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Voting Rights Act Renewal Update & Call to Action!
Monday, June 19, 2006
Today, Monday, June 19 is a National Call-In Day to renew the Voting Rights Act. We urge you to join this effort by calling House leaders, and your representatives, to urge passage of H.R. 9. Read more about this below.
Make three calls to protect the right to vote for all American citizens!
Last month, congressional leaders introduced a bipartisan bill to renew and restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA).
The bill, The Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 (H.R. 9 / S. 2703) is critical to ensuring that the VRA continues to work effectively to combat discrimination and that the gains that have been achieved for minority voters are not rolled back.
In Congress and around the country, there is a building momentum to renew and restore the VRA. While the House bill (H.R. 9) enjoys the support of more than 150 Republicans and Democrats and was approved by the House Judiciary Committee with overwhelming support (33-1), there is a small, yet vocal handful of representatives who have tried to delay or thwart renewal of this cornerstone civil rights law.
(You can also view the sponsor list at the link below:
House leaders, including Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), have been important allies in the effort to renew and restore the Voting Rights Act and have indicated that they intend to bring H.R. 9 to the floor this week. We expect the bill to come to the floor this Wednesday, June 21. But Rep. Hastert and Majority Leader Boehner need to hear from you about the importance of bringing the Voting Rights Act bill to the floor and ensuring that it passes without harmful amendments.
Today join civil rights activists from around the country in making a call to Reps. Hastert and Boehner. Urge them to use their leadership positions to bring H.R. 9 to the floor and to defeat harmful amendments that, if passed, would undermine the effectiveness of the Act.
Then use the same number to call your representative and urge him/her to fully support H.R. 9 without any damaging amendments! You can also identify your Representative at the following link: (http://www.house.gov/Welcome.shtml). Please forward this alert to others and encourage them to set aside a few minutes on Monday to make their three calls as well! Visit http://www.votingrights.org/ for more information about the Voting Rights Act.
Philadelphia Inquirer Endorses VRA Renewal
From the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sun, Jun. 18, 2006
Editorial Voting Rights Act
Extend this needed law
The 1965 Voting Rights Act was a landmark of American history.
But it's not time to relegate this law to high-school history books. It's still needed. Much progress has been made in the last 41 years, but some American voters still need protection from subtle racial and ethnic discrimination.
Congress enacted this law under the determined prodding of President Lyndon Johnson, who had been electrified into action by the televised reports of Alabama civil rights demonstrators being beaten by a white mob while attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery.
Johnson made a dramatic address before the U.S. House of Representatives to urge passage of the Voting Rights Act.
"I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy," he said. "Rarely are we met with a challenge, not to our growth or abundance, or our welfare or our security, but rather to the values and purpose and the meaning of our beloved nation."
The challenge remains. Continued... Read the rest of the article Here