Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, co-founders of Black Voters Matter, issued this statement in response to President Biden’s speech on voting rights:
“After nearly a year of Capitol Hill protests, White House demonstrations, letters, petitions, and civil disobedience from voting rights activists demanding action, President Biden has finally broken his silence on the Senate filibuster. Yesterday, for the first time, the President called on the Senate to amend the filibuster to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. To that extent, this was a speech written by the power of movement, and this is certainly a step in the right direction.
“With that said, it was just the first step. We still need a plan from the President about the next steps he will take to advance his call for filibuster reform. And even as Senate Majority Leader Schumer brings the issue to a vote in the coming days, the President failed to name the two biggest obstacles to voting rights within his own Senate caucus — Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
“We cannot lose sight of what’s at stake or the severity of the democratic crisis we’re in—a crisis which the President described well in his speech. Black voters risked everything – including their own health at the height of the pandemic – to vote Biden and Senate Democrats into office. It’s time that officials in Washington treat us and our rights with the same level urgency. We’re past the point of speeches on this issue; we need Washington to act.
“If the President is truly “tired of being silent” on the issue of voting rights, the next few days will provide opportunities for him to more fully use his voice and every tool at his disposal. Now that the President has started the conversation, he needs to keep the pressure on the Senate to get this legislation passed. We can’t afford to delay any longer on this issue. Senate Majority Leader Schumer and the rest of Senate Democrats must pass voting rights now.”
Black Voters Matter, a 501c4, and Capacity Building Institute, a 501c3, are dedicated to expanding Black voter engagement and increasing progressive power through movement-building and engagement. Working with grassroots organizations, specifically in key states in the South, BVM seeks to increase voter registration and turnout, advocate for policies to expand voting rights/access, and help develop infrastructure where little or none exists to support a power-building movement that keeps Black voters and their issues at the forefront of our election process. For more information, please visit https://www.blackvotersmatterfund.org/.