Former First Lady Michelle Obama and a multiracial coalition of celebrities and influencers are pushing for action on voting rights. When We All Vote and March On For Voting Rights joined forces in an open letter to urge Congressional passage of federal voting rights legislation.
Their collective efforts come as more than 400 bills have been introduced in legislatures nationwide— and at least a dozen new laws have passed— that Republicans say foster election integrity. Democrats contend the intent is to suppress votes, especially among people of color.
In response, the letter from Mrs. Obama, co-chair of When We All Vote, and Valerie Jarrett, the organization’s Chairman of the Board, plus some 70 VIPS, urges Americans to march, call, email and use social media to contact U.S. Senators. Signatories hail from the worlds of politics, sports, film, music and fashion.
The list ranges from Al B. Sure!, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Alicia Keys, to Shaquille O’Neal, Stephen Curry, and Taraji P. Henson. Among the group’s Co-Chairs are actresses Kerry Washington and Tracee Ellis Ross, Shonda Rhimes, and NBA star Chris Paul.
“We are facing a coordinated national attack on our voting rights and our democracy is at stake,” said Stephanie L. Young, Executive Director of When We All Vote. “We are not going to let that happen. `When We All Vote’ will continue to mobilize our community to fight for every American’s right to vote. That fight starts with urging the Senate to take up and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act.”
The House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021; the bill must go to the Senate. Meanwhile, the For the People Act, previously passed by the House, has been stalled by GOP leadership in the Senate.
The stalemate has elicited protests, civil disobedience and arrests on Capitol Hill and beyond. This weekend (August 28), crowds are expected in the nation’s capital and cities nationwide for a series of marches, rallies and related demonstrations that coincide with the 58th anniversary of the historic March on Washington.