Saperstein: For more than 40 years, the Voting Rights Act has guaranteed that every person has a voice at the ballot box. We cannot allow our commitment to that right to be diminished.
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July 13, 2006, Washington DC – Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 (H.R. 9). In response, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
The bipartisan passage in the House of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is a positive step toward ensuring that voting rights in our nation will continue to be protected under this vital law. Members of the House, specifically Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Rep. Conyers (D-MI), the chair and ranking members of the House Judiciary Committee, are to be commended for recognizing the importance of this legislation and making it a top priority .
Voting is the foundation of American democracy and the most important tool Americans have to influence our government’s policies. These policies affect every aspect of our lives – from taxes, to preserving the environment, to protecting civil liberties, voting remains the most accessible and important way for Americans to express their beliefs. For more than 40 years, the Voting Rights Act has guaranteed that every person has a voice at the ballot box. We cannot allow our commitment to that right to be diminished.
The VRA must continue to work effectively to combat discrimination so that the gains that have been achieved for minority voters are not rolled back. We call on the Senate to quickly pass this legislation and ensure that the voting rights of all citizens are protected.
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.