Washington, D.C. – Today, Senate Democrats continued building on their relationship with the civil rights community during a forum with the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee (DSOC) and twenty-five members of the Executive Committee of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Senators Mark Begich (AK), Chairman of the DSOC, Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Vice-Chair of the DSOC, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) hosted the discussion.
“I was honored to join civil rights advocates to discuss issues directly affecting our civil rights today, particularly the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Voting Rights Act. In Alaska, we’ve relied on the VRA for nearly 40 years to protect against barriers at the ballot box. It is still important that Alaskans have clear and unrestrained access to the polls no matter where we live,” said Sen. Begich. “In addition to the VRA discussion, I appreciated the ideas and comments from participants about how end to discrimination, fix our broken immigration system, and make sure everyone has the ability to exercise their vote.”
Coming on the heels of historic Supreme Court decisions, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Executive Committee members addressed a comprehensive civil rights agenda that included voting rights, marriage equality, pending nominations, and working to provide more equality and opportunity for everyone. The candid back-and-forth conversation allowed Senate Democrats to hear first-hand from leading civil rights leaders about their concerns.
In addition to applauding their commitment to fighting discriminatory practices in voting requirements, participants stressed the need for Senate Democrats to find a bipartisan legislative fix for the Voting Rights Act.
“Today’s forum provided a platform for the leading voices in the civil and human rights movement to advance a bipartisan solution that restores the Voting Rights Act,” stated Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “Senate Democrats listened to our concerns and took the chance to hear how they can come together with Republicans to stop racial discrimination in voting.”
Photos from the event are available here.
About the Senate Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee
The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee is dedicated to fostering dialogue between Senate Democrats and leaders from across the nation. Each year, the Steering Committee hosts numerous meetings with advocates, policy experts, and elected officials to discuss key priorities and enlist their help in the development of the Senate Democratic agenda. The Committee serves as a liaison between Senate Democratic offices, advocacy groups, and intergovernmental organizations. It is one of three Democratic Leadership Committees in the Senate and is chaired by Senator Mark Begich (AK) and vice chaired by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH).