Adams Delivers Floor Speech on Voting Rights
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) delivered a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives during a Congressional Black Caucus special order hour on voting rights.
I rise today to talk about our most fundamental right in a democracy: the right to vote.
While we have made amazing strides over the past century – votes for women, voting rights for Native Americans and indigenous peoples, the end of racist Jim Crow laws that completely suppressed the Black vote in certain states, and lowering the voting age to 18, we are still marching because the promise of one person, one vote continues to be abridged by state legislatures across the country.
Marches, sit-ins, and protests are part of our rights as Americans, but we shouldn’t have to march 245 years after the Declaration of Independence! We shouldn’t have to march 151 years after the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed Black Americans the right to vote; and we shouldn’t have to march a full century after women’s suffrage; but we will continue to march and make our voices heard until every adult citizen can freely, fairly, and easily access the ballot.
To cast a vote is at the core of what it means to be American! It’s how we build a more perfect union. Here in the House, we’ve passed voting rights bills that bring us closer to a more perfect union. As we await the support of our Senate colleagues on the urgent issue of voting rights, I leave you with this:
I’ve been a state legislator. I’ve witnessed legislation that "targets African Americans with almost surgical precision," and "imposes cures for problems that did not exist.” That is, unless you think African Americans voting is a problem. Congress cannot tolerate state-level attempts to curb our most fundamental right.
Now is the time to make sure that every American who can vote has the opportunity to!
Thank you, and I yield back.
Congresswoman Alma Adams represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte and Mecklenburg County) and serves as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture. Additionally, she serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Education & Labor Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. Adams is an original cosponsor of H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.