The following statement is from Michelle Tremillo, Co-Executive Director of the Texas Organizing Project (TOP), in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year:
“Today, we echo the piercing and principled words of the King family, “No celebration without legislation.”
“Honoring the legacy of Dr. King means enshrining the expansion of voting rights he and other civil rights leaders so courageously championed and put their lives on the line for.
“At a time when access to the ballot box, a cornerstone of our nation’s democracy, is being systematically attacked by right-wing politicians, the need for our Democratic-controlled Senate to bypass the archaic filibuster to codify voting rights protections has never been greater.
“Surrender from Senate Democrats on this issue would be a slap in the face to the millions of Black and Latino voters across the country whose rights are being threatened, as well as an insult to the memory of Dr. King himself.”
TOP board member Ray Brackens of Houston added:
“Throughout the day today, our social media feeds will be flooded with quotes from the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – a share disgustingly coming from the same Republican leaders who support and have passed discriminatory voting restrictions.
“Just as we are sick and tired of these officials whitewashing the words of a justice-fighting icon, we are fed up with congressional inaction on comprehensive voting rights legislation.
“Each day that passes that Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema prioritize preserving old legislative procedure over protecting the fundamental right to vote is a win for far-right extremists and a slight to what Dr. King selflessly fought for.
“Enough with the stalling and lip service. Democrats must deliver on voting rights now by passing the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.”
Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.
This statement was sent out January 17, 2022.