I’ve seen firsthand how political power is used to attack our fundamental right to vote:
In 1953, my father became the first African American elected to the City Council in Wilson, North Carolina.
But the local business and political establishment didn’t like the fact that an African American was in an elected position and working to register African Americans to vote. In 1957, their solution was to change the method of election from district elections to at-large elections and prohibit single shot voting. He was defeated.
Since that day, I’ve committed myself to a career fighting for civil and voting rights.
That’s why I’m writing to you. Today, Republicans are quietly rolling back the right to vote. They’ve created unnecessary voter ID laws, closed polling locations, and limited access to early voting.
I need you to stand with me and demand that Congress act to stop this immediately. If we could bring change to the 1960s South, we can bring change now by working together.
I remember when Voting Rights Act was first enacted.
After months of organizing to increase voter registration, I marched 48 miles alongside my fellow students from the State Capitol in Raleigh, North Carolina to the county courthouse in my hometown of Wilson encouraging African Americans to register to vote. At the conclusion of the march, I registered to vote for the first time.
That day remains one of my most treasured memories.
We must not allow decades of hard work to be quietly erased by the hands of malicious Republicans.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
It is the duty of the government to protect people’s rights -- not limit them.
Thank you for your support,
Congressman G. K. Butterfield
Chair, Congressional Black Caucus