Time to March: Action needed to protect Voting Rights Act

Avi Green | 7/19/2013, 6 a.m.

This rising tide of anti-voter action is reminiscent of the horror of the end of Reconstruction, when the Union Army pulled out its occupying forces from the South and the Ku Klux Klan and the Klan’s allies in government took away the vote from hundreds of thousands of African Americans and pushed hundreds of black elected officials out of office. They took away rights that would not be restored for nearly 100 years.

We cannot wait 100 years to undo the damage this time. Every elected official, from local city councilors to the president, must be required by citizens like you and me to become an active leader for voting rights.  They must be pressured until we have in place laws that guarantee that every citizen is automatically registered to vote, and that every citizen has ample opportunity to vote in an atmosphere of respect and dignity.

To do that, we must make noise, we must call and call and call again our elected officials until they get on board, and we must replace them if they fail to help our cause.  And we must march.

The NAACP and many other organizations will be marching on Washington in the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom on August 24.

Avi Green is civic outreach director for the Scholars Strategy Network, former director of MassVOTE, and a member of the NAACP.