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North Carolina African American & Latinx Leaders Call On Tillis To Restore Voting Rights Act

In Sunday’s Charlotte Observer, African American and Latinx leaders across North Carolina urged Senator Tillis to demand a vote this month to restore the Voting Rights Act in Congressman John Lewis’ honor.

Citing his record of voter suppression, the op-ed reveals how empty Senator Tillis’ words were in the wake of Congressman John Lewis’ death. The same guy who revered Lewis’ “legacy as a civil rights leader” also passed what was described as a “monster” voter suppression law as Speaker of North Carolina House. 

So restrictive, President Obama quoted the courts’ ruling striking down that law during his eulogy for Congressman Lewis, saying: But even as we sit here, there are those in power are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting — by closing polling locations, and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws, and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision.”

And seven years after passing that law, Senator Tillis continues to denigrate Black and Brown North Carolinians: “[Tillis] – unprompted – blamed the ‘Hispanic community’ for the spread of COVID-19 and for ‘less consistent adherence to social distancing and wearing a mask,’” without providing any evidence to back it up. 

North Carolina leaders are “demanding more than platitudes.” Cal Cunningham released a plan to fight corruption in Washington, including restoring the Voting Rights Act, extending early voting, and making it easier to register to vote by enacting reforms like automatic voter registration and making Election Day a federal holiday.

Charlotte Observer: Honor John Lewis by restoring the Voting Rights Act

By Harvey Gantt, Jimmy Gilchrist, Ricky Hurtado, Reverend Ray McKinnon, John Verdejo, Elke Millan – August 2, 2020

  • Tillis and his fellow Republicans have a chance to back up their words with action by finally passing a bill to restore the Voting Rights Act in Lewis’ memory, which has been languishing in McConnell’s legislative graveyard for more than 220 days. 
  • Yet far from supporting when he was alive the man they now applaud in his passing, these Republican leaders stood against Congressman Lewis’ legacy of promoting civil rights – pushing extreme voter suppression efforts and disparaging Black and Brown people, including just last week.
  • Our nation is experiencing an awakening to systemic racism. Part of that means demanding more than platitudes from our leaders. Senator Tillis and others should demand a vote on the law restoring the Voting Rights Act this month. Given his record of suppressing — instead of safeguarding — the right to vote, we’re not holding our breath.

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