Back to top
Back to top

Charitable Sector Letter to Congress in Support of Voting Rights

The deadline to add your name is Friday, January 21

Honorable United States Senators:

The late Congressman John Lewis once stated, “The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument in a democratic society. We must use it.”

In the national, state, and local elections held since Congressman Lewis’ death, millions of citizens from across the country have exercised this precious right, in some cases at historic levels, even in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic. For its part, the charitable sector has played a key role in encouraging and helping communities participate in the voting process, uplifting the importance of active civic engagement. 

A strong democracy thrives when all can participate in this sacred act, unencumbered. And while participation in voting has increased, we have also seen systemic inequities in electoral processes and in laws passed making it more difficult for some Americans, specifically voters of color, to vote. While America has made strides in the past to rectify racial discrimination, these intentionally restrictive voting laws represent a shift backward in our quest for equity and justice for all.

As you begin work in this new year, United Philanthropy Forum and the undersigned group of philanthropy-serving organizations, foundations, and nonprofits from across the country urge you to come together to address these problems through legislation amending the Voting Rights Act of 1965. All of us working in the charitable sector know that the well-being of all Americans, and all communities, is inextricably linked to their ability to exercise their right to vote. Last year, the House of Representatives passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This year, we support the ongoing work of the Senate to do the same.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore the strength of the 1965 Voting Rights Act by requiring jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination in voting to receive approval from the Department of Justice before making changes to their voting rules. This provision was eliminated by the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder.

Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would also establish a more transparent and accountable system for states to report election law changes, ensuring that voters of color who remain the targets of voter suppression have fair and unrestricted access to the democratic process.

Congressman Lewis dedicated his life to advancing civil and human rights for all Americans, recognizing injustices when he saw them and calling them out. "Since the Shelby decision, voter discrimination is on the rise," Lewis said in a press release in August 2018. "Thousands of people of color are being systematically denied access to the ballot box, many of whom have voted all their lives."

The charitable sector joins the late Congressman Lewis in calling out the voting rights injustices that persist today and urges you to make passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act a top priority in 2022.

Respectfully,
 

David
Biemesderfer
President & CEO
United Philanthropy Forum
Julie
Abrams
CEO
How Women Lead
agrohimuhw
agrohimuhw
МИНЕРАЛЬНЫЕ УДОБРЕНИЯ
agrohimuhw
Linda
Akutagawa
President & CEO
LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics)
Amanda
Andere
CEO
Funders Together to End Homelessness
Lisa
Attonito
Executive Director
Women's Fund of Greater Milwaukee
Carly
Bad Heart Bull
Executive Director
Native Ways Federation
Greg
Baldwin
CEO & President
VolunteerMatch
Elizabeth
Barajas-Roman
President and CEO
Women's Funding Network
Paula J.
Beugen
Founder-Organizer
Reinvigorating the Conversation
Jenny
Boone
Grants & Communications Manager
Southside Community Land Trust
Ruby
Bright
President & CEO
Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis
Tynetta
Brown
President and CEO
Philanthropy Delaware, Inc.
Susie
Brown
President
Minnesota Council on Foundations
Kyle
Caldewll
President & CEO
Council of Michigan Foundations
Daniel J.
Cardinali
President and CEO
Independent Sector
Francene
Chadwick
Co-Founder & CEO
Serve
Virginia
Clarke
Executive Director
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF)
Eli
Cloud
CEO
Sister Supply
Celine
Coggins
Executive Director
Grantmakers for Education
Lisa
Cohen
Co-f
Self Employed
Natanja
Craig-Oquendo
Executive Director
Boston Womens Fund
Kristen
Cullen
Member Engagement and Grants Manager
Minnesota Council on Foundations
Paul D.
Daugherty
Co-Founder & Chair
St. Jude Innovation Fund
Louise
Davis
President
PRBB Foundation
Kevin
Dean
Chief Executive Officer
Momentum Nonprofit Partners
Aaron
Dorfman
President & CEO
National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
Patricia
Eng
President & CEO
AAPIP
Christine
Essel
CEO
SoCal Grantmakers
Satonya
Fair
President and CEO
PEAK Grantmaking
Karla
Fortunato
President
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy
Karen
Freeman
Chief Administrative Officer
Philanthropy California
Gregory
Glore
Founder
Glore DA Fund
Leela B
Goldstein
Executive Director
Women's Fund of Hawaii
Anna Beth
Gorman
Executive Director
Women's Foundation of Arkansas
Kelley
Griesmer
President & CEO
Women's Fund of Central Ohio
Carly
Hare
National Director
CHANGE Philanthropy
LaShanda
Jackson
Executive Director
Funders' Committee for Civic Participation
Ronda
Jackson
Vice President, Government Affairs
KABOOM!
Monique B.
Jones
President & Chief Executive Officer
Forefront
Kathrynnox
Kathrynnox
Пруток вольфрамовый ЭВИ-2
Kathrynnox
kutikovasr
kutikovasr
kutikovasr
Ruth
LaToison Ifill
President & CEO
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Janine
Lee
President & CEO
Philanthropy Southeast
Laurie
Liles
President and CEO
Arizona Grantmakers Forum
Cindy
Lott
Professor
Columbia University
Latanya
Mapp Frett
President and CEO
Global Fund for Women
Dwayne S
Marsh
President and CEO
Northern California Grantmakers
Tammy
McLeod
President and CEO
Flinn Foundation
Marya
Meyer
Interim Executive Director
The Women's Fund Miami-Dade
Sammy
Moon
Executive Director
Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy
George
Moroz
Special Assistant to the President
The Henry Ford
Amoretta
Morris
President
Borealis Philanthropy
Kelly
Nevins
CEO
Women's Fund of Rhode Island
Maggie
Osborn
President and CEO
Maryland Philanthropy Network
Shaady
Salehi
Executive Director
Trust-Based Philanthropy Project
Laura
Seaman
CEO
League of California Community Foundations
Joe
Servidio
Program Director
Washington AIDS Partnership
Ernestine
Smith
Senior Programs Officer
The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc.
Patricia
Smith
President and CEO
The Funders Network
Erik
Stegman
Chief Executive Officer
Native Americans in Philanthropy
Karen
Sterk
CEO
Jeannette Rankin Foundation
Gene
Takagi
Principal
NEO Law Group
Susan
Taylor Batten
President and CEO
ABFE
Nicholas
Tedesco
President & CEO
National Center for Family Philanthropy
Megan
Thomas
President & CEO
Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties
ThomasUsado
ThomasUsado
Buy Lotus Notes backup
ThomasUsado
Eddie
Torres
President & CEO
Grantmakers in the Arts
Mark
Turner
Senior Director of Public Policy
Colorado Nonprofit Association
Rychetta
Watkins
Director Grantmaking and Partnerships
Memphis Music Initiative
Emily
Weltman
Founder
The FLOWLab
Kristen
Williams
Executive Director
Riverzedge Arts

United Philanthropy Forum is the largest and most diverse network in American philanthropy, holding a unique position in the social sector to help increase philanthropy’s impact in communities across the country. We are a membership network of more than 90 regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs), representing more than 7,000 funders across the country, who work to make philanthropy better.