Statement attributed to Luis Guardia, president, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
WASHINGTON, January 17, 2022 — This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) honors a trailblazing leader in the anti-hunger and anti-poverty world by calling on lawmakers to uphold his vision of opportunity and equality for all by passing historic voting rights legislation.
We call on the Senate to uphold his legacy by protecting and safeguarding our sacred voting rights that are essential to American democracy by swiftly passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Passage of this legislation is essential to ensuring every voice is heard and every vote is counted.
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.
Dr. King believed that eradicating hunger and poverty is essential to establishing a more just society. “Let us march on poverty until no American parent has to skip a meal so that their children may eat,” said King.
To guarantee the voices of those struggling against hunger are fully represented in the democratic process, we must pass legislation that aims to dismantle obstacles to voting, including those caused by the lingering harms of Jim Crow laws and the more recent waves of draconian state laws, and ensure essential protections for voters.
Both Dr. King and Representative Lewis were courageous in championing voting rights for all, and it is time for every lawmaker to follow their lead.
The Food Research & Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States. To learn more, visit FRAC.org and follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.