Our Right to Vote is Under Attack!

In our pursuit for equity and inclusion in this country, generations of Black Americans have fought and died for our right to vote.  The freedom to vote and have our voices heard in selecting our political leaders is fundamental to our way of life and represents the cornerstone of our democracy.  However, we must acknowledge that there are those amongst us who are working to undermine our democracy.

Recently, the Georgia Legislature announced new laws that we believe are designed to suppress the vote for their citizens. We also believe these efforts are especially targeted at Black and Brown people and we see them for what they are, an attempt to keep Black and Brown people from voting.  Voter suppression efforts have been in motion now for several years, with several states calling for changes that are also designed to suppress the vote; unless we take a stand and do not let it happen.  We view these actions as an attack on our democracy and believe them to be un-American and we must take actions to ensure we protect our right to vote.  

We ask you to join us in advocating with your Legislators to vote yes “For the People Act of 2021”. Please review a summary of the Act below – https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1 .

For the People Act:
– This bill addresses voter access, election integrity and security, campaign finance, and ethics for the three branches of government.

– Specifically, the bill expands voter registration (e.g., automatic and same-day registration) and voting access (e.g., vote-by-mail and early voting). It also limits removing voters from voter rolls.The bill requires states to establish independent redistricting commissions to carry out congressional redistricting.

– Additionally, the bill sets forth provisions related to election security, including sharing intelligence information with state election officials, supporting states in securing their election systems, developing a national strategy to protect U.S. democratic institutions, establishing in the legislative branch the National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions, and other provisions to improve the cybersecurity of election systems.

– Further, the bill addresses campaign finance, including by expanding the prohibition on campaign spending by foreign nationals, requiring additional disclosure of campaign-related fundraising and spending, requiring additional disclaimers regarding certain political advertising, and establishing an alternative campaign funding system for certain federal offices.

– The bill addresses ethics in all three branches of government, including by requiring a code of conduct for Supreme Court Justices, prohibiting Members of the House from serving on the board of a for-profit entity, and establishing additional conflict-of-interest and ethics provisions for federal employees and the White House.

The individual policies of “For the People Act” are powerful but as a package, they are transformative and will advance a more racially equitable, inclusive democracy.

Please join us in denouncing any suppressive voting laws in the states where we operate by contacting your local State Political Representatives asking them to vote yes “For the People Act of 2021”.  The Bill has already passed in the House of Representatives and is being sent to the Senate where we already know there will be a battle, so please reach out to your Congressmen and Senators asking them to vote yes “For the People Act of 2021”. 

– James C. Haynes, President & CEO, OIC of America

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