Statement attributable to Luis Guardia, president, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
WASHINGTON, January 11, 2022 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) calls on the Senate to swiftly pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Passage of this historic legislation will dismantle obstacles to voting, including those caused by the lingering harms of Jim Crow laws and the more recent waves of draconian state proposals, and ensure essential protections for voters. Ensuring that all eligible people can vote is a cornerstone of a functioning and just democracy, and is vital to nationwide efforts to end hunger and poverty in America.
Millions of people experience voter disenfranchisement in the U.S., thereby undermining governmental action to secure fundamental rights that should be protected in a democracy such as food, shelter, and the right to participate in fair and open elections. State voter suppression laws disproportionately restrict the voting rights of Black, Latino, and low-income voters, intersecting with many groups that are more at risk of hunger.
When eligible people are unable to participate in the voting process, our democracy suffers. We must ensure the voices of those struggling against hunger are fully represented in the democratic process so that elected officials are held accountable to effectively and accurately address the issues and priorities that matter to our nation.
As Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday draws near, our nation is at a critical juncture. The Senate must act now to stop efforts by some states to return to the days of Jim Crow and to protect and safeguard our sacred voting rights that are essential to American democracy by passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This is a surefire way to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy.
The Food Research & Action Center improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States through advocacy, partnerships, and by advancing bold and equitable policy solutions. To learn more, visit FRAC.org and follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.