NEW YORK — Demos President Taifa Smith Butler issued the following statement on the Senate’s failure to reform the rules and advance the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act:
“Our lawmakers have made themselves clear. The American people have 48 senators who will stand up for their fundamental right to vote and 52 who will stand in the way of it. In the face of dozens of state-level laws designed to make it harder to participate in our democracy, those 52 senators acted in direct opposition to the best interest of this country, pledging allegiance to an antiquated and racist rule rather than to the American people. The people elected these senators to protect our democracy—and voiced their support for this legislation in significant numbers—only to have their lawmakers vote against it. It’s fundamentally undemocratic.
“Despite this setback, Demos remains committed to the fight for a just, inclusive, multiracial democracy. That means continued work to knock down barriers to the ballot box and safeguard the fundamental right to vote.
“Make no mistake: The effort to block access to the ballot is the continuation of an age-old effort to silence Black and brown people in this country. We cannot — and will not — accept that outcome. We are exhausted. We are disgusted. But we are not done. The fight for our democracy will continue.”