J Street Proud to Join Pro-Democracy Groups in Call for Congressional Action on Voting Rights

January 13, 2022

As Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches, J Street is proud to stand with a vast coalition of organizations and activists calling for urgent, comprehensive Congressional action to defend and expand voting rights. The right to vote is a sacred pillar of democracy – and it is currently under severe and sustained attack. If we fail to preserve and protect it, we will be imperiling the future of American democracy itself.

As a proud advocate for the liberal, democratic values held by the large majority of American Jews, J Street is committed to doing all we can to defend and promote democracy, both in Israel/Palestine and here at home. As part of that work, it is critical that we fight back against draconian laws that decrease access to the ballot in many states across the US.

Disenfranchised voters often come from the most marginalized and vulnerable communities – and that is by design. Voter suppression laws intend to subvert the will of the majority of Americans. They are incredibly dangerous to the long-term safety of all vulnerable minority groups in this country, including the American Jewish community.

That is why J Street has joined our partners in supporting the passage of four key pieces of legislation:

  • The Freedom to Vote Act, which would create a baseline national standard for voting access, eliminate extreme partisan gerrymandering for congressional districts, and create a path for campaigns for Congress to be funded through contributions from everyday Americans.
  • The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore and strengthen our freedom to vote by ensuring that any changes to voting rules that discriminate against voters based on race or background are federally reviewed.
  • The Protecting Our Democracy Act, which would restore checks and balances and prevent future presidents from abusing their power for personal gain or obstructing the transition of power.
  • The Washington, DC Admission Act, which would grant the more than 700,000 residents of our nation’s capital a meaningful voice and a vote in Congress.

We have also joined the Deliver for Voting Rights coalition in calling on the Senate to expand voting rights by eliminating the filibuster, if necessary – recognizing that this is almost certainly the only way to make these reforms a reality.

We believe that it is incumbent upon all organizations that believe in democracy – including all of our fellow American Jewish and pro-Israel groups – to do everything in our power to protect it, both now and in the months ahead. That is why we have also called on all fellow pro-Israel organizations with affiliated PACs to join us in taking a public pledge not to endorse any electoral candidates who have threatened the integrity of American democracy by supporting efforts to delegitimize and overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The crisis that we are facing cannot and must not be minimized or ignored. We need action now – before it’s too late.

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