February 24, 2016

Rep. Lee Honors the Heroes of the 1965 Civil Rights Marches and Calls on Congress to Preserve Their Legacy

Washington, DC - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement following the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony honoring the Foot Soldiers of the 1965 Voting Rights Marches:

“Today, our nation recognizes the enormous contributions of the Civil Rights foot soldiers that fought, bled and died to ensure every American has the right to vote. Today’s recognition is a long overdue celebration of their courage and commitment to progress, justice and opportunity for all.

Their example continues to challenge our nation to live up to its highest ideals: a government of, by and for the people.

Tragically, the progress achieved by these foot soldiers is under assault. Many are trying to turn the clock back and restrict the rights of Americans to make their voices heard at the ballot box. We simply cannot allow this to happen.

As we honor these luminaries that fought to protect our democracy and the right to vote, Congress must recommit itself to ensuring every American can participate in our democracy. It’s past time to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 2867) and the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act (H.R. 885).”

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Democrat Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity.