Aug 29, 2013
Each of the four convening organizations of the Democracy Initiative worked to mobilize members to attend the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The leaders of the coalition – CWA President Larry Cohen, Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous and Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune – released this statement on the eve of the event:
Tomorrow on the National Mall, civil rights heroes will stand shoulder to shoulder with labor, environmentalists, champions from the LGBT movement, good government advocates, and concerned citizens from around the nation. In the footsteps of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all those who fought so hard to make the dream of justice come closer to reality, we are gathering not just to commemorate an event that changed the course of history but to amplify its call to action five decades later.
The fight to ensure our democracy works for every American is not relegated to the past – it demands our attention and our action now and in the future. Corrupting corporate money is flooding our political system and drowning out the voices of everyday Americans. Congress has ground to a halt amid unprecedented obstruction in the U.S. Senate. By gutting the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Supreme Court has undermined one of the signature legislative achievements of the Civil Rights movement and resulted in dozens of voter suppression bills nationwide. The assault on the principle of "one person, one vote" is worse than it has been in generations.
We are gathering together tomorrow in Washington to send the signal that this is our fight – and we are mobilizing to win it now.
The Democracy Initiative community is engaging our members, supporters, and Americans across the country because we know that at the heart of each of our core issues is the critical need for a functioning system that respects political equality. If we want to protect working families, keep our air and water clean, and pursue justice for every American, we must protect our democracy.
This cross-movement collaboration for our democracy would simply not have been possible or imaginable were it not for the legacy of those who came to Washington demanding change and pursuing equality and cooperation 50 years ago. Tomorrow, we will join together so that we can make the dream they marched for one step closer to coming true.