Public Advocacy

The Congressional Black Caucus, along with several other top civil rights organizations, continues to fight for the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its amendments. The CBC’s tireless efforts to protect the rights of underrepresented groups resulted in the amendments and reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 1970, 1975 and 1982.

The CBC demonstrated its commitment to the protection of voting rights when members met with President George W. Bush to discuss the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2005. In the meeting, they urged President Bush to support the extension of the temporary provisions of the act, which were set to expire in 2007. In Congress and in the media, CBC members have been outspoken advocates for the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.

The Congressional Black Caucus is also committed to educating constituents and others about the importance of voting rights legislation. Each year, the CBC hosts the Annual Memorial Voting Rights Braintrust during the CBC Legislative Conference. The purpose of this event is to educate constituents about the major issues surrounding voting rights.

In May 2006, CBC members co-sponsored the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006. Despite support from Republican and Democratic congressional leaders and from President George W. Bush, the bill was stalled in the House of Representatives. The harshest criticism came from southern states that opposed federal oversight of voting practices. Despite the opposition, the House voted to renew the Voting Rights Act in June 2006. Currently, the measure will move on next to the Senate.

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