STATEMENT: Alliance for Youth Action Urges Senate to Act After Introduction of Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act


January 18, 2022


Carmel Pryor

WASHINGTON — This week, the Senate will begin to debate on vital voting rights legislation – the Freedom To Vote: John R. Lewis Act – that would combat racial discrimination in voting by restoring and strengthening the protections of the Voting Rights Act — protections gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 and further weakened last year. 

In response, Dakota Hall, Executive Director of the Alliance for Youth Action, issued the following statement:

“The Senate must act now to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act so that every vote counts and we all have a say in our future. This vital voting rights legislation will stop the wave of voting rights restrictions and ensure that voters can safely and freely cast their ballots. Failure to deliver on voting rights will put senators on the wrong side of history and embolden the state legislators who want to enact anti-voter laws that silence the voices of Black, Brown, Indigenous, young, and new Americans across the country. 

Youth organizers in the Alliance Network from coast to coast continue to honor the legacies of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Congressman John Lewis by combating voter suppression in their states and fighting to ensure access to the ballot box. And we need our elected officials in Washington, DC to have the same energy and commitment as youth organizers on the ground. There is too much at stake to allow outdated Senate rules and the filibuster – a racist Jim Crow-era tool that has been used to block legislation – to obstruct legislation that the majority of Americans support. 

Young voters are watching every senator who fails to rise up and deliver on voting rights. Their legacies and our legacy as a country are on the line. The Senate must eliminate the filibuster, and pass laws that protect our lives, our rights, and our freedoms.”