Interfaith Clergy Letter to Congress in Support of the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014

Please sign the letter below and circulate it to other clergy colleagues and networks.

Earlier this year 88 faith groups signed a similar letter to Congress in support of the VRAA. To view the letter and signatories, click here: http://goo.gl/kRNO6P

If you have any questions, please be in touch with Arielle Gingold at agingold@bendthearc.us. The deadline to sign the letter is Wednesday, November 19.

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Dear Members of Congress:

As clergy and faith leaders who serve diverse faith communities across the United States, we write to share our strong support for the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (H.R. 3899/S.1945) and urge its swift passage by both chambers of Congress before the end of this year.

The teachings of our respective faiths may diverge on issues of theology and practice, but all speak clearly of the imperative to pursue justice and treat each and every human being with dignity and respect. We are united in standing up for those most at risk of having their voices silenced at the ballot box. We are inspired to do what we can to protect the right of each individual to play a role in shaping the future of our cities, towns, states and nation. What is at stake in this fight is the very nature of our society, whether we can truly call ourselves a democracy in which each citizen can cast a vote to choose our leaders and shape the direction of our country.

Many people of faith proudly fought for the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, which took historic steps to prohibit the discriminatory voting practices that denied and abridged the rights of so many in our communities. The Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which stripped critical protections for voters in striking down a key provision of the VRA, reminds us that our work is far from complete.

In that decision, Chief Justice Roberts called upon Congress to update the Voting Rights Act. Every day that passes without Congressional action brings new voting procedures, unreported at best, and outright discriminatory at worst. Although Congress failed to act in time for this election, the need is no less urgent. Now is the time pass this critical legislation and stop discriminatory voting practices wherever they occur.

Voting rights legislation has long been—and continues to be—a shining example of bipartisan unity. We urge you to support the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (H.R. 3899/S.1945) and see that its modern, commonsense provisions are swiftly enacted. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,


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