AI Roadmap Reflects a Step Toward Bipartisanship, Congress Must Do More to Prevent Civil Rights Harms

Contact: Mariah Wildgen, [email protected]

WILEY: “Technological innovation is not truly innovative until it includes all of us.”

WASHINGTONMaya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund, issued the following statement on the recently released bipartisan legislative proposal on artificial intelligence (AI) from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D. N.Y., and U.S. Senators Mike Rounds, R. S.D., Todd Young, R. Ind., and Martin Heinrich, D. N.M.:

“No one lives a single issue life, and technology reaches every facet of our lives. Today’s artificial intelligence legislative framework is a first small step towards ensuring a fair, just, and socially beneficial AI future. We welcome a bipartisan agreement as a beginning towards a transformational future of fairness, justice, and opportunity. But to create a transformative and sustainable nation of opportunity with emerging technologies like AI, we must have a powerful set of preventive guardrails. Elections, health care, housing, education, and the criminal-legal system are all places where people can be helped or harmed by technology, depending on how the government responds in this critical moment. Unfortunately, the framework’s focus on promoting innovation and industry overshadows the real-world harms that could result from AI systems.

“We urge Congress to continue to work towards enacting policies that make AI equitable for all of us. AI is deeply intertwined in our lives, touching everything from education to employment and elections. ‘Black Box’ AI systems are making decisions for us and feeding us information based on troves of data — data that have already shown biases against historically marginalized communities. Congress must act to protect our civil rights, ensuring that our loved ones receive the life-saving health care they deserve, that our neighbors can count on job security and fair wages, and that our democracy is protected. 

“The Leadership Conference and our coalition partners have continued to be vocal in the need for any legislation related to AI to include civil rights protections, recognizing the large gaps in safeguards for individual privacy, workers’ rights, and election integrity. This framework recognizes elements from the American Privacy Rights Act of 2024, including minimizing individuals’ data footprint online, which is a positive sign that lawmakers across Capitol Hill are connecting the dots between privacy and AI. Federal lawmakers also acknowledged that workers, who face the greatest potential change to their livelihoods from AI, deserve a seat at the table in any AI policy discussion. Workers, and the unions that represent them, ought to be front and center in the fight for equitable AI.  

“We are sorely underprepared to face the potential threat of AI ahead of this year’s election, but there is positive movement in Congress. AI holds promise to help protect and expand our democracy by increasing our capacity to reach voters. It also, however, poses a great threat to turbocharge the spread of voting disinformation and hate speech online, stoking fear and distrust in our election infrastructure and sowing hate against communities of color. I have testified in front of Congress on the importance of addressing this issue and urged action to mitigate the impact of artificial intelligence on our elections. The Senate Rules Committee today considers three key pieces of legislation — the Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act, the A.I. Transparency in Elections Act of 2024, and the Preparing Election Administrators for A.I. Act — all three of which are important steps to protect our elections. The roadmap acknowledges the need to address AI-generated election content, but it doesn’t go far enough to stop the potential turbocharged spread of disinformation that can result from the use of AI.

“The Leadership Conference and our Center for Civil Rights and Technology will continue to work diligently to protect and advocate for civil rights protections to be included in every piece of legislation related to AI governance. Technological innovation is not truly innovative until it includes all of us.”

In September 2023, The Leadership Conference Education Fund and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights announced the launch of the Center for Civil Rights and Technology to serve as a hub for advocacy, education, and research at the intersection of civil rights and technology policy. Our experts dive into the most pressing policy issues in three key areas: AI and privacy, voting and platform accountability, and broadband access. Since launching, the Center held a convening titled “Regulatory Code: AI, Civil Rights, and the Future of Democracy” and created an advisory council made up of civil society and academic leaders.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 240 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 member organizations, visit

The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal and state policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit