A Statement from Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
On this special day honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) stands with the King family and fellow activists around the country urging Congress to move past the celebratory statements of remembrance – and instead deliver on long-overdue voting rights legislation.
Dr. King, along with the late Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), was instrumental in passing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that helped African Americans and people of color overcome the systemic barriers to practicing their right to vote. Nearly 60 years later, voter suppression and discrimination have taken a different shape, where Black and Brown communities have historically faced impediments to their right to vote -including long lines, polling site closures, voter intimidation, and election disinformation.
Legislation currently being considered in Congress would require states to keep voting lines to 30 minutes or less and review hundreds of polling sites closures across the country. Furthermore, this legislation would also create or increase penalties for intimidating and deceiving voters to counteract misinformation and disinformation about elections
, an issue the NHMC has prioritized for years.
The time is now – we cannot pass up this opportunity to safeguard a foundational pillar of our democracy. Look no further than the unprecedented efforts by Donald Trump and his supporters to disenfranchise voters and force a dishonest win in 2020, as well as the attempted insurrection on January 6th, to realize how fragile this pillar really is.
NHMC is – and always has been – a civil rights organization at its core. We will continue our work in Washington D.C., advocating for passing policies that protect and uplift communities of color while standing alongside advocacy groups leading the fight against voter suppression.
To truly honor Dr. King, John Lewis, and all the organizers who have fought and died for the voting rights of Black and Brown individuals, let us act upon the words of Martin Luther King III, “No celebration without legislation.”
Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition