Voting is an integral part of our democracy. Elections are the means by which Americans choose their elected leaders and what they want from their government. But today, the right to vote is increasingly under siege.
In 2011, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) set the House floor ablaze with a speech addressing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), and Republican legislatures across the country. He declared that voting rights are under attack in America. We should have listened to him.
A 2013 Supreme Court decision hung ominously over the 2016 presidential election as Congress left for the campaign trail in October. While voters were being inundated with campaign ads and constant coverage of the 2016 election cycle, there was little media coverage regarding a sizable segment of the U.S.
The ability to vote is one of the most precious rights we have in this country. Chinese Americans know that because they were denied that right for 60 long years through the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Though much progress has been made for the Asian American Pacific Islander Community since then, it is alarming that today, that right is being threatened.
With today’s third anniversary of the Shelby v. Holder decision, I am reminded of two poll tax receipts hanging in my Congressional office. On January 31, 1949, my grandparents traveled to the tax assessor’s office in Jack County to pay their annual poll tax.
EXPANDED access to health care, new education programs for our youngest citizens, landmark protections at the ballot box: The wave of civil-rights laws that Congress passed 50 years ago broke down barriers for millions of people in our country to more fully participate in their communities and our democracy.
As the Representative of Alabama's 7th District where so many fought, bled, and died in the struggle for racial equality, I take very seriously my role as a protector of the legacy. And as a daughter of Selma and a lifetime member of the historic Brown Chapel AME Church, such a role is very personal to me.
This week, the civil rights legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson is being celebrated and every Texan should be proud.