December 1, 2022
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NAACP Bronx urges legislators to fast track passage of VRA

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The Bronx Branch NAACP has urged members of the Bronx delegation of the New York Senate and Assembly to fast track the passage of the Voter Rights Act.

Appealing, the President of the Bronx NAACP, Biarni Burke, urged the legislators to lead the effort to ensure New York leads the country on proactive voter rights protection bypassing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York during the current legislative session. 

"Disappointing uncertainty about voter rights protection by the federal government highlights the urgent need for more protection by the state as well as more voter education," Burke said in a statement.

He added, "While other parts of the country may have more state-sponsored voter suppression, New York voters, like all voters, are relentlessly bombarded with disinformation from political campaigns, political parties, traditional media and social media bad actors, looking to cultivate and manipulate voter behavior. 

"As a result, voters increasingly see themselves as powerless to impose the will of the people on politicians."

Burke stated that as a counter to the disempowerment of Bronx voters, the Bronx Branch NAACP is working to increase Voter Turnout and Smart Voting for the 2022 elections. 

"For instance, on May 17, 2022 attendees at the Bronx Branch NAACP, we The People Smart Voting Workshop heard an excerpt from the Give Us The Ballot speech made by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on May 17, 1957.

"During the discussion, it was noted that today we have more ballot access than in 1957, but we are not using the ballot as Dr. King prescribed: Use the power of the ballot to REPLACE elected officials who fail to ensure the government provides equal service and protection for the people," Burke said.

"The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York is included in the NAACP New York State 2022 Legislative Priorities. 

"We hope the Act passes both NYS legislative houses by the next Bronx Branch NAACP We The People Smart Voting Workshop, which will be on a June date to be set," he concluded.

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