Washington, D.C. — Ahead of the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Stacey Abrams, Founder of Fair Fight Action, and Eric H. Holder, Jr., the 82nd Attorney General of the United States, joined a conversation with the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) today about the importance of protecting the right to vote in order to protect people and the planet. The event was moderated by LCV’s Voting Rights Director Justin Kwasa and included a storytelling segment with Gayla Tillman, a Civic Engagement Organizer with Georgia Conservation Voters.
“We need free and fair elections in order to address environmental racism — and that starts with Congress passing the Heroes Act,” said Stacey Abrams, Founder, Fair Fight Action. “No matter where you live, you have the right to vote in November and that means we need access to mail in voting, in-person early voting, and in-person voting on the day of the election without losing polling places. We can do this.”
“The right to vote is the most effective tool we have as citizens to ensure a government that truly represents the will of the people,” said Eric H. Holder, Jr., the 82nd Attorney General of the United States. “If we want to make progress on the issues so many of us care about, like protecting the environment and dealing with climate change, we need to ensure that everyone has access to the polls this November. It’s time for Congress to fully fund efforts at the state level to ensure everyone can vote safely during the current health crisis.”
LCV has called on Congress to pass the election funding provisions in the House-passed Heroes Act. This would fully fund and direct states and counties to administer the 2020 elections in a safe, fair, and accessible manner, through the implementation of vote-by-mail and the expansion of early voting and in-person voting options. Critically, LCV has demanded that Congress protect the voice of communities who often see the worst of climate change and environmental degradation: communities of color, low-income communities, immigrant communities, native populations, the disabled, and young people in particular.
“On the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, the very best thing we can do to honor John Lewis’ legacy is pass the full elections funding in the Heroes Act,” said Justin Kwasa, Voting Rights Program Director, LCV. “The dual crises of climate change and the coronavirus pandemic have made it more clear than ever that aiding states’ proactive election protection measures through the funding in the Heroes Act is vital to ensure that every voice is heard in November.”
“This moment has forced us to reckon with the fact that environmental racism is real, it impacts everything, and it is not separate from the environmental movement at large,” said Gayla Tillman, Civic Engagement Organizer, Georgia Conservation Voters. “Mobilizing climate voters is really about mobilizing voters around everyday issues — like whether you can breathe clean air or drink clean water.”
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