President Biden went to Selma Alabama yesterday to commemorate the 58th anniversary of bloody Sunday, when a brutal police attack on peaceful civil rights protesters as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The attack by police fractured then activist John Lewis’ skull, and the ensuing outrage led directly to the signing of the Voting Rights Act five months later.
Speaking at the foot of the bridge, President Biden said:
“Selma is a reckoning. The right to vote and to have your vote counted is the threshold of democracy and liberty.”https://www.axios.com/2023/03/05/biden-bloody-sunday-voting-rights-selma
Last year, the Senate filibustered the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and Sen Manchin let them do it. But because Democrats gained a seat in the Senate last election, if even one Senator like Manchin changes their mind – we could protect and expand the right to vote in this country for the first time in decades.
The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would make it easier for all Americans to vote and reverse efforts by states to limit ballot access. Many states have enacted strict voting laws since the 2020 election attempting to strip away access to the ballot box and make it more difficult for voters to cast a ballot in a way that works for them.
We don’t talk a lot about elections and voting here, because we’re focussed on direct action and climate change. But President Biden is right that without the option to democratically elect people and pass laws or ballot initiatives, we wont be able to solve the climate crisis. And that’s why we’ve consistently advocated for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and other democracy-expanding initiatives. Now with Republicans in control of the House and Democrats in control of the Senate, we need to make sure they feel the pressure to pass pro-voting legislation.