An alliance of Georgia voting rights organizations announced a boycott of President Joe Biden‘s visit to the Peach State and speech on voting rights.
According to CNN, Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, and representatives from several Georgia-based voting rights organizations are urging President Trump to remain in Washington if he and Vice President Kamala Harris do not have a clear plan or path to passing a comprehensive voting rights bill.
“We don’t need even more photo ops. We need action, and that action is in the form of the John Lewis Voting Rights (Advancement) Act as well as the Freedom to Vote Act, and we need that immediately,” Albright told reporters on Monday.
While several state-based organizations are boycotting the event, others will be present, including Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, and Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, among many others.
The decision by the groups to boycott Biden’s speech shows the consequences that the Biden administration and Democrats face if they fail to pass voting rights legislation as the 2020 midterm elections approach.
Voting rights advocates and groups have watched as Republican-led states passed a slew of voting restrictions bills, while the Biden administration continues to shame the party in speeches but has done little else. Two bills detailing voting rights for all Americans have been stalled in the Senate. Furthermore, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have stated that they will not support changing the filibuster rule required to end a bill’s debate, leaving activists frustrated.
President Biden has begun to show some flexibility after stating that he does not support changing the filibuster. He hasn’t, however, specified the parameters for the changes or explained his reasoning in great detail. His speech on Tuesday will go into greater detail about his strategic plan.
Biden has given several speeches on the importance of voting rights legislation since taking office. They have, however, done little to move the needle, and voting rights advocates are beginning to see it as nothing more than lip service from a president who is prone to break promises.
The organizations say they will continue to work with and reach out to minority voters in the state and across the country. They are also preparing a response to Biden’s speech.
Phi Nguyen, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, told Georgia-affiliate ABC57 that Biden and Harris should stay at home.
“We beg you to stay in Washington tomorrow because we don’t need you here in Georgia,” Nguyen said.
“We need legislation that will ensure that our democracy accurately reflects the growing diversity of this state and of this country. Mr. President and Madam Vice President, we beg you to ground that plane the same way that we continue to beg you to ground the planes of so many of our community members who are being deported because we still lack a pathway to citizenship.”