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BOSTON: Members of NAACP Boston Branch, the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA), Indivisible Mass Coalition, Swing Blue Alliance, Common Cause Massachusetts, and several other organizations gathered at Boston Common (54th Regiment Memorial, Beacon & Park) today at 2:00 pm, coinciding with the arrival of the Black Voters Matter Freedom Riders Bus Tour in Washington DC, to insist that the For the People Act be passed by the Senate even if it means eliminating the filibuster.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley was joined by speakers from civic, community, immigrant, environmental, and faith-based organizations to proclaim their support for democracy and voting rights.
The event was one of hundreds of ‘Deadline for Democracy’ events slated to happen nationwide during the Senate’s summer recess to demonstrate grassroots support for the For the People Act. Deadline for Democracy is focused on the reality of new voter suppression bills in state houses, gerrymandering, and new rules that will enable the overturning of election results, forever changing our democracy. The For the People Act urgently needs to be implemented in order to counteract these attempts to undermine the most fundamental right of democracy: our freedom to vote.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley headlined the event calling for the passage of the Freedom to Vote Act saying, “Today we stand in solidarity as a coalition with our brethren from throughout the country to mark the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Riders. At this moment, we must all be justice-seekers and freedom riders because we’re still in the fight for civil rights, voting rights, social and economic justice. The Senate must pass S1 and it’s simple why. Because it’s for the people.”
According to MA Indivisible Coalition leader, Deb Paul, “The freedom to vote is fundamental to our American democracy. The American people are speaking up, at over 200 events around the nation in the next 2 weeks, in support of passing S1 – For the People Act. Senators, do your work and pass S1 in July, no matter what it takes!”
Cindy Rowe, Executive Director of the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, added, “We are in a battle for our country right now. Being able to register to vote, to cast that ballot, and to have that vote count is how our democracy respects the humanity of voters. No matter our color, our zip code, or our income, we are all entitled to have an equal say in how we are governed. We must pass the For the People Act.”
President of NAACP Boston Tanisha Sullivan cautioned, “We are reminded in moments like this of just how fragile our democracy is, and the importance of our collective fight to protect it. We must continue to sound the alarm and act with a sense of urgency to pass legislation that will protect and expand voting rights and access. Our democracy depends on it.”
Common Cause Massachusetts Executive Director, Geoff Foster, noted, “The For The People Act is a set of bold solutions to strengthen our democracy including voting, campaign finance, ethics, and redistricting reforms. A more inclusive, equitable, and accessible democracy cannot wait, and the work must be done at both the federal and state levels to ensure every voice is heard.”
And Kevin C. Peterson, New Democracy Coalition founder, added, “Voting rights represents the DNA of our democracy. It is our obligation as a just society to push for the expansion of the right to vote to ensure a just nation where the voices of all are clear and amplified.”
Indivisible Mass Coalition
Swing Blue Alliance
Common Cause MA
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA)
Free Speech for People
Act on Mass
Mass Peace Action
Mass Poor People’s Campaign
Mass TPS Committee
New Democracy Coalition
Indivisible Acton Area
What is the For the People Act?
The bill passed the US House and is now waiting for debate in the Senate.
The For the People Act would:
- Protect Voting Rights: the For the People Act would protect everyone’s right to vote in 2022, despite the voter suppression laws that are being enacted right now.
- End Gerrymandering: Some state legislatures are currently trying to gerrymander districts in order to manipulate who wins control of the House of Representatives in 2022.
- Remove ‘dark money’ in politics: The Citizens United ruling allowed corporate donors to spend as much as they want supporting political candidates, giving them way more power over legislators than the ordinary person.
- Require Ethics: The For the People Act would make ethics rules apply to all elected officials – even the executive branch and Congress!
- Support the USPS: With more people than ever using mail-in voting, the USPS would be prohibited from slowing or affecting delivery of voting materials prior to Election Day.