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NASW joins conference on voting rights

By Paul R. Pace, News staff

NASW is continuing the fight to support voter rights as a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Lorraine Miller (standing), interim president and CEO of the NAACP, speaks at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights meeting, called “Moving Voting Rights Forward: A Conference on Strategy for 2014 and Beyond,” held last month in Washington, D.C.

Staff from NASW attended the organization’s “Moving Voting Rights Forward: A Conference on Strategy for 2014 and Beyond,” hosted in Washington, D.C., last month.

The Voting Rights Amendment Act (H.R. 3899; S. 1945), which was introduced in Congress in January, was a focal point of the event. The bipartisan bill seeks to address challenges facing voters after the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling in 2013 for the case Holder v. Shelby County.

The high court struck down the coverage formula, also known as Section 5 of the Voter Rights Act of 1965, which required certain areas of the country with a history of voter discrimination to seek federal approval before altering their voting laws.

Melvin Wilson, manager of the NASW Department of Social Justice and Human Rights, said the social justice community and NASW strongly disagree with the court ruling.

The February conference offered supporters of voting rights across the country an opportunity to network, discuss mutual challenges and develop strategies for success in making sure voters are treated fairly.

Wilson said U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., gave an inspiring speech at a reception in the Library of Congress the night before the conference.

“He reminded the audience of what he and other civil rights proponents went through to obtain voter rights,” Wilson said.

The conference offered new insight into the pros and cons of the Voter Rights Amendment Act as well as an opportunity to examine polling data on voter rights issues, Wilson said.

From the March 2014 NASW News. NASW members can read the full story after logging in.

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