Statement from Jana Morgan, Campaign Director of the Declaration for American Democracy – a coalition of 160 organizations from the labor, racial justice, faith, environmental, women’s rights, good government, and many other important communities – in response to the passing of Representative John Lewis:
“We mourn the loss of Congressman John Lewis last week, and will remember him for his courage, tenacity, and great sacrifice in pursuit of civil rights for Black and Brown Americans.
Lewis is an icon who fought for liberty for all throughout his career, including the constitutional right to vote that is at the core of our democracy. Just last year, Rep. Lewis championed the Voter Empowerment Act within H.R.1, which, along with H.R.4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, is the most comprehensive voting rights legislation adopted by the House in decades.
In honor of Rep. Lewis and his decades-long fight for equality and equity, we urge President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act and expand voting rights for all eligible voters, especially Black and Brown citizens who are being systematically disenfranchised through voter suppression efforts.
It is critical that we ensure a safe and accessible election this fall. We call on Senate and House leaders to allocate $3.6 billion in election preparedness funding, as well as implement key reforms to ensure all Americans can exercise their fundamental right to vote. Rep. Lewis’ life and legacy demands action, not just words.
The Senate needs to act now to protect the right to vote, especially given the state of the pandemic and its disproportionately negative impact on BIPOC communities. All Americans deserve to have their right to vote protected.”
Rep. John Lewis speaking at an H.R. 1 press conference in 2019.