arrested on the Senate steps of the Capitol. We need Senate Dems to aggressively advocate for passage of the act as well as for filibuster rule changes. Senators Manchin and Sinema must defend their positions and offer at least one suggestion for filibuster rule change that they can support.”

Kris Brown, president, Brady: United Against Gun Violence

  • “The Senate cannot abandon their constituents and stop debate on this bill until it is passed. The right to vote is essential to our democracy, protecting it is non-negotiable. For the gun violence prevention movement, we know that the ability to pass common-sense and life-saving gun laws is inextricably linked to the ability and right to participate in our democracy.”

Robert Greenwald, executive director of Brave New Films

  • “Across the country, laws restricting the right to vote are having a disproportionate impact on communities of color and vulnerable populations. The undeniable reality of voter suppression efforts should compel the Senate to act.”

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law

  • “For senators, it’s time to choose, without evasion or equivocation. The Senate has an urgent duty to defend voting rights, combat discrimination, and uphold our democracy. Senators should stay in Washington and get this done.” 

Trevor Potter, president of Campaign Legal Center (CLC), and a Republican former chairman of the Federal Election Commission

  • “In order to encompass goals that have long enjoyed bipartisan support like the prohibition of gerrymandering, additional transparency for campaign funding, protection of independent election officials, and restoring and modernizing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it is imperative that the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act be robustly debated on the Senate floor and that debate continues until the Senate passes this crucial bill. Americans expect and deserve a strong, free, and fair voting system.”

Irma Pacheco, a hunger striker in Arizona with CASE Action and UNITE HERE Local 11

  • “I have faith that my sacrifice of going four days without eating has told Congress clearly that protecting our right to vote will leave a better future for our children. I will keep doing whatever it takes to be on the right side of the history of this beautiful country. I know that my senator, Kyrsten Sinema, can do what it takes to secure our freedom to vote.”

Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

  • “Our democracy is at an inflection point. The right of the people to choose their leaders in free and fair elections is under the gravest threat in at least a generation. The choice that Senators now face is between defending the right to vote, and to have that vote count, or defending an arcane procedural tool that has been used for a century to encourage obstruction, entrench minority rule, and undermine civil rights. It is critical that they rise to meet this moment, that they stand firm in defense of our democracy and of the rights of their constituents. Each Senator’s legacy is at stake. In this dark hour they must have the courage to stand up and fight for democracy, and they must have the strength to continue to debate this legislation and this issue until this generational threat to the right to vote has been defeated.”

Laura W. Brill, executive director, The Civics Center

  • “Young people across the country are harmed by laws that make voting and voter registration a burden. Sixteen million young people reach the age of 18 between presidential election cycles, and they deserve an equal voice. The Civics Center calls on the Senate to continue debate and pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.”

Ken Berlin, president and CEO of The Climate Reality Project

  • “Protecting the right to vote is not only foundational to the future of our democracy, but essential to the fight against the climate crisis and racial and economic injustice.”

 Deborah Weinstein, executive director, Coalition on Human Needs

  • “Throughout the nation, states are enacting legislation to undermine our democracy, shamefully turning back the clock on hard-won progress to assure voting rights. The need for the Senate to enact the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act is urgent, and it should not take more than a simple majority to secure this voting rights protection.  Every Senator should stand for equal access to the ballot. The judgment of history will be harsh for Senators who block this legislation.”

Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause

  • “The eyes of history are on the Senate this week. For the first time in years, the Senate is finally debating comprehensive democracy legislation to bolster the freedom to vote, repair and strengthen the Voting Rights Act, break the grip of big money in politics, and end racial and partisan gerrymandering. We urge every senator who supports this legislation to share with their constituents and their colleagues on the floor why this legislation is so important, and then do everything in their power to vote and send this legislation to the president’s desk. We urge them to leave everything on the field and show Americans where they stood when it mattered most. There should be no Senate recess until this bill passes. Our democracy demands that our senators meet the moment.”

Dan Mauer, director of government affairs, Communications Workers of America (CWA)

  • “We cannot allow misguided politicians to stand in the way of voting rights legislation that an overwhelming majority of Americans support. It is excruciatingly painful that on the heels of the 27th anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday we are still fighting against the same kind of voter suppression of Black, Brown and working class voters. Progress is overdue. Our lawmakers should work together and defend the rights of the voters who put them there—and they cannot stop until the job is done. Worker power is on the rise in this country and we will not back down from using every available resource to win this fight.”

Nick Knudsen, executive director, DemCast

  • “Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Dr. King refused to let go of his dream. John Lewis refused to let police brutality deter his march for voting rights. This is the legacy we have inherited. Everything that our civil rights heroes fought for is on the line, and we call upon Senate Democrats to pick up the torch: Refuse to give up the floor until the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act is passed.”

Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21

  • “The Senate must keep debating the Freedom to Vote: John R Lewis Act until the legislation is passed. This legislation is of overriding importance to the nation. Our democracy is on the line. If Senate opponents want to filibuster, Senate supporters must force them to filibuster. This must not be a free ride where there is a vote or two on cloture and then the Senate moves on to other business. Senate supporters of the voting rights legislation must be prepared to spend whatever time it takes to win this fight. The potentially millions of citizens who will lose their ability to vote because of new state Jim Crow laws deserve no less. This is the moment of truth for every Senator.”

Joan Mandle, executive director, Democracy Matters

  • “The Senate should continue debate and do its job to protect our democracy and the voting rights of all Americans Otherwise, we risk creating a generation of young people who’ve given up on the dream of a government of, by and for the people.” 

Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United // Let America Vote Action Fund 

  • “The Senate must give this bill a full and robust debate and use this debate to shine a light on those who choose to deny Americans the freedom to vote and build mounting pressure until that position becomes untenable. The bottom line is that the Senate must debate this bill until it passes the reforms needed to restore the Senate so it can enact this bill.”

Lawrence Lessig, founder, Equal Citizens, and Harvard law professor 

  • “The importance of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act cannot be overstated. I’m thrilled the Democrats have found a way to start the debate on this critical bill. Now the Senate must do whatever it takes to get this bill to President Biden’s desk. Our democracy is in crisis and the only solution is the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.”

Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director, Fair Fight Action

  • “Black and brown voters in Georgia and across the nation are looking to senators to stand on the right side of history by voting yes on the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. State legislatures continue to pass extreme anti-voting bills by simple majority; the Senate must meet its promise to serve the American people by mitigating these harmful measures. Senators have the power—and the responsibility—to lead. We cannot allow the voices of millions of voters to be silenced. The Senate must be restored.”

Renaldo Pearson, organizer, Faith for Black Lives

  • “Decades ago, Dr. King said that ‘the tragedy is that we have a Congress with a Senate that has a minority of misguided senators who will use the filibuster to keep the majority of people from even voting.’ Decades later, a minority of senators are doing this very thing—allowing the Jim Crow filibuster to block our constitutional right to vote—even while sharing words that we should ‘honor’ Dr. King today! As Rev. Warnock reminds us: ‘You cannot remember Dr. King and dismember his legacy at the same time.’ History is watching: End the filibuster and pass the Freedom to Vote: John Lewis Act now!”

Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life

  • “Our freedom to vote is the foundation of every other freedom we have, and the Senate majority has a moral duty to defend it right now by passing the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. I applaud Senator Schumer for paving a way for the Senate to finally debate this transformative legislation, and I call on the Senate to persist in debate until every voter’s freedom and God-given dignity is protected. Every Senator took an oath to defend the constitution. Senators must now uphold that oath, rather than allowing political instruments of white supremacy to stand in the way of our sacred freedom to vote. History will judge every Senator’s actions at this moment of moral truth. The right choice couldn’t be any clearer. The Senate must pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act now.”

Jason Miller, director of campaigns and development, Franciscan Action Network

  • “As Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted individuals, we recognize each person as a gift from God and must act to uphold each human being’s dignity and worth. As Pope Francis calls us to ‘meddle in politics,’ we interpret this concept as a requirement that all Americans must have an equal say in the public square and equal access to the vote. This is especially true for people of color who have been historically disenfranchised at the ballot box and are once again being targeted as voter suppression bills are being introduced and passed throughout statehouses nationwide. To combat disenfranchisement, the Senate must stay on the floor and debate until they pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act—even if that requires a rules change.”

Erich Pica, president, Friends of the Earth

  • “There is nothing more important before the Senate than protecting our democracy. The Democratic-led Senate must stay in session and debate the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act until it is passed.”

Folabi Olagbaju, democracy campaign director, Greenpeace USA

  • “Every single moment of progress in our country’s history has been met with resistance and required Americans to rise up to demand change. This moment is no different. The Senate must continue debate on the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act until they get it done. Every senator who fails to rise up and protect our freedom to vote will contribute to the irreversible decline of American democracy and the push toward authoritarianism. Their legacies and our legacy as a country are on the line. We know that a healthy democracy is a precondition for a healthy environment and that as the threat to democracy grows, so does the threat to our environment. We only have a handful of years left to reduce the power of fossil fuel companies polluting our communities, our climate, and our democratic systems before we will rocket past climate thresholds and find ourselves at a catastrophic point of no return.”

Meagan Hatcher-Mays, director of democracy policy, Indivisible

  • “Tens of thousands of people have mobilized for voting rights this year. They deserve to see Democratic senators fighting for them and for our democracy by taking to the floor and making the case. We don’t want a quick debate and a perfunctory vote. We want a full airing of the ways Republicans are undermining our right to vote across the country—on a partisan basis, for the record—and how the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act would save our democracy from these attacks. Sen. Sinema said she wanted a robust debate. She’s about to see one between one political party that believes people should have the right to vote, and the other that only cares about power. She can continue to be praised by Mitch McConnell, the grim reaper of voting rights, or she can choose to do the right thing and get this bill passed.”

Gene Karpinski, president, League of Conservation Voters (LCV)

  • “We applaud Majority Leader Schumer for putting voting rights front and center today and urge the Senate to get the job done and swiftly pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act by any procedural measures necessary to protect our democracy and deliver on voting rights. And make no mistake—expressing support for voting rights legislation but refusing to consider rules changes needed to actually pass the bill is nothing more than an empty gesture.”

Vanessa Wruble, executive director, March On

  • “Pilots don’t stop flying until they reach their destination. Doctors don’t leave their patients mid-surgery, and Senators have a job to do, and we—the people who elected them—expect them to see it through. It’s unconscionable that the very franchise that helped our Senators get elected is somehow too contentious to protect.” 

Emanuelle Sippy, strategic coordinator, Future Coalition 

  • “Our work for climate justice and intersectional transformative change will be stifled without democracy reform, getting dark money out of politics, and putting power in the hands of the people. Today, right now, that means passing this critical legislation. Then, we can face tomorrow, clear-eyed, more confident in our democracy, and just as dedicated as we are today.”

Carol Zinn, SSJ, executive director, Leadership Conference of Women Religious

  • “As women of faith and faithful Americans, we are committed to protecting the God-given dignity and rights of all people, including their sacred right to vote. Today, that right is threatened by those who seek to make voting more difficult and elected officials less accountable. The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act will ensure that voters can safely and freely cast their ballots, protect against election sabotage, stop partisan gerrymandering, and limit the influence of dark money in politics. Many struggled, some sacrificed their lives, to secure the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It falls to us to see that the promissory note that Dr. King spoke of in his “I Have a Dream” speech is finally and fully redeemed. We call on the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to protect and defend the right to vote of every American no matter their race, background, or ZIP code. There is no turning back. You must pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.”

Virginia Kase Solomón, CEO of League of Women Voters of the United States 

  • “As the Senate continues debate on the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, we call on our leaders to do whatever it takes to pass this important legislation protecting the right to vote. The American people deserve a robust debate on this critical issue and to know which side of history their lawmakers will stand on when it comes to a free and fair democracy. History will look back at this moment and judge our leaders on whether they stood to protect our democracy or to stifle American freedom.”

Chanda Causer, co-executive director of Main Street Alliance

  • “As a Black woman growing up in the south, I understand the power of the vote! Small business voices are critical and must be protected. The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act reflects our shared values as Americans. We need lasting, structural change to reassure small businesses that our democracy is healthy so that we can get to the business of resilient economic recovery. The Senate must do whatever it takes to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.”

Eric Engle, board president, Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action

  • “The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication has found that 6 in 10 Americans are either ‘alarmed’ or ‘concerned’ about human-caused global climate change. The group who say they are ‘alarmed’ has doubled in size in the last five years! But these Americans, who are demanding climate action from their government at all levels, will continue to be denied the public policy solutions necessary if Republican efforts to suppress the vote and decide whose votes count and whose don’t succeed. We MUST pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act in the Senate NOW! The House has condensed these measures into one bill and passed it. The Senate must act to pass it immediately!” 

Mini Timmaraju, president, NARAL Pro-Choice America

  • “There is no doubt that anti-choice, anti-voter politicians will not stop their relentless efforts to attack our freedom to vote—and so we must be just as relentless in our push to protect our most fundamental rights. Our leaders in the Senate must do whatever it takes to pass this critical bill and protect voting rights. There is no time to waste. And make no mistake: We won’t forget who fought for our freedoms and who betrayed our values come Election Day.”

Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

  • “Everything is on the line and the Senate must pass voting rights legislation now. Asian American and Pacific Islanders voters are turning out to vote more than ever, voting by mail in the last election more than any other group. We are a powerful voting block and the nation’s fastest-growing population—laws making it more difficult to vote strip away our rights and directly harm the families and communities we care for every day.”

Jody Rabhan, chief policy officer, National Council of Jewish Women

  • “Nineteen states enacted 34 new laws that restrict access to the ballot box in 2021 alone, and more are under consideration today. These laws most harm communities of color, minority language speakers, low-income voters, elderly and young voters, women, transgender individuals, and voters with disabilities. Without access to the ballot, we cannot elect lawmakers who represent our communities and our needs. Access to abortion, citizenship for undocumented Americans, LGBTQ equality, and sensible gun laws are all beyond our reach if we do not have the right to vote. As Jews, we cannot and will not remain idle. National Council of Jewish Women urges Senate passage of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act to combat the attacks on our freedom to vote and ensure the ability for every American to participate in safe, accessible, and transparent elections. We welcome the next steps in reforming the filibuster, historically used to obstruct racial justice, to pass these necessary voting rights protections and advancements before it is too late for our democracy.”

Mary J. Novak, executive director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

  • “The possibility to create a more just society ultimately rests upon the health of our democracy and the freedom of all voters to cast their ballots and have them counted. Our Senators must ensure the power of the vote is with the people and we can cast our ballots freely, safely, and equally.”

Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, president, NextGen America

  • “Making change for the rising generations of Americans—on climate change, income inequality, racial justice and more—depends on first securing and defending voting rights for every American. The Senate majority must take all necessary steps to overcome obstructionism, debate and pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act as soon as possible.”

Christian F. Nunes, president, NOW National

  • “Tonight, the U.S. Senate is the gatekeeper of democracy. The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act is finally being debated on the Senate floor, and this debate must not pause—not for a night, not for a day, not for a minute. There is no greater priority for our lawmakers than to protect the right to vote. Voter ID laws and other voter suppression tactics disproportionately affect women, particularly women of color, and we will remember who joined the fight to vote—and who stood in its way. “

Joseph Geevarghese, executive director of Our Revolution

  • “We call on every Senator in the Democratic caucus to use this moment to keep debating until you get this done. There is no more time to waste. In just 10 months Americans will head to the ballot box to cast their votes, and now is the time to ratify voting rights protections nationwide and ensure Americans no longer need to endure fear, intimidation, and threats from the GOP just to exercise their constitutional rights. Our Revolution will do everything we can to mobilize our three million supporters. Let me be clear, if we don’t deliver for the American people now, Democrats hold no hope of holding on to majorities in the next Congress.”

Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic Millionaires

  • “This is not and cannot be a time for business as usual for our senators. If the other side is able to subvert democracy, there will not be a next year for them. Nothing is more important than the health of our democracy, and with that under assault in state houses all across the country, the American people need Democrats in the Senate to do whatever it takes to get this bill across the finish line. No more excuses, it’s time to get this done.”

Ben Jealous, president, People For the American Way

  • “We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass essential legislation to protect the right to vote in the face of ongoing attacks on our democracy. It is incumbent upon each and every member of the Senate to stay and debate, for as long as it takes, to pass this historic legislation and push back on the Big Lie that continues to threaten our democratic freedoms.”

Brian K. Bond, executive director, PFLAG National

  • “Whether you’re Black or brown or white, Native or new, Trans or not, each of us wants to be free to live fully and authentically. Yet some lawmakers are trying to seize power by removing rights, including our right to vote. No matter who funds their campaign or which party they belong to, all 100 Senators have benefitted from free and fair elections, and PFLAG families across the country need our Senators to support the freedom to vote for every eligible person. That’s why PFLAGers demand that the Senate pass the Freedom to Vote: John Lewis Voting Rights Act and set national standards to ensure that every vote counts.” 

Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Action Fund 

  • “Without passage of this critical voting rights bill, our democracy is at risk, and so is our reproductive freedom. Access to abortion is intrinsically connected with access to the ballot box—both give us the ability to make choices for our bodies, lives, and futures. We cannot waver. We cannot give up now. We must continue debate until we pass this bill.”

Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project On Government Oversight (POGO)

  • “Free and fair elections allow citizens to choose their leaders — and to vote them out of office if they abuse their power or act corruptly. This legislation is necessary to protect the freedom of all Americans to elect their leaders. The Senate must do whatever it takes — including reforming the Senate filibuster rule — to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act and preserve our democracy.”

Robert Weissman, president, Public Citizen

  • “With our democracy facing deep and profound threats with no recent parallel, if the Senate is not ready to legislate then it must continue to deliberate. Debate to ensure the freedom to vote should continue until the Senate is prepared to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R Lewis Act.”

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

  • “The Reform Movement strongly supports the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act (H.R. 5746), which would restore critical protections against racially discriminatory laws and move us toward a democracy that responds to the needs and priorities of voters. We encourage the Senate to hold a robust and comprehensive debate to give this bill the serious consideration Americans deserve. The debate must last as long as necessary to effectively show the importance of expanding and protecting the right to vote. And if necessary, filibuster reform must be enacted to sign this bill into law. Jewish tradition teaches us that the selection of leaders is not a privilege but a collective responsibility. It is the duty of all who cherish democracy to ensure that all Americans are afforded the opportunity to vote and have their votes counted. The Reform Jewish Movement, long believing that the freedom to vote is fundamental to American democracy, strongly supports legislation that protects the rights of all Americans to exercise their right to vote.” 

Mary Kay Henry, international president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

  • ​​”The protections of the Freedom to Vote: John R Lewis Act are necessary to move our country forward from the economic, social and health crises of the last two years. When voting rights are under attack, so is our ability to pass substantial legislation that creates good jobs like the historic Build Back Better Act, makes it easier for working people to join unions, expands health care for our most vulnerable citizens, and reimagines our justice system. SEIU’s 2 million members and worker leaders in the Fight for $15 and a Union urge the Senate to take this necessary step to address the Jim Crow 2.0 laws that threaten the cornerstone of our government. Whether it be at the ballot box or in the workplace, the freedom to vote must be protected.”

Courtney Hight, democracy program director, Sierra Club

  • “The Sierra Club applauds Leader Schumer and the Senators who have already taken the floor to defend voting rights and the very foundation of our democracy. In order to tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and protect public lands, air, and water, we need a functioning and equitable democracy. We urge the Senate to stay and debate the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act until this legislation is passed. The time to act is now.” 

Margaret Conley, director, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Justice Team

  • “The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ commitment to work in communion with others who seek a more just and inclusive world compels us to strongly support the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act and encourage senators to continue debating until it passes. We work to mobilize sisters and associates in recognizing and dismantling institutional racism, and believe that upholding the voting rights of marginalized Americans is a critical step towards dismantling the systemic racism that underlies so much of our nation’s infrastructure.  The Senate must debate as long as necessary and, if necessary, vote to change the rules to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.”

Rev. Adam Taylor, president, Sojourners

  • “Sojourners is calling on the Senate to exercise moral courage and treat voting rights like the bipartisan imperative and nonpartisan cause it truly is by passing the Freedom to Vote: John R Lewis Voting Rights Act (H.R. 5746), a bill we fully endorse. Twenty-first century voter suppression and election subversion are about who gets to vote, whether your vote is counted, and who counts it. There is no more urgent moral cause right now than protecting the right to vote—which benefits and impacts almost every other issue and justice cause. Members of Congress are elected by the people and for the people to exercise their sacred responsibility and duty to protect our democracy. Any law that restricts the sacred right to vote is unjust because it denies citizens their agency and voice. Put in theological terms, unjust laws assault the imago Dei, the core belief that every person is made in God’s divine image. We believe that there is no substitute for passing this bill—including any attempts to substitute electoral college reform for safeguarding elections at the local, state, and national level. The Senate must debate as long as necessary and, if necessary, vote to change the rules to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. Voting rights is not a partisan issue—it is the foundation of our democracy.”

Christina Harvey, executive director, Stand Up America

  • “Senate Democrats are on the Senate floor right now embracing a rare opportunity to substantively debate voting rights. But they have an even rarer opportunity to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act at the end of this debate, if they are willing to stand together and do it. Now that they have found a way to open debate, under the current rules, Democrats can and must force a public debate that ends with a majority vote after every senator has exhausted their time. It may take weeks, but if Senate Democrats can find the political courage this moment requires, they have the tools right now to pass voting right legislation and save our democracy.” 

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, CEO, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

  • Judaism demands that our political leaders protect the welfare of everyone–not just the privileged few. In this moment, that means protecting our voting rights. Jewish Americans agree that every voter’s voice deserves to be heard, no matter what state or district they live in or what other obstacles they face to vote. T’ruah, which represents more than 2,300 rabbis and cantors around the country, urges the Senate to continue to debate until they are able to pass the voting rights legislation necessary to protect our ability to safely and freely cast our ballots.

Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, director, Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

  • “We can’t solve the problems we face unless government is accountable to the people. The Senate must act and pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act to protect the rights of all Americans to vote. The evidence is clear that some states are creating even greater partisan barriers to suppress voters, particularly from Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other communities of color. Federal action is essential to tear down these walls and restore democratic rights.”

Carl Rosen, general president, United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE)

  • “The Senate Democratic leadership must keep the voting rights debate going on a nonstop basis until they get the bill passed. President Biden must use all the resources of the presidency to make sure this happens. Anything less than that is a dereliction of duty given the clear attacks on the right of the American people to vote.”

Shana Gallagher, executive director, Un-PAC

  • “Right now, at this pivotal moment in history, there are 40 young people from Arizona, West Virginia, Texas, Utah, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, and several other states on Day 6 of a Hunger Strike for Democracy. We are using the little power we have as young people to put our bodies on the line and plead that Senators use their enormous power to pass the Freedom To Vote: John Lewis Act. Senators, our futures, our democracy, and your legacies are on the line. Please don’t let our sacrifice be in vain.” 

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Senior Pastor, United Church of Christ, Chicago

  • “The filibuster is a senate rule, voting is a constitutional right. To elevate a senate rule over the constitution is nothing more than a political attack upon our democracy. To fail to support the Freedom To Vote: John Lewis Act is a direct attack upon the heart of our democracy.”

Sandy Sorensen, director of the United Church of Christ, Washington D.C.

  • “As the Senate begins consideration of The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act we urge them to stay and get the job done. We implore every Senator to rise to the occasion, to the gravity of the situation with thoughtful debate and seriousness of purpose. And keep going as long as it takes to pass the bill. Important things aren’t easy and don’t happen overnight—there are folks across the country organizing, advocating, pushing and praying for the Senate to get the job done that needs to get done. Stay on the job for the American voters you serve and pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.”

Sandra Fluke, president, Voices for Progress

  • “Reforming the filibuster and passing democracy reform legislation isn’t a need to do. It is a must-do. This is a civil rights issue and Voices For Progress refuses to sit by idly and watch millions of Americans be disenfranchised. We urge Majority Leader Schumer to bring the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act to a vote and every senator to declare publicly where they stand on democracy reform and voting rights. Democracy is worth fighting for!”

Andrea Hailey, CEO, Vote.org

  • “If we are going to preserve the freedom to vote for future generations, the U.S. Senate must get the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act over the finish line. The Senate was elected by the people and has an obligation and duty to ensure that the people’s voices will be heard.”

Ann Toback, CEO, The Workers Circle

  • “Senators must not betray our democracy by allowing state laws that suppress the vote to go unanswered. With millions of votes and our very democracy at stake, they must refuse to give up the floor until the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis bill is passed.”