Today, Black Voters Matter (BVM) joined People for the American Way, the League of Women Voters, the Declaration for American Democracy, and the Democracy Initiative for a protest march and rally in front of the White House to demand federal action on voting rights. The action, which led protesters from Black Lives Matter Plaza to Lafayette Square in Washington D.C., urged President Biden and Senate Democrats to pass much-needed voter protections to combat state-level attacks on voting rights. Advocates demanded the swift passage of federal voting rights legislation, including the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Freedom to Vote Act, D.C. statehood and other critical legislation.
Today’s action comes as the Senate prepares to vote on — and likely filibuster — the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a key piece of legislation that would enshrine voter protections into federal law. It follows several recent White House actions to elevate the issue of voting rights, including an October 19 rally where more than two dozen protesters were arrested while demanding federal voting rights protections.
“Today, we’re back at the White House to demand that President Biden use his bully pulpit and urge the Senate to do whatever it takes to protect voting rights,” said Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter. “For months, we’ve been calling on our elected officials to pass critical voting rights legislation. But despite their promises to Black voters during last year’s elections and forceful demands from advocates, President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and the rest of Senate Democrats have failed to get it done. We need federal action to move the needle on voting rights, and we need it now — even if it means eliminating the Senate filibuster altogether.”
“Today of all days, we need to send a message to leaders in Washington: our voting rights are not a game,” said LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter. “Right now, the Senate is discussing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — one of the most important pieces of voting rights legislation in a generation. But rather than using the power that Black voters gave them to get the bill signed, Senator Schumer and Senate Democrats are ready to let it fail. We are in the fight of our lives to protect our most basic right as citizens of a democracy — the right to vote — and we need President Biden and Senate Democrats in our corner.”