Opening Remarks at Public Forum on Restoring and Expanding the Voting Rights Act Greg Coleridge Saturday, September 28, 2013 Laborer’s International Union 310, Cleveland, Ohio
Welcome to this community forum on restoring and expanding the voting rights act.
The August 24 Washington, DC rally marking the 50th Anniversary of the historic1963 March for Jobs and Freedom featured literally dozens of speakers in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The themes of their reflections varied considerably.
In the segregated South, in the summer of 1963, the first interracial group to live together in Warren County took up residence in a tiny, sweltering apartment over Brown's Superette and Grill.
Fourteen college students and three adults among them, they had come to Warrenton after local residents approached the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) about starting a project to encourage voter registration and civic activism among the impoverished black majority population.
By striking down Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court threatens making second-class citizens of many, especially people of color. The Voting Rights Act has been crucial in giving the federal government the ability to keep discriminatory voting laws from going into effect.
On January 3, 2013, over three dozen Iowans spoke at a public hearing in opposition to an attempt by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz to suppress voter turnout in the name of fighting voter fraud. AFSC and other groups have signed on to a statement by the ACLU of Iowa calling on Secretary Shultz to withdraw the proposed rule changes.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
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