The right to vote, our most basic and foundational right, has come increasingly under attack in the past several years.
Today, as we celebrate the work and legacy of civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, we dream the same dream that he did – that every American has the opportunity to vote.
Last June, the Supreme Court gutted a major provision of the Voting Rights Act, making it easier for states to increase barriers to voting. Since then voter id laws have cropped up across the country.
Now, it's up to Congress to fix the problem. Just last week, a bi-partisan group of Congressmen introduced a bill to fix some of the holes created by the Supreme Court. This well-intentioned bill is a start, but we share the concerns of our partners and allies at the NAACP that some aspects of this legislation fall short of protecting the voice of every American at the ballot box.
Tell Congress to honor the legacy of civil rights pioneers like Dr. King and pass a strong bill to restore the Voting Rights Act.
Today we're facing the same types of voter suppression Dr. King fought against: restrictions on voter registration and on who can vote and when.
Sierra Club members like you have consistently raised your voices over increased attempts to restrict voting. You came out to march in the 50th Anniversary March on Washington this last summer. You've shown up at the Moral Monday rallies in North Carolina. And over 50,000 of you have sent a message to Congress demanding they take action on voting rights.
Now take the next step. Tell Congress to fully restore the Voting Rights Act.
Some in Congress want to just put a band-aid on the very real problems of voter suppression in our country. Corporate polluters and others who have no interest in a functioning democracy would like to see many of the vote suppressing laws continue.
Because when not everyone can vote, corporate polluters can more easily get their way in Congress and your state legislature.
Dr. King and those who marched for freedom would not tolerate forms of voter suppression that target minorities, the elderly, women, students, and the poor. They would not tolerate a weak legislative fix when we should act to protect every voter in every state. We should not either.
Celebrate Dr. King's legacy by telling Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act.
Thank you for everything you do for our environment and democracy,
Director, Democracy Program
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 Sierra Club, "Statement on the Voting Rights Amendment Act," January 17, 2014.
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, "Introduction of Bipartisan Voting Rights Act Amendment As A Significant First Step," January 16, 2014.