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Reform Jewish Leader Criticizes Delay on Critical Civil Rights Legislation; Urges Swift Consideration of Voting Rights Act Reauthorization

Pelavin: It is critical to ensure that the VRA continues to work effectively to combat discrimination and that the gains that have been achieved for minority voters are not rolled back. I urge you to show your commitment to civil rights by using your leadership to bring the Voting Rights Act to the floor for a vote as soon as possible.

Contact: Emily Kane or Jason Kleinman 
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington DC, June 23, 2006 – In a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives sent on Wednesday, June 21, 2006, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, expressed disappointment over the House leadership’s decision to pull the Voting Rights Act from scheduled consideration this week. The full text of the letter follows:

June 21, 2006

Dear Mr. Speaker,

On behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews and 1800 Rabbis, we write to urge you to use your leadership to bring the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 (H.R. 9) to a vote on the House floor as soon as possible.

We are strongly disappointed that the House of Representatives has delayed its vote, which was planned for June 21st, on this important and historic piece of civil rights legislation. Voting is the foundation of American democracy and the most important tool that Americans have to influence our government’s policies. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 removed barriers that prevented and obstructed minorities from voting. Finally, all Americans were able to vote and all Americans were able to make their voice heard.

It is critical to ensure that the VRA continues to work effectively to combat discrimination and that the gains that have been achieved for minority voters are not rolled back. I urge you to show your commitment to civil rights by using your leadership to bring the Voting Rights Act to the floor for a vote as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Mark J. Pelavin


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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the
Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.



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