NYDLC Reflects on Selma and Voting Rights
NYDLC Co-Chair John Nonna participated in the Jubilee of the Bloody Sunday March that led to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Nonna described the experience as deeply moving, saying "This was an historic occasion to celebrate the courage of the foot soldiers who endured brutality and the leadership of Rev Martin Luther King, Congressman John Lewis and others. But it was also an occasion to recognize that there is much more that needs to be accomplished to secure voting rights against the ongoing efforts to suppress and restrict them. The work we do at the New York Democratic Lawyers Council represents an important contribution in the struggle to protect and defend the right to vote."
President Obama shared that sentiment during his address:
"Right now, in 2015, 50 years after Selma, there are laws across this country designed to make it harder for people to vote. As we speak, more of such laws are being proposed. Meanwhile, the Voting Rights Act, the culmination of so much blood, so much sweat and tears, the product of so much sacrifice in the face of wanton violence, the Voting Rights Act stands weakened, its future subject to political rancor.
How can that be? The Voting Rights Act was one of the crowning achievements of our democracy, the result of Republican and Democratic efforts. (Applause.) President Reagan signed its renewal when he was in office. President George W. Bush signed its renewal when he was in office. (Applause.) One hundred members of Congress have come here today to honor people who were willing to die for the right to protect it. If we want to honor this day, let that hundred go back to Washington and gather four hundred more, and together, pledge to make it their mission to restore that law this year. That’s how we honor those on this bridge. (Applause.)"
Let us at NYDLC honor those who marched 50 years ago by rededicating ourselves to our important mission of expanding and protecting the electorate.