Whereas, DeKalb County is committed to advancing equitable voting rights and justice for people of all races, national origins, and ethnicities; and
Whereas, the communities in DeKalb County are immensely diverse, consisting of multiple ethnicities, languages and dialects, wide-ranging socioeconomic characteristics, and the home of more than 750,000 residents; and
Whereas, the right to vote is one of the foundational rights of all-American citizens; and
Whereas, Congressman John Lewis spent his life fighting against hate, bigotry, and equal opportunity at the voting booth inside and outside of Congress to advance voting rights for everyone; and
Whereas, voting rights are under attack nationally by state legislators introducing and passing laws to create barriers to our participation in elections; and
Whereas, May 9, 1961 marks the 60th anniversary of the South Carolina stop of the “Freedom Riders” historic bus trip from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans where John Lewis withstood violent beatings only to say, “Ours was not a struggle against individuals, ours is a struggle against a system of injustice”; and
Whereas, the late Congressman John Lewis shed his blood crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge to fight for rights of black voters and voters of color to participate in America’s electoral process, and for the enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; and
Whereas, The John Lewis Day of Advocacy and Action will raise awareness and protect voting rights from anti-democratic laws; and
Whereas, it behooves us as heirs of his sacrifice and life-long endeavor to celebrate his life and accomplishments and continue his life’s work to ensure everyone’s right to vote; and
Whereas, May 8, 2021, the national day of activism will bring together local coalition partners to raise awareness and create energy around protecting voting rights and all eligible voters.
Now, Therefore, WE the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners hereby proclaim, Saturday, May 8, 2021, as John Lewis’ Voting Rights Advancement Day of Action.
PROCLAIMED THIS 8th day of May 2021.