Stand Up For Voting Rights: Restore the Voting Rights Act

At noon on Tuesday, August 6, dozens of people gathered outside the federal courthouse in downtown Charleston, WV to mark the 54th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

We were there to commemorate the landmark voting rights legislation, but we could not celebrate its ongoing achievements, because, in 2013, five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the VRA in the Shelby County v. Holder case. Since that decision, restrictive voting laws have been passed in 20 states. Voter ID laws, gerrymandering and voter purges are putting up barriers to voting for all people, but especially young people and people of color.

So, we gathered on the anniversary of the VRA to join with advocates nationwide in demanding that Congress stop the rise in voter suppression and move to restore the rights the Act was supposed to guarantee by passing HR-4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

We must fix the Supreme Court’s abysmal ruling. Protecting the right to vote for every citizen is critical to a functioning democracy, which is why we must pass the HR-4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

That was the message delivered by our inspiring, fiery speakers:

Rick Martin, NAACP Charleston WV
Katonya Hart, NAACP West Virginia
Jules Kessler, WV Wesleyan Student
Delegate Danielle Walker, D-Monogalia

The event was broadcast on FB Live. Find archives of the speeches on the WV Citizens For Clean Elections FB page.

News coverage included articles in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the Beckley Register Herald, on MetroNews and WOWK.

Thanks so much to everyone who came out, thanks to our emcee, Carey Jo Grace, with the WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, and thanks to our core planning team! 

WV Citizens for Clean Elections coalition organized the event, along with our co-sponsors—both our member groups and allies—including the NAACP West Virginia, NAACP of Charleston, Call to Action for Racial Equality: CARE Coalition, Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, West Virginia Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, West Virginia Citizen Action Group, OVEC-Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, Rise Up WV, and the WV Association for Justice.

If you haven’t doesn’t so yet, contact Congress to say you want HR-4 passed.

1st District
Congressman David McKinley – (202) 225-4172

2nd District
Congressman Alex Mooney – (202) 225-2711

3rd District
Congresswoman Carol Miller – (202) 225-3452

And by all means, do check on the status of your voter registration. In the May 12, 2020 West Virginia primary we will be selecting—that very day, no further voting in November—several WV Supreme Court Justices.

On the November 3, 2020 general elections, we will elect our next Governor and other statewide office holders, as well as the next President of the United States.

If you feel like you just don’t want to participate in politics, that’s what the powers-that-be want! They would love it if you don’t vote, and they are actively trying to suppress your vote in so many states. VOTE! 

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The Author

Vivian

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