File #: 200441    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 9/10/2020 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 9/17/2020
Title: Commemorating the 55th Anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act.
Sponsors: Councilmember Brooks, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Gauthier, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Thomas, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Bass, Council President Clarke
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 20044100, 2. Signature20044100
Commemorating the 55th Anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act.

WHEREAS, The conversation regarding full rights of citizenship for African Americans has been ongoing since the first slaves survived the journey to America in 1619; and

WHEREAS, The discussion of citizenship continued into the debates of the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention, and resulted in a compromise whereby Black people were counted as three-fifths of a human being in the United State Constitution; and

WHEREAS, In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, which stated that "[t]he right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude"; and

WHEREAS, Despite its passage, discriminatory practices were implemented beginning in the late 1870's to keep Black people from practicing their rights as citizens. These tactics included violence, fraud, poll taxes, literacy tests, restrictive and arbitrary registration practices, and white primaries; and

WHEREAS, For the next 80 years, African American leaders fought for the right to full citizenship and the right to vote. Organizations such as the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Council of Churches, the NAACP, the National Urban League, the United Auto Workers, and a wide variety of activists, writers, actors, students and others worked together and fought white supremacy and intolerance for the right to vote; and

WHEREAS, On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law, removing all restrictions for Black people and finally giving them full citizenship. The passage of this legislation is considered the single greatest achievement of the Civil Rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr; and

WHEREAS, In the 55 years since its passage, tens of thousands of...

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