Dear Arizona Congressional Leaders,
This week, after commemorating The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy, you will vote on historic voting rights legislation — the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act — to guard against the unprecedented attacks on our democracy. Dr. King is remembered for having a dream of a more unified America, one that rejects the racist, discriminatory attitudes, and practices that have defined the country’s past. Rep. John Lewis, his fellow icon of the civil rights movement, shared the understanding that voting rights are the gateway to enjoying all the rights promised by America. Voting rights was the path to realizing Dr. King’s dream.
Our history reminds us that the effort to deliver the right to vote led by Dr. King, Congressman Lewis, and others was and continues to be filled with violence and suppression. We’re also reminded of the role of the filibuster, an arcane Senate rule, in preventing the passage of vital legislation pertaining to civil rights, racial equity, and democracy reforms. Right now, due to united opposition from Republicans in the U.S. Senate, it’s being used to block passage of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.
In John Lewis’ own words, “The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful, non-violent tool or instrument in a democratic society. We must use it.”
Without passage of critical voting rights bills, our democracy is at risk, and so is our reproductive freedom. Access to abortion is intrinsically connected to access to the ballot box — both give us the ability to make choices for our bodies, lives, and futures.
Here in Arizona, we are not immune to attacks — from both the state and federal governments — that have put our health and rights at risk. Our ability to vote has been restricted, as has our ability to access abortion without medically unnecessary barriers. Our concern is less about Senate rules and more about the best ways to be in solidarity with our communities and fight for our rights and the rights of all people to get the care they need.
Arizona Congressional Leaders, this is your moment to stand up for voting rights and reproductive health care. We urge you to do whatever it takes to pass this critical piece of legislation, including changing the Senate rules if necessary. We cannot wait. Abortion rights and access depend on the strength of our democracy.
We are at a moment where we need our leaders to be bold. This isn’t about politics or Senate procedure. This is about your legacies. In this moment, failing to act is failing our democracy and the people of Arizona.
We urge you to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act—even if it means changing archaic Senate rules to do so—to save our democracy.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona
Las Adelitas Arizona
Arizona Black Political Cultivation
Tags: Voting Rights