Civil Rights Activist John Lewis Talks About New "Poll Tax"

We are a not for profit organization and therefore do not get involved in partisan politics.  We have to mention the speech at the Democratic National Convention on voter ID laws.  Since this has a disproportionate impact on our constituents who are largely minority and almost entirely poor.  Representative John Lewis was a leader in the struggle for civil rights and shed blood to protect voters who do not happen to have white skin.  He is an honorable man who offers a unique personal perspective.  Lewis is up for re-election this November.  If his opponent, Howard Stopeck, wants equal space to explain his position on voter ID laws, we are willing to offer the same space to him here.  I am not sure how many people in the Georgia Fifth District are reading our blog, but we are willing to offer the space. 

My dear friends, your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful, nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union. Not too long ago, people stood in unmovable lines. They had to pass a so-called literacy test, pay a poll tax. On one occasion, a man was asked to count the number of bubbles in a bar of soap. On another occasion, one was asked to count the jelly beans in a jar—all to keep them from casting their ballots.

Today it is unbelievable that there are Republican officials still trying to stop some people from voting. They are changing the rules, cutting polling hours and imposing requirements intended to suppress the vote. The Republican leader in the Pennsylvania House even bragged that his state's new voter ID law is "gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state." That's not right. That's not fair. That's not just.

And similar efforts have been made in Texas, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina. I've seen this before. I've lived this before. Too many people struggled, suffered and died to make it possible for every American to exercise their right to vote.

And we have come too far together to ever turn back. So we must not be silent. We must stand up, speak up and speak out. We must march to the polls like never before. We must come together and exercise our sacred right.

There is no way to say this better, and this is why we are in court working to expand access to the ballot box. 

Brian Davis

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