On CRA Anniversary, Civil and Human Rights Coalition Urges Passage of Voting Rights Act Update

Media 07.2.14

WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, passage of which the broad Leadership Conference coalition spearheaded:

“The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was signed into law 50 years ago today, was a milestone in our nation’s long journey to create a more perfect union. The CRA addressed the corrosive effect that discrimination in employment, public accommodations, education, and voting has on our democracy. As A. Philip Randolph, one of the founders of The Leadership Conference, rightly said, the CRA is the ‘Magna Carta for civil rights.’

And while we have made great progress in the last 50 years, many of the advances that have been made are under threat.  The Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder has jeopardized the right to vote and stubborn disparities in income, employment, education, and opportunity undermine the core principles we fought for in the Civil Rights Act.

It is time for Congress to make a concerted effort to protect the gains of the last 50 years.  And it can start right now by taking action on the bipartisan, commonsense update to the Voting Rights Act. As November approaches, it is incumbent on all Americans to ensure that the most sacred right of all, the right to vote, is not denied to anyone due to their race.”

Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.