Local residents, elected officials, and community groups participated in a car rally for voting rights in front of Fullerton City Hall on Saturday May 8. Speakers urged Congress to pass HR 1: The For the People Act, and HR 4: The John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and spoke against recent bills passed in other states that have restricted access to voting.
“Every citizen has the right to vote. It doesn’t matter your race or your zip code or your income or your color or even your political party,” Fullerton resident Debbie Langenbacher said. “Every citizen has the right to vote in a manner that’s safe and fair and easy for everybody. That’s what we’re fighting for today.”
State Senator Josh Newman of District 29 criticized recent bills in Florida, Texas, and Georgia that have sought to restrict voter access. He mentioned a bill that’s moving through the California legislature, SB 583, that “would do the opposite of what’s going on right now in these other states.”
Alicia Rivera of the Orange County Congregation Community Organization (OCCCO) spoke in support of HR1 and HR4. “These laws open the opportunity to respond to two important crises in our country—the attack against democracy, reflected in the assault in the capitol on January 6, and the subsequent avalanche of bills to suppress votes throughout the Country and the urgent demand for racial justice—based on the key idea that the best way to defend democracy is to strengthen democracy.”
President of League of Women Voters of North Orange County Pearl Mann said that HR 1 and HR 4 will expand voting rights, reduce the influence of money in politics, and limit partisan gerrymandering.
State Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva said that California is ahead of the curve when it comes to voting rights. “As humans, we don’t try to figure out how to push people out of our society…but we embrace people, who they are, where they are, and we do things to uplift them,” she said.
Patricia Hanzo from the group Indivisible CA-39 pointed out that Representative Young Kim voted against HR 1 and HR 4. “Blocking access to the ballot box is unAmerican and undemocratic. We demand that Congress pass national legislation to protect voter rights and denounce voter suppression tactics,” she said.
After the speeches, cars paraded through Fullerton with signs in support of protecting voting rights.
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