In response to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announcing that voting rights legislation will be considered as early as the first week of January, Jana Morgan, director of Declaration for American Democracy — a coalition of 240+ organizations representing tens of millions of Americans nationwide — issued the following statement:
“The past year exposed how tenuous our grip is on a fair and functioning democracy. 2021 began with a violent attack on America’s temple of democracy in an attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election, and the assault continued as 19 states enacted a wave of anti-voter laws to drown out the voices of voters, especially Black, brown, indigenous, and other voters of color. We cannot let our democracy falter going into next year.
“From community actions in states across the country, to state lawmakers rallying on Capitol Hill, to hundreds of activists and civil rights leaders facing arrest at the White House to call on President Biden to take action, Americans have continued to raise their voices to demand national standards to protect our freedom to vote. And we will continue mobilizing Americans to do so, starting with nearly 150 candlelight vigils on January 6th and a week of action kicking off on Martin Luther King Day.
“Ahead of the next round of Congressional elections, many states are rushing to finalize new district lines that will aim to silence Black and Brown elected leaders and communities. Without immediate action, time is working against access to fair and equitable representation for all.
“We thank Majority Leader Schumer for announcing his commitment to passing the Freedom to Vote Act and John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act immediately when the Senate returns in January. Now, President Biden must step up to shepherd these urgent and transformative pieces of legislation into law. The fate of American democracy is in President Biden’s hands and he has a duty to deliver both bills to the American people in January.”