This week marked the 53rd anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act
. For all those who care about the values behind this law, now is time to show it.
As an African American born nearly three decades after the act’s passage, I have been blessed by the work of those who came before me. The best way we can honor the sacrifices of those brave Americans is to continue their efforts — particularly at a time when voting rights are under strain.
We are reaching a critical point in this battle, which in recent years has seen the Voting Rights Act stripped of key provisions and the spread of voter suppression tactics, such as voter ID. To preserve and protect everyone’s right to vote, each of us must do our part.
That’s why I’ve spent my summer visiting cities throughout Nebraska to talk to everyday people about the importance of voting rights. That’s why I’ve shared ways that they can join the effort to protect them. That’s why I’m driving six hours to Chadron this weekend to talk with Nebraskans about voting rights policy and election protection.
No matter what your role in this most important drama might be, be sure you play it well.
There should be no lack of motivation. Think about the people who marched for days and those who gave their lives. The right to vote should be no less precious to us than it was to them. Those advocates helped to pass a landmark bill in divided and turbulent times — imagine what we could do with the same level of dedication and having the advantage of building on their work.
Let’s all pledge to spend this weekend remembering the 1965 Voting Rights Act by planning the 2018 Voting Rights Act.
— Brad Christian-Sallis, Voting Rights Policy Organizer