Broad Coalition of Environmental Groups Call on President Biden and U.S. Senate to Pass Voting Rights Legislation on the One Year Anniversary of the January 6 Insurrection
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Leading environmental organizations are calling on President Biden and the Senate to act with urgency and pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act on the one year anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
These transformative pieces of legislation would protect the public’s access to fair elections, reign in big polluters’ influence in political decision-making, end partisan gerrymandering, limit the influence of dark money on elections, and ensure that our democracy works for everyone—especially older adults, people with disabilities, and communities of color who historically carry the heaviest burden of environmental disasters, climate change, and barriers to voting.
In the past year, our nation has witnessed hundreds of direct attacks on our democracy—with more than 440 bills introduced in 49 states and over 30 laws passed in 19 states, all with the goal to suppress the right to vote. The Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act are critical to strengthening voting rights and ensuring that everyone’s voices are heard in elections.
On Thursday, candlelight vigils will be held across the country to remember the events of January 6, 2021 and to peacefully urge federal leaders to stand up for all Americans by passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act by any means necessary. You can find more information on the January 6 candlelight vigils here.
Below is a joint statement from Clean Water Action, Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, the Sierra Club, Interfaith Power and Light, Environmental Defense Fund Action, Clean Air Moms Action, Union of Concerned Scientists, Climate Hawks Vote, Greenpeace, Union for Reform Judaism, Friends of the Earth Action, and the League of Conservation Voters.
“As the January 6 anniversary approaches, we have an opportunity to reflect on the violent attack that took place one year ago when a small faction of white supremacists launched a violent attack on our nation’s Capitol with the intent to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. One year later, we are still at a pivotal moment in the fight to protect our democracy. Since the January 6 insurrection, we have seen attack after attack to erode the fabric and core of our democracy and the freedom to vote. From insidious voter suppression laws in several states and partisan gerrymandering to Republican officials’ continuously stoking falsehoods to sow confusion and mistrust in our elections and democracy, we stand united with all those working to protect voting rights and prevent future attacks.
“This grim anniversary should serve as a wake-up call to urgently take all action necessary to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and Freedom to Vote Act to expand the right to vote, end partisan gerrymandering, and give power back to the people. When everyone’s vote counts and everyone’s voice is heard, we can hold our government accountable to address critical needs including combating the climate crisis, addressing rising inequality, advancing environmental justice, and protecting our air, lands, waters, oceans, and wildlife. Democracy, climate action, human rights, social equity and environmental justice are inseparable. The vast majority of the country supports bold action and investments to improve quality of life for those who have been marginalized and to combat the climate crisis; but racism is used to fuel political wedges while big polluter interests continually wield their outsized influence in politics to undermine the will of the people and hinder progress. The time to act is now.”