WASHINGTON, D.C. – National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony issued the following statement following House passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021:
“The National League of Cities welcomes the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 in the House and looks forward to seeing it passed by Congress and signed into law. This year has highlighted the continued need to confront systemic racism in all its forms and restoring the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is fundamental to ensuring that every American is able to exercise their right to vote.
Seeing so many Americans turn out to vote in 2020, even in the midst of a pandemic, was inspiring. Ahead of the November election, many mayors and city councilmembers put aside partisan labels to work together to ensure access to the ballot box.
We must remember, though, that it was only fifty-six years ago that the Voting Rights Act opened the doors of democracy to people of color whose right to participate in democracy was being curtailed. In subsequent years, those rights were extended to include non-English speakers, persons with disabilities, and others for whom the ideal of one person, one vote had not yet been realized. Though the ways in which elections are conducted today vary between towns, cities, and counties, the legal protection from discrimination must be consistent regardless of venue.
The officials we represent in 19,000 cities, towns, and villages have a common commitment to serving their communities that goes beyond partisanship and we urge members of Congress to similarly look beyond party to make certain that the vote remains, as their colleague Representative John Lewis put it, a “precious,” “almost sacred” right for all Americans.”
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.