• July 20th, 2024
  • Saturday, 07:36:02 AM

National Nonpartisan Conversation on Voter Rights


Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot are convening stakeholders from across the country including mayors, legislators, county clerks, election administrators and community leaders to take a seat at the table of history and develop a framework for implementing national strategies to protect, defend and promote voter rights.

 

The National Nonpartisan Conversation on Voter Rights, taking place from Oct. 21-23 in Denver, will set a national action plan to end gerrymandering, ensure safe access to the ballot, and prevent partisan efforts that diminish voter access, especially in communities of color.

 

The National Nonpartisan Conversation on Voter Rights, taking place from Oct. 21-23 in Denver, will set a national action plan to end gerrymandering, ensure safe access to the ballot, and prevent partisan efforts that diminish voter access, especially in communities of color.

 

“There is nothing more foundational to our democracy in the United States than the free exercise of the right and access to vote. Anything that abridges the exercise thereof must be amended or abolished immediately,” Mayor Hancock said. “That’s why we as mayors, election officials, county commissioners voting rights advocates and civic leaders are coming together to have this conversation and express to our national leadership a path forward that secures the foundational right of every American.”

 

“Across the country we are seeing a wave of voter suppression bills being signed into law which threaten the very foundation of our democracy,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “As we call upon Congress to protect voter rights, local leaders and stakeholders must also swiftly and strongly address these issues. I am grateful that we are coming together to have these conversations in order to protect the right of every citizen of this country.”

 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) will provide a video message to participants of the National Nonpartisan Conversation on Voter Rights during the afternoon session on Friday, Oct. 22.

 

Sen. Klobuchar is the Chairwoman of the Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections and campaign finance law. As Chairwoman of the Rules Committee, Sen. Klobuchar has been a leading advocate for protecting the right to vote and increasing access to the electoral process. Sen. Klobuchar a co-sponsor of the recently introduced Freedom to Vote Act in the U.S. Senate. The bill’s aim is to improve access to the ballot for Americans and advance commonsense election integrity reforms. Sen. Klobuchar calls efforts to suppress the vote “discrimination with surgical precision” and action must be taken to uphold the foundation of our democracy and ensure every American can vote in the way that works best for them.

 

Also participating in the National Nonpartisan Conversation on Voter Rights is Carlotta Walls LaNier, President of the Little Rock Nine Foundation. At the age of 14, LaNier was the youngest member of the group of nine African American students who integrated Central High School in 1957 and led the way in changing the American education system. LaNier is also a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and an inductee into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame as well as the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

 

Supporting and endorsing the important work to expand voter access is philanthropist and entrepreneur Robert F. Smith, founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. Raised in Denver, Smith has demonstrated his commitment to giving back to his community and focusing his philanthropic work on equitable causes.  Smith’s philanthropy has supported major education institutions, social justice organizations as well as the arts and scientific research for breast cancer, colon cancer, and other diseases.

 

In the 2021 legislative sessions alone, more than 400 bills with expansive provisions to restrict voter access have been introduced in 49 states. Nineteen states have already enacted laws this year that will make it harder for Americans to vote, in the most aggressive wave of voter restrictions our nation has seen in decades. Many of these states have a history of discriminatory voter laws, and the direct impacts of these new laws are making it even more difficult to vote right now and as voters being to cast their ballots in this November’s statewide and municipal elections. Civic leaders across the country are being moved to action to reverse this assault on voter rights. With federal efforts stalling due to obstruction in Congress, local officials are leading the way to protect access to the ballot box.

 

For more information on the convening and program, visit denvergov.org/VoterRightsDenver.

 

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