Young activists on the importance of voting access
As Democrats in the U.S. Senate get set to debate the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, young activists compare today's fight for ballot access to the efforts in the time of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
May 17th 1957, three years to the day after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, Dr. Martin Luther King was faced with rampant refusals to implement that decision and efforts to limit civil rights efforts which led him to call for a focus on voting rights.
On the day when America honors Dr. King nearly 65 years after that speech, voting rights for all Americans – including and especially those in marginalized communities – are still very much at the forefront of the news and the work of those who have followed King in seeking social justice.
Activist Kathy Alonso observed, "The issues that we face today are different than what Martin Luther King, Jr. faced in his time but nonetheless our democracy is at stake and we must continue to do the work."
- Kathy Alonso, activist for increasing Hispanic participation in the political process in Liberal, Kansas
- Ryan Sorrell, founding editor, The Kansas City Defender