(Washington, D.C.) – Leaders of several legacy civil rights organizations met virtually with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today to discuss their policy priorities and concerns related to voting rights and police reform—two of the most critical civil rights issues of our day. The following is a statement from Damon Hewitt, president and executive director at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, who attended the meeting:
“Part of our goal with today’s meeting was to find out from the senator where he stands on strengthening voting rights in our country and to hear from him what concerns he may have about the For the People Act. Our meeting was constructive and helpful to both sides, but it is a discussion that must continue.
“Voting rights and access to the ballot are under daily attack. we remain convinced that Congress can, and must, act to stop these attacks. For decades, protecting voting rights was a bipartisan endeavor. The surge in partisan efforts to suppress the vote in the past several years cannot be allowed to somehow frame efforts to protect the vote as being inherently partisan. That type of false equivalence does a disservice to those who sacrificed so much to ensure that our democracy lives up to its highest ideals. We will continue to work with Senator Manchin to cut through the political morass and find answers that work for our democracy, regardless of partisan divides.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.