Advocates to Rally in Roanoke for Voting Rights and Democracy on Shelby Anniversary

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Rep. Goodlatte and Congress Urged to Restore the Voting Rights Act

For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Simpson, 202.466.2061, simpson@civilrights.org
June 16, 2015

ROANOKE— On Thursday, June 25, hundreds of concerned Americans will join civil rights and voting rights advocates in Roanoke, Virginia’s Elmwood Park to mark the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision to gut the Voting Rights Act. Attendees will rally to defend the right to vote and to support a restoration of the Voting Rights Act. The rally will be attended by a large contingent of Roanoke-area residents who will be joined by buses and vans from Richmond and Tidewater, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C.

Quote from Wade Henderson, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:

“In this 50th anniversary year of the Voting Rights Act, voters are more vulnerable to discrimination than at any time since the law was first passed in 1965. Congressional leadership has yet to act on restoring the law and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who represents part of Roanoke and chairs the House Judiciary Committee, has yet to take action to protect voters from discrimination in Virginia and throughout the nation.

“Despite public outcry since the Shelby decision, Rep. Goodlatte has refused to even acknowledge widespread voting discrimination or to allow a hearing in his committee. Virginians currently live under racially gerrymandered districts; they understand that protecting voting rights for all means holding Congress and Rep. Goodlatte accountable for ignoring the responsibility to act.”

Participating organizations include the following national organizations alongside their state and local chapters: The Leadership Conference, Democracy Initiative, NAACP, NAACP Voter Fund, Communications Workers of America, A. Phillip Randolph Institute, Human Rights Campaign, Common Cause, Sierra Club, Asian Americans Advancing Justice—AAJC, the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, Japanese American Citizens League, LULAC, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, League of Women Voters, NALEO, AFT, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Black Justice Coalition, National Action Network, People for the American Way, AFL-CIO, National LGBTQ Task Force, SEIU, and others.

Media can RSVP to Scott Simpson at Simpson@civilrights.org. Members of the media from the DC, Richmond, Tidewater, areas are welcome to travel to Roanoke with rally participants.

More information is available at www.VRAforToday.org.

Rally Details:

WHERE: Elmwood Park in Roanoke, Virginia

WHEN: Thursday, June 25 – Pre-Rally Program begins at 12:00pm / Rally begins at 1:00pm

Confirmed Speakers Include [List in Formation]:

  • Wade Henderson, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Arturo Vargas, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund
  • Priscilla Ouchida, Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL)
  • Cornell William Brooks, NAACP
  • Larry Cohen, CWA
  • Stosh Cotler, Bend the Arc
  • Brenda Hale, Roanoke Branch, NAACP
  • Tanya Clay House, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Rev. William Barber, NAACP
  • Rev. Leslie Malachi, African American Ministers in Action, People for the American Way
  • VA State Senator John Edwards
  • Aaron Mair, Board President, Sierra Club
  • Miles Rapoport, Common Cause
  • Mara Keisling, National Center for Transgender Equality
  • Hector Sanchez, Hispanic Leadership Council/LCLAA
  • Sindy Benevidez, LULAC
  • Terry Ao Minnis, Asian Americans Advancing Justice / AAJC
  • Tefere Gebre, AFL-CIO
  • Rabbi Kathy Cohen, Temple Emmanuel, Roanoke
  • Rabbi Michael Namath, Religious Action Center
  • Janaye Ingraham, National Action Network
  • J. Walter Tejada, Arlington Co. Board Vice Chairman
  • Rebecca Shankman, League of Women Voters of VA and Roanoke, VA
  • Kirk Jones, A. Phillip Randolph Institute (APRI) VA
  • Tom Calhoun, Norfolk Federation of Teachers
  • Dana Jackson, Blue Ridge Independent Living Center, National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
  • Javontae McNear, VA NAACP Youth and College Division