Religious, Community and Legislative Leaders Celebrated the Anniversary and Urged Passage of the Washington Voting Rights Act, Which Has Been Stalled in the State Legislature

Seattle – Today, Chair Jaxon Ravens of the Washington State Democrats, Pastor Lawrence Willis, President of the United Black Christian Clergy of Washington, Gerald Hankerson, President of the Seattle NAACP, Shetha Alaskar of Fuse Washington, Felipe Rodriguez-Flores of Progreso: Latino Progress, as well as Senators Cyrus Habib and Pramila Jayapal and Representative Luis Moscoso, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and urged passage of the Washington Voting Rights Act, which has been stalled in the state legislature.

“I was proud to gather together today with religious, community and legislative leaders to honor the 50th anniversary of the‪‬ Voting Rights Act and urge the passage of the Washington Voting Rights Act,” said Jaxon Ravens. “We have much more work to do to ensure every community has a voice in our civic process. We know the power of the VRA right here in our state. On Tuesday, due to the VRA forcing changes in elections in Yakima, a latino will sit on the city council for the first time in Yakima’s history. A community that had been disenfranchised will now have a voice. That’s progress, but we are not done.

“Democrats here in Washington will continue to fight for the right to vote, because as LBJ said when he called on passage of the VRA, voting is ‘the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice.'”

The Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA) will ensure all communities have a fair chance to elect candidates of their choice in local elections. The WVRA passed the House during the 2013, 2014 and 2015 legislative sessions. However, the legislation has died in the Senate each time. [HB 1413, 3/7/131/27/14; HB 1745, 3/5/15]