Washington, DC—Today, People For the American Way joined Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Stand Up America, Black Voters Matter, Common Cause, Center for Popular Democracy, End Citizens United, Fix Our Senate, Indivisible, and Henry Lewis, the youngest brother of the late Honorable John Lewis, in delivering a petition —which garnered near1ly 400,000 signatures— calling on President Biden to use the full power of his office to urge the U.S. Senate to end the filibuster and pass crucial federal voting rights legislation.
Following the petition delivery, participants held a press conference thanking Biden for his support of the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and filibuster reform, while reminding him that the most important thing he can do in this pivotal moment to protect our freedom to vote is to publicly support eliminating the filibuster as an obstacle to passing this legislation.
“President Biden, thank you for calling for passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but with our democracy at risk, we need actions that match the urgency of your words,” said People For the American Way President Ben Jealous in prepared remarks. “We need you to call on the Senate to end the filibuster as an obstacle to passing this critical civil rights legislation. And we need you to work with Democratic senators to make that happen.”
Today’s petition delivery comes days after Senate Republicans blocked debate on the For the People Act just before leaving for recess. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced plans to make voting rights a top priority when the Senate returns in September and House Democrats promised to return earlier than planned on August 23, to take up voting rights.
In a statement earlier this week, Jealous said that Democrats must move forward to take up both the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, both of which are essential to protecting our democracy. “President Biden must also step up and unequivocally throw his support and the power of his office behind removal of the filibuster as an obstacle to progress… This is the turning point and there can be no more excuses: it’s time to get this done,” said Jealous.
People For the American Way’s efforts in the fight to protect voting rights has included: Congressional testimony, petition drives, digital ads, rallies and press events, and social media campaigns to engage voters.
About People For the American Way
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more:http://www.pfaw.org.