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Joe Biden, VP Harris visit AUC; demand passage of John Lewis Voting Rights Act

Joe Biden, VP Harris visit AUC; demand passage of John Lewis Voting Rights Act

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Atlanta University Center Consortium on Jan. 10, 2022, to passionately demand passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 by the Senate. The House of Representatives passed the bill in a 219-212 vote in August 2021.

“In the days that followed John Lewis’ death, there was an outpouring of praises and support across the political spectrum,” Biden said during his speech. “As we stand here today, it’s not enough just to praise his memory, we must translate eulogy into action. We need to follow John Lewis’ footsteps, we need to support the bill in his name.”

Biden made a specific appeal about the historic bill, days away from the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

“So I ask every elected official in America, how do you want to be remembered?” Biden said. “The consequential moments in history, they present a choice. Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis? This is the moment to decide, to defend our election.”

The Voting Rights Act will allow citizens to offer food or water to people waiting in long voting lines and make the mail-in voting process smoother. Every mention of the act got a standing ovation from legendary Black leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in the audience.

“The 1965 Voting Rights Act was [a] fundamental type change,” Jackson, a shadow U.S. senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997, told rolling out. “There was once only Black official across the whole South. Now, there are 60 Black congressmen. What if there were only 10 of them? Who would be able to vote on these matters?”

Other dignitaries in attendance included Martin Luther King III, Ambassador Andrew Young, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Sen. Raphael Warnock, DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson and Janice L. Mathis, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women Inc.

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