On March 7, 1965, hundreds of civil rights marchers began the journey from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to demand full voting rights for black Americans. At the Edmund Pettus Bridge, state troopers confronted the marchers, attacking them with tear gas and nightsticks.
Seventeen people were hospitalized and many more injured.
The stories and photos of those brave marchers helped shine a light on the brutality of racism and the pressing need for civil rights and voting rights legislation. Their perseverance helped bend the moral arc of our country towards justice.
I will never forget how moving it was to commemorate this day with Congressman John Lewis at the bridge in 2013. I believe we should follow his example and continue to fight for voting rights for all.
Because today we are still seeing racially-based voter suppression and the disenfranchisement of Americans. It’s clearer than ever that we must continue to fight for justice. Because protecting voting rights is not a partisan issue — it’s a moral one.
Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will vote on a comprehensive voting rights package to expand and protect Americans’ access to the ballot box. It contains many of the same priorities I’ve been championing in the Senate like automatic voter registration, same-day registration, and expanded early voting. We should pass it through Congress now.
Join me in demanding Congress expand and safeguard voting rights before this critical vote tomorrow. It’s our job to help make sure the voice and vote of every American is protected.