Press Release

AFT’s Weingarten Echoes Call for Voting Rights Action Now

For Release: 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Contact:

Sarah Hager Mosby
202-393-5684
shager@aft.org

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement in support of the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 5746, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. If passed in the House, this combined bill will ensure that the Senate will be able to begin consideration of this critical voting rights bill following a simple majority vote:

“The history of this country is born out of a struggle to create a true representative democracy that ensures both that those eligible to vote have access to exercise their vote—to pick the folks who represent us—and that their vote is counted and the result respected. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. knew this struggle. Rep. John Lewis knew this struggle. So many trailblazers for justice lived and died by the belief that the right to vote is as sacred as it is essential to a functioning democracy.

“But for the first time in our history, we have a former president who has not accepted the results of the election or committed to the peaceful transfer of power. Our belief in the right to vote and the accurate counting of the vote is under threat from a targeted, brazen and partisan effort to quell democracy. These concerted efforts are anti-democratic and dangerous, and they make clear the need for corrective action. That’s why the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act is so important.  

“It’s time for the Senate to act and take the necessary steps to debate and vote on this bill. The country has a right to see where all its representatives stand on the fundamental right of the people to decide who represents us in the halls of power.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.