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For the People Act Press Conference with Faithful Democracy and national faith leaders at the United Methodist Building

June 9, 2021

Good morning,

It’s so good to be here with so many friends in this place where we have stood so many times before and doing what we do best – standing for justice and righteousness in our land. It’s also good to be here again across from the Capitol, where we watched with horror the events of January 6th unfold. The horrors of that day are starting to dissipate. The National Guard has gone, some of the fencing has come down but the scars that day created, the wounds we now have from that day, and the realities of a lie gone terribly wrong; will stay with us for many years to come. But now, there is another lie; it is not a new lie, but it is a lie that has resurfaced. It’s a lie that keeps every citizen from voting, it’s a lie that allows voter suppression to thrive and a lie that has a key lawmaker declare that he is unmoved by the pleas of civil rights leaders asking him to support the For the People Act and end this assault on our democracy. But while he was unmoved by their pleas, we are unmoved in our resolve to continue to fight for every citizen to be able to cast their ballots without obstruction, obstacles, hindrances, or unnecessary burdens.

            We know that in every state there are moves to pass voter suppression laws – to stop the will of the people from being able to cast their ballots and to raise their voices in our democracy. This is an affront to what we know is the promise of America. But we will not be silenced. We will not back down even in a pandemic. We will not look away. We will not turn back. We will continue to fight for our democracy until the promise that we know that is America is fulfilled. We have not yet seen the promise fulfilled but we are here today, and we will continue to show up because we know that America can be better than this. That there is more to America than voter suppression and to stopping Black and Brown people and others from being able to fully live and thrive within our democracy. We have seen these tactics before and we have seen this kind of backlash before, they are no surprise. We have been able to overcome and defeat them again and again, and this time will be no different.

            We have said of the 2020 election that when we organize, galvanize, and strategize we make things happen. And, we know that to be true. We witnessed the importance and significance of empowering people to vote in their own interests. We urge the Senate to act in the interests of the people and pass the For the People Act. Our scriptures teach us that we should not just look out for our interests but the interests of others. It is unimaginable that the Senate would not pass this legislation, the first 100 pages which were written by the late Congressman John Lewis and which affirms the dignity of every person by making sure they are able to vote and raise their voice. We believe that our voices count. That our voices make a difference. That what we do makes a difference. So, we will not stop showing up. We will not turn back. We will continue to fight this fight believing that we shall overcome…someday.

We urge Senators to vote yes on S1, the For the People Act, and we stand here today to let them know that we will take note and hold them accountable for their support of this bill.

Thank you!