The League joined civil rights organizations in issuing the People's Voting Rights Manifesto in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery March on March 8, 2015. This declaration will be distributed at the re-enactment of the Selma March and the celebration of the Voting Rights Act.
We the People of these United States, to finally form a more perfect union, recommit to restore the letter and the spirit of the Voting Rights Movement, symbolized by the blood that was shed on this Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Standing on the history of those who forged a new reality for America and the world, and building on the ongoing struggles of ALL communities today—on March 8, 2015, at the re-enactment of the sacred Bloody Sunday March—we commit to protecting the right to vote by ensuring that everyone in our space is a registered and an educated voter. We commit to engaging in individual and collective actions aimed at fixing the Voting Rights Act—one of our most important civil rights laws—in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder.
Congress has the opportunity—and the constitutional duty—to act NOW! We need effective federal legislation to:
- Give the federal government and private citizens the legal tools they need to stop discriminatory voting and election changes before they are put into effect anywhere in the country;
- Ensure that voting changes are transparent by requiring all states, cities and counties to provide effective disclosure and publicity in modern media outlets that reach impacted voters and through local community organizations;
- Restore federal review (preclearance) of voting changes for those states, cities and counties with a history of recent voting discrimination as well as those with the greatest need; and
- Authorize federal observers to respond to potential racial, language minority, or disability discrimination in any State, city or county.
WE MUST tell our members of Congress to show they support democracy by pressing for Voting Rights Act hearings in the House Judiciary Committee.
We must stop voting discrimination in its tracks, and we further pledge to turn out and vote in every election. We commit to inform and educate our communities about the history and the power of the vote that impacts every aspect of our lives from the womb to the tomb, now and for generations to come!