Mayor Gavin Buckley
CITY OF ANNAPOLIS
160 Duke of Gloucester Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Media Contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, 410-972-7724, email@example.com
Mayor Buckley to Speak at Friday Event Before Activists Depart for Voting Rights Rally on 58th Anniversary of March on Washington
Annapolis, MD (August 24, 2021) – Mayor Gavin Buckley will speak at a send-off event at the Civil Rights Foot Soldiers monument in Annapolis at noon on Friday, August 27, for busloads of City residents who will embark on a three-day trip to Washington, DC to commemorate the 58th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and push the United States Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, currently stalled in the 117th Congress.
The Foot Soldiers Memorial is the same site that participants, including future Mayors John T. Chambers, Jr. and Roger W. “Pip” Moyer, Sr. and Alderman Samuel Gilmer departed from when they attended the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
This Friday, the bus will depart at noon and return on Sunday. Sponsors of the event include the Caucus of African American Leaders and the Transformative Justice Coalition, a group spearheading voting marches in cities across the country.
About the John Lewis Voting Rights Act
The John Lewis Voting Rights Act is pending legislation that seeks to restore provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, portions of which were struck down by the Supreme Court in cases in 2013 and 2021. The legislation would specifically restore the requirement that certain states pre-clear changes in their voting rights laws with the federal government. The bill is named after the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a Civil Rights leader and voting rights activist.
After former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, some states specifically covered under the provisions of the proposed John Lewis VRA sought legislation to amend voting requirements for residents. Voting rights experts allege the new rules in those states would disproportionately deter people of color from voting. The states covered under the John Lewis VRA would include: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
About the 1963 March on Washington
On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 demonstrators took part in the March on Washington. The march was a success in pressuring the President John F. Kennedy administration to push strong federal Civil Rights legislation. After Kennedy was assassinated just three months after the March on Washington, the administration of President Lyndon Johnson pushed forward, overcoming an 82-day filibuster to see the Civil Rights Act of 1964 pass on a vote of 73 to 27.
A little less than a year later, in March of 1965, Johnson introduced the Voting Rights Act after civil rights activists were brutally attacked by law enforcement on a peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery (Alabama). Congress passed the voting rights bill in just four months’ time. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 abolished literacy tests and poll taxes designed to disenfranchise African-American voters and gave the federal govenment authority to take over voter registration in counties with a pattern of persistent discrimination.
For more information on the 58th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington bus trip, please contact Carl Snowden, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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