Congresswoman’s statement on Black History Month

DOWNEY – Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard released a video statement this week in honor of Black History Mnth. Below is a copy of her statement:

“Hello, I’m Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, representing California’s 40th Congressional District.

“Every February, we as a nation come together to celebrate Black History Month and recognize the many contributions African Americans have made to the foundation and greatness of our country. African Americans continue to strengthen our country and to pave the way in all walks of life, including in public office, the military, health care, education, small businesses, and community-based organizations.

“Among the many champions my constituents acknowledge from our 40th Congressional District is the late Juanita Tate. Juanita founded Concerned Citizens of South-Central Los Angeles, and successfully led efforts to bring affordable housing and new businesses to her South Los Angeles neighborhood. We also acknowledge small business owners like Vivian Bowers of South Los Angeles, who is leading efforts to create a Business Improvement District along Central Avenue – while continuing to operate her family’s 40-year-old dry cleaning business. And we acknowledge community activists like Brenda Shockley, who has worked to revitalize South Los Angeles neighborhoods through her leadership roles in non-profit organizations like Community Build and the Coalition for Responsible Community Development.

“While African Americans contribute and lead in many of our communities, the fact remains that there is still much work to do, including fighting for equal access at the ballot box.

“2015 marks 50 years since the passage of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965. With the 2013 Supreme Court decision to invalidate a key section of the Voting Rights Act, governments with a history of racial discrimination no longer have to prove their new voting laws ensure access to the right to vote for all, regardless of race, skin color, or language. Many states have also passed controversial voter identification laws which severely burden many American citizens and make it harder for them to exercise their constitutional right to have a voice in our democracy.

“Rest assured, I will fight until Congress passes a renewed, revised, and strengthened Voting Rights Act that will once again ensure voting discrimination is not allowed in our country. I am also working with local community leaders to increase local voter turnout. And I recently joined several of my House colleagues on a new Outreach and Engagement Task Force. Our task force is developing a strategy to encourage all Americans to vote, by helping you to better understand the power of your vote and how it impacts policy decisions that affect every aspect of your life.

“So, as we celebrate Black History Month and reflect on the great achievements African Americans have made across the centuries, let us also rededicate ourselves to making America a more just and perfect union, full of opportunity for all who call this country their home. Thank you.”

 

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Published: Feb. 12, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 44