DemCast and 200+ Organizations Urge the Senate to Delay Recess to Pass Federal Voting Rights Legislation

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Senate Democrats must prioritize passage of the Freedom to Vote Act and John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act as soon as possible and delay recess if necessary to do it, a coalition of more than 200 groups representing tens of millions of Americans said today in a letter to the Senate.

Organized by the Declaration for American Democracy coalition (DFAD) and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the letter calls on Senate Democrats to do whatever it takes to pass these critical voting rights bills this year. Specifically:

“In order to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and other vitally important priorities, we are calling on the Senate to delay the recess set to begin on December 13, 2021, until these bills are passed. This legislation must be a top priority on the remaining agenda for the year, and we urge you to stay in session to do whatever it takes until these bills are passed because inaction is not an option.”

Organizational signers include leading national voting rights, faith, environmental, civil rights, and labor organizations along with dozens of in-state groups focused on grassroots organizing.

“Our democracy is under attack across the country, and Senate Democrats must do whatever it takes–right now–to get these critical voting rights bills signed into law,” said Jana Morgan, director of the DFAD coalition. “As these organizations, who represent tens of millions of Americans, make clear: time is running out. We need to pass these bills as soon as possible.”

“The foundation of our democracy is on the line. We cannot continue to operate as though communities will jump through unnecessary hurdles to exercise our right to vote and once again save our country. The idea that Senators would leave for recess when so much that makes America America is on the table, is unacceptable. The numerous hurdles that voters experienced during the 2020 election cycle amid a pandemic — and the ensuing efforts by some to erect barriers to the ballot box — reinforce this urgent need to safeguard our democracy by the end of the year. Senators must end their bitter partisan debate and move to protect the most basic freedom of our democracy: the freedom to vote,” said Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

The Freedom to Vote Act responds directly to new state anti-voter laws and election sabotage efforts by ensuring ballot access for all, stopping partisan gerrymandering, ending dark money, and protecting election officials and poll workers from partisan politics and harassment. The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will go hand-in-hand with the Freedom to Vote Act by protecting voters from discrimination by restoring the full power of the Voting Rights Act.


The full letter and list of organizations:

December 2, 2021


Dear Senators:


We, the undersigned organizations of the Declaration for American Democracy (DFAD) coalition
and/or The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, urge you to commit to
reconsideration of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement
Act immediately and that the 2021 holiday recess scheduled to begin on December 13, 2021,
should be delayed if the bills are not passed. This provides ample time to ensure the Senate
has the necessary time to debate and vote on these critically important pieces of voting rights
legislation.


The most important step that Congress can take to protect the array of issues our organizations
advocate for is to pass these vitally important voting rights bills in order to ensure that all
Americans’ voices are heard in our democracy.
Our country is facing an existential crisis that has little precedent. Just this year, 19 states have
passed 33 laws restricting voting rights, and more are likely to come as legislatures convene
next year. At the same time, state lawmakers across the country are currently gerrymandering
legislative maps to choose which voters they represent, instead of the other way around. Even
after the horrifying January 6th attack on the citadel of American democracy to disrupt the
peaceful transfer of power, there continue to be unparalleled efforts to sabotage our elections
with fear, disinformation, and partisan practices intended to overturn the voices and votes of the
American people, often targeting communities of color. These efforts have been further aided by
the majority of the Supreme Court, which this year made two consequential decisions to further
empower dark, untraceable money in our politics and further weaken the vital Voting Rights Act
of 1965.


The Freedom to Vote Act combines policy proposals and best practices from both Democrats
and Republicans across the country and would enact commonsense and proven practices to
protect the freedom to vote, end dark money, stop partisan gerrymandering, and protect our
elections from partisan sabotage. The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will
restore and strengthen the Voting Rights Act to ensure that voters are protected from future
attacks on their freedom to vote.


In order to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,
and other vitally important priorities, we are calling on the Senate to delay the recess set to
begin on December 13, 2021, until these bills are passed. This legislation must be a top priority
on the remaining agenda for the year, and we urge you to stay in session to do whatever it takes
until these bills are passed because inaction is not an option.
Without first safeguarding our democracy to ensure that all Americans’ voices are heard, we will
not be able to make progress on the issues that all of our organizations fight for every day. The
Senate cannot delay in passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights
Advancement Act and must take up this legislation immediately.


Signed,


National Organizations
Declaration for American Democracy
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Accountable.US
ADL (the Anti-Defamation League)
All On The Line
Alliance for Youth Action
American Atheists
American Federation of Teachers
American Friends Service Committee
American Humanist Association
American Promise
American Sustainable Business Network
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Andrew Goodman Foundation, Inc.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC
Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote)
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
Blue Future
Blue Wave Postcard Movement
Brennan Center for Justice
Build Back Better USA
Center for American Progress
Center for Common Ground
Center for Disability Rights
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Popular Democracy
Change the Chamber
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Clean Water Action
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Climate Hawks Vote
Common Cause
Common Defense
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Daily Kos
Demand Progress
DemCast USA
Democracy 21
Democracy for All 2021 (DFA2021)
Democracy Initiative
Democracy Matters
Demos
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
End Citizens United / Let America Vote Action Fund
Equal Citizens
Equal Justice Society
Fair Elections Center
Faith in Public Life
Faithful America
Faiths for Safe Water
Feminist Majority Foundation
For All
Free Speech For People
Friends of the Earth
Future Coalition
Greenpeace USA
Impact Fund
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
Indivisible
Just Democracy
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
Lawyers Defending American Democracy
League of Women Voters of the United States
March On
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Mi Familia Vota
Movement Labs
MoveOn
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Association of Social Workers
National Black Justice Coalition
National Council of Churches USA
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council on Independent Living
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Voter Corps
National Wildlife Federation Action Fund
Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
NextGen America
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
Our Revolution
People For the American Way
People’s Action
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Poder Latinx
Poligon Education Fund
Pride at Work
Progressive Democrats of America
Progressive Turnout Project
Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
Protect Democracy
Public Citizen
Public Wise
RepresentUs
Rock the Vote
Secure Elections Network
SEIU
Sierra Club
SMART Legislation
Stand Up America
State Voices
The Civics Center
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
The Workers Circle
Transformative Justice Coalition
UltraViolet
Un-PAC
UnidosUS
Union of Concerned Scientists
Unitarian Universalist Association
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
Voices for Progress
Vote.org
VoteVets
20/20 Vision DC


State/Local Organizations
Action Together New Jersey
African American Christian Clergy Coalition
Arizona Educators United
Arizona Justice Alliance
Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club
CD 19 NEW PALTZ (Indivisible)
Change Begins With ME (Indivisible)
Clean Elections Texas
Coalition to Preserve, Protect & Defend
DoTheMostGood
Eastern Panhandle Central Labor Council
Feminists in Action Los Angeles
Fix Democracy First
Florida Chapter, Progressive Democrats of America
GAIN POWER
Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda
Get Money Out – Maryland
Hudson Valley Strong Indivisible
Indivisible Acton Area
Indivisible Boston CD7
Indivisible Chicago Alliance
Indivisible Clackamas District 5
Indivisible Common Ground WNC
Indivisible East Bay
Indivisible Elmwood
Indivisible Georgia-11
Indivisible Georgia Coalition
Indivisible Harlem
Indivisible Hawaii
Indivisible Hudson Valley
Indivisible Lumpkin
Indivisible Marching Buddies of Atlanta
Indivisible Marin
Indivisible Mass Coalition
Indivisible New Paltz CD 19
Indivisible Northern Nevada
Indivisible Outer Cape
Indivisible ReSisters Walnut Creek
Indivisible Sacramento
Indivisible San Francisco
Indivisible San Jose
Indivisible Santa Cruz County
Indivisible Sedona
Indivisible SEMO
Indivisible Sonoma County
Indivisible South Peninsula
Indivisible St Louis
Indivisible Ulster
Indivisible Ventura
Indivisible West Marin
Indivisible Yolo
Indivisible: Narberth and Beyond
IndivisibleSpokane
League of Women Voters of Arizona
League of Women Voters of Missouri
Lower Cape Indivisible (LCI)
Maine Citizens for Clean Elections
Mainers for Accountable leadership Action
Michiganders for Fair & Transparent Elections
Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action
Milton Indivisible
Missouri Action Alliance
Missouri Voter Protection Coalition
MountainTop Progressives
NASW – WV Chapter
New Hampshire Youth Movement
Northridge Indivisible
Olive Action
Orchard City Indivisible
Oregonizers
Our Vote Texas
Progressive Democrats of America – Arizona
Putnam Progressives
Reclaim Our Democracy
Resistance Action Tuesdays and Thursdays = RATT Pack
Rise Up WV
Summit Area Indivisible
Summit Marches On
Swing Blue Alliance
Toni Powell
Trinity United Church of Christ
U-Act (Ulster Activists)
Venice Resistance
Vintage Vanguard
We Are One Sullivan
West Virginia NAACP
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice
Women’s March West Virginia
WV Citizen Action
WV Citizens for Clean Elections
WV FREE
WV Working Families Party


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DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks, but are sustained solely on donations from grassroots supporters. Because our revenue isn’t click-driven, we don’t take in any direct revenue from the creative contributions of grassroots activists who post on the site. This sets us apart from other media sites. And we’re proud of that.

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