Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, co-founders of Black Voters Matter, issued this statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act:

“With last night’s House vote to move the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act forward, we’re back in the game of protecting our most basic right as Americans: the right to vote. For months, we marched, rallied, and petitioned members of the Senate to take up this issue and address the onslaught of state bills targeting free and fair ballot access. Our communities rose up to meet the magnitude of the voting rights crisis — even when President Biden and Senate Democrats failed to do so — and we were even arrested on Capitol Hill as we demanded common-sense voter protections. Thankfully, our representatives in Congress have been listening and yesterday’s vote shows a serious commitment to undoing the twisted voter suppression bills popping up all over the country. But this is only the first step. 

“The protection of voting rights for all — including Black and other communities that are disproportionately targeted by voter suppression — is one of the foundational pillars of our democracy. It’s a cause so sacred that Congressman John Lewis, this bill’s namesake, dedicated his life to it. And this weekend, as the nationwide fight for voting rights hits a fever pitch, we are honoring Congressman Lewis’ legacy with a Make Good Trouble Rally to demand that leaders in Washington make voting rights the law of the land. 

“Black voters turned out in historic numbers during last year’s elections to empower leaders who promised to protect our rights, and we’re counting on our representatives to pass critical voting rights measures. The House has done its part; now the White House and the Senate must do theirs. President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and the rest of Senate Democrats need to do everything in their power to get this bill, the For The People Act, and other voting rights laws over the finish line — even if it means eliminating the Senate filibuster altogether.”