November 1, 2021
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Re: Support S. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) believes that a healthy, functioning democracy where all people can participate freely and equitably is necessary to address climate change, protect our communities, and deliver environmental justice. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.
We urge you to vote YES on S. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would defend against inequitable voting practices by restoring and modernizing the full protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. These updated judicial protections are essential to shielding our voting and redistricting processes from discriminatory practices.
In the most recent attack on the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Supreme Court’s Brnovich v. DNC decision heightened the requirement for voters to challenge discrimination. This decision will disenfranchise voters, most likely voters of color, for years to come. S. 4 would not only restore the pioneering civil rights protections found in the original act but update them to better address the modern forms of voter suppression that we have seen implemented in hundreds of anti-voter bills filed in state legislatures across the country this year alone. Additionally, the Senate version of this excellent bill incorporates the Native American Voting Rights Act, a vital proposal to help Native voters and tribal governments ensure equal access to the franchise despite the unique obstacles these voters often face.
LCV believes that environmental justice, racial justice, and a representative democracy are inextricably linked. Low-income communities and communities of color have consistently and systematically been excluded from the political process, resulting in decades of environmental racism and a shameful lack of accountability for politicians and polluting corporations. S. 4 is a vital step toward ensuring that communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis across the country have their access to the ballot box protected by the rule of law. The late Representative John Lewis was a champion for civil rights and environmental justice. To honor his legacy, we must do everything we can to ensure racial, environmental, and electoral justice for all.
For these reasons, LCV strongly urges you to vote YES on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We will strongly consider including this vote in the 2021 Scorecard. If you need more information, please contact our government relations team.