Washington, D.C. —The National Council on Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC issued the following statement after being joined by over 150 AANHPI community organizations in calling for the advancement and passage of H.R. 5746, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. The full letter urging Senators to swiftly pass this legislation can be found here.
We urge the Senate to take up this crucial legislation and ensure its passage. Voting is at the foundation of the American system and efforts to erode access to the vote not only threaten the electoral process but the country itself. NCAPA is proud to join the broader civil rights community in this critical moment in U.S. history.
As the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community grows in influence and voting power, the restrictive and dangerous laws passed by several states threaten our community’s ability to be represented equally in the electoral process.
This bill defends the AANHPI community’s right to participate in the electoral process and ensures all Americans can participate equally. NCAPA recognizes the work that the Biden Administration and leadership in the House of Representatives have done to protect this pillar of our democracy, and we urge the Senate to swiftly pass this legislation.
Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) commented:
“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders came out to the polls in historic numbers in 2020, and we have continued to make significant progress for our communities in the past several months: the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is now law, California has allocated $150 million for combating anti-Asian Hate, and Illinois and New Jersey will now require Asian American history in schools. All of this is at-risk, however, if our ability to vote is diminished. When nearly three in four AAPIs voted early or by-mail, and we see this right restricted, we know this will result in fewer people in our community being able to vote. The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act will protect against this from happening. We are running out of time to act. Congress must pass voting rights legislation now, before it’s too late.”
John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (AAJC) said:
“This legislation is critical in breaking down discriminatory barriers to voting that have long impacted the Asian American community. We must ensure that all Americans have equal rights and access to ensure our voices are heard at ballot boxes across the country. We urge the Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act and protect the right to vote for all.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of thirty-eight national Asian Pacific American organizations that represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns.