National Coalition Of Civil Rights, Labor And Social Justice Groups Announce New Voting Rights Campaign

NAACP, ACLU, AFSCME, AFL-CIO and NEA spoke about the urgent necessity to protect the voting rights of African-Americans and othe
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Photos: NAACP\Twitter

WASHINGTON, DC - A coalition of civil rights, labor and social justice organizations including, NAACP, ACLU, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, AFT and NEA have launched a multiracial campaign that raises awareness and highlights the need for ongoing voting rights protections.

The collective represents over 10 million Americans that are keenly aware of the efforts to restrict access to the ballot and marginalize the voices of voters. Together, the coalition will coordinate a mass mobilization effort to elevate advocacy in response to the voting rights attacks happening in targeted states and cities.

Over the year, the campaign, Fighting for Our Vote, will organize events across Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, D.C., Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The campaign will target key 2022 U.S. cities to advocate for the passage of federal and state legislation that will allow access to the ballot box in all communities. Through collaborative research, the campaign has identified specific states where voter suppression efforts have been identified. To combat these efforts, the coalition is organizing a diverse group of activists and volunteers to become voting right champions and advocates.

Bishop Leah Daughtry will serve as Campaign Manager for the coalition. As a nationally recognized strategist, activist-organizer, political operative, and faith leader, Daughtry brings a great deal of experience, knowledge, and more to the campaign. In her many capacities, Daughtry has served as Co-Convenor of Power Rising, Co-Chair of Black Church PAC, and Co-Chair of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. She also serves as national minister of The House of the Lord Churches.

The leaders of the NAACP, ACLU, AFSCME, AFL-CIO and NEA spoke about the urgent necessity to protect the voting rights of African-Americans and other minorities as Republicans across the country are enacting voter suppression laws.

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP:

"The urgency of this campaign can not be understated. The assault on voting rights we've witnessed over the last several months is a detriment to us all. Our access to the ballot, thus our voice to make our grievances known are being suppressed through restrictive legislation. If there was ever a time to engage in the fight for the right to vote, it is now."

Lee Saunders, president of AFSCME:

"Everything we care about – all our policy priorities – depends on this struggle to protect the integrity of our democracy. In order to pass a bold pro-worker agenda; in order to build an economy that empowers working families; in order to address the wealth inequality that's tearing at our national fabric, we must fight voter suppression and expand voting rights... Inspired by the memory of our friends and brothers, John Lewis and Richard Trumka, we launch this campaign today."

Ronald Newman, National Political Director of the ACLU:

"The ACLU is proud to stand with the organizations in this coalition because the fundamental right to vote must be protected. This year in statehouses across the country, we have witnessed overt efforts to disenfranchise Black, Latinx, and Indigenous voters through attacks on vote by mail, cuts to early voting periods, and unnecessary and burdensome identification requirements. Especially with the upcoming Congressional elections in 2022, it is essential that every American has free and fair access to the ballot box. The time to act is now. To secure access to the ballot, Congress and President Biden must pass federal voting rights legislation. There is no time for delay."

Randi Weingarten, president of AFT:

"Regardless of political affiliation, every voter has an unalienable right to have a voice in our democracy and a say in how we're governed. Any effort to limit those rights should be seen as an existential threat to the well-being of our republic. So our responsibility now — as anti-democracy forces are working to limit voting rights, interfere with vote counting and even manipulate the outcome of elections — is not just to vote; it is to stand up so that everyone who is eligible can vote and every vote is counted."

Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association:

"As educators, we teach students about civics, American history, and the importance of voting. We know that our public schools are more than places of learning – they are the foundation of our democracy. At a time when Americans want elected leaders to be focused on supporting students and our public school system as it continues to recover from the devastating effects of COVID, instead we are witnessing a massive, coordinated attack on voting rights. Protecting our democracy shouldn't be a partisan issue. That is why the NEA and educators are standing firm and committed to fight back against these unjust laws. We will make our voices heard in communities and neighborhoods across the country as we talk to voters and make them aware that their fundamental right to vote is at risk. We will stand up and we will not be silent. We are calling on all who believe in our democracy to join us in the 'Fighting For Our Vote Campaign.' We will organize, build, and advocate to have an impact in ensuring everyone's right to vote - a right fundamental to a racially and socially just society."

Volunteers and activists will participate in no-contact canvassing and provide informational literature on voting in public areas such as shopping centers and neighborhoods where voter suppression has been identified. The literature will feature important information on voter registration, key dates, and how to become a volunteer. All volunteers will follow recommended health and safety guidelines by wearing face masks, washing hands or using hand sanitizer frequently, and practicing social distancing.

Get more information on the "Fighting For Our Vote" campaign at fightingforourvote.org.

View video of nation press conference announcing "Fighting For Our Vote" campaign.

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