New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0796-2015    Version: * Name: Congress to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed (End of Session)
Committee: Committee on Civil Rights
On agenda: 7/23/2015
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon Congress to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Sponsors: Darlene Mealy, Margaret S. Chin, Laurie A. Cumbo, Mathieu Eugene, Vanessa L. Gibson, Rosie Mendez, Deborah L. Rose, Jumaane D. Williams, Elizabeth S. Crowley, Carlos Menchaca, Andy L. King, Rory I. Lancman, Brad S. Lander, Antonio Reynoso, Donovan J. Richards, Costa G. Constantinides, Mark Levine, Daniel Dromm , Ritchie J. Torres, Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., I. Daneek Miller, Rafael L. Espinal, Jr., Vincent J. Gentile, Annabel Palma, Ydanis A. Rodriguez
Council Member Sponsors: 25

Res. No. 796

 

Resolution calling upon Congress to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

 

By Council Members Mealy, Chin, Cumbo, Eugene, Gibson, Mendez, Rose, Williams, Crowley, Menchaca, King, Lancman, Lander, Reynoso, Richards, Constantinides, Levine, Dromm, Torres, Cornegy, Miller, Espinal, Gentile, Palma and Rodriguez

Whereas, The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) is landmark legislation that was passed in order to protect Americans against discrimination in and limiting access to voting; and

Whereas, The VRA requires states and jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination to obtain federal approval or “preclearance” before changing their voting practices; and

Whereas, Under Section 5 of the VRA, three counties in New York City (Bronx, Kings, and New York) were required to obtain preclearance; and

Whereas, A Cambridge University study found that in states covered by the VRA, African American voter registration rates increased from 29.3% to 52.1% between 1965 and 1985; and

Whereas, Congress has reaffirmed the ongoing need for the protections guaranteed by VRA by reauthorizing it four times between 1970 and 2006 with bipartisan support; and

Whereas, While the VRA has successfully protected voters from discrimination over the last 50 years, discrimination remains a significant challenge in American elections; and

Whereas, The Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights found that since 2000, there have been more than 148 separate instances of violations of the VRA and some of these violations affect thousands of voters; and

Whereas, The Brennan Center for Justice found that in 2015, state legislatures have introduced over 40 bills that restrict access to registration and voting; and

Whereas, Despite the ongoing need for the VRA, in 2013 the Supreme Court decided in Shelby County v. Holder to overturn a key provision of the act, greatly diminishing the federal government’s ability to protect voters against discrimination and limitations on voting; and

Whereas, Congress should support legislation that would restore key provisions of the VRA; and

Whereas, It is vital to ensure that individuals are not discriminated against in and have access to voting, which is a central tenet of our nation’s democracy; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon Congress to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

 

LS #4885

MA

5/14/15