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Protecting the most crucial tool in our democracy

My colleague John Lewis is deeply missed in Congress, but his life's work and his legacy live on as we do our work to protect the right to vote in America.

John was not shy about sharing the challenges that people of color faced simply to gain the right to vote. He understood how powerful that right was to a functioning democracy.

In the fifteen months since his passing, a new wave of attacks have reminded us that progress does not have to be linear. We must be as vigilant as ever against undemocratic actors who are fighting to erode the rights of everyday Americans.

The unscrupulous actions of lawmakers in states like Georgia, Florida, and Texas have forced us to face a reckoning. By eliminating polling places, shortening hours, eliminating voting-by-mail, and other targeted actions, Republicans in these states made clear that winning is more valuable than a functioning democracy.

Like the efforts that my colleague John faced, these attacks against democracy have an outsized impact on the voices of traditionally-marginalized communities.

At a time when our country is more diverse than ever, it is necessary we fight these blatant discriminations until every single American is guaranteed a voice at the ballot box.

Recently, House Democrats took a critical first step in our fight to protect the most crucial tool to our democracy by passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

More than honoring a true freedom fighter's legacy, the effort will restore the full strength of the original Voting Rights Act, codifying the tools for a legitimate democracy and enabling us to stop blatant racial discrimination in redistricting and voting.

It was an honor and privilege to advance these efforts through the House. Now the Senate must act to make this a reality.

Thank you John. For your lasting memory, for your commitment to breaking down barriers, and for the fight we carry on in your name.


Posted on September 14, 2021.