Statement: Alliance for Youth Action Urges Congress to Act After Introduction of John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in the Senate

October 7, 2021

Carmel Pryor

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, October 5th, Senator Patrick Leahy reintroduced the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The legislation 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 earlier this year. 

In response, Sarah Audelo, Executive Director of the Alliance for Youth Action, issued the following statement:

“Fifty-six years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, young people are still leading the fights against voter suppression efforts. Youth-led groups in the Alliance Network like Forward Montana and Loud Light in Kansas are suing their states because of terrible anti-voter legislation that was passed. And young organizers with groups like MOVE Texas continue to mobilize and fight for Black, Brown, young, and disabled voters to have access to the ballot box. Despite our best efforts, we can’t out-organize voter suppression, we need Congress to act.  Congress must pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally repair this landmark law to ensure we all have an equal say in the decisions that impact our lives. 

Before his death, Congressman John Lewis wrote: “I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.” The youth organizers in the Alliance Network answer this call everyday by pushing us all to imagine more loving, safe, and thriving communities. This vision includes protecting the freedom to vote. It is past time for Congress to answer this call by eliminating the filibuster, and passing the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.”