My faith tradition is Christianity and I am a part of the United Methodist Church. One of the things I’m proudest of in my denomination is The United Methodist Building in Washington D.C., which houses the Washington offices of a number of ecumenical groups: the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, Lutheran Services of America, Church World Service, Islamic Society of North America, and a host of others. It is the only non-governmental building on Capitol Hill, and it often uses its outdoor sign to remind people and legislators of faith in the nation’s capital of their moral obligation to love God and neighbor in all that they do.
United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Photo credit Interfaith Power & Light.
This summer, they added the phrase “Voting Rights are Sacred” to their sign to help advocate for voting rights for all, as many states are enacting policies that make it harder for people to vote. This often impacts people of color and low-income communities the most and silences the voices of the people.
There are two bills before Congress right now that would secure voting rights for all US Citizens: the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would protect voters against discriminatory changes to voting rules that target communities on the basis of race or background. The Freedom to Vote Act would protect and expand voting rights, take steps to remove dark money from political campaigns and limit partisan gerrymandering.
At Faith in Place Action Fund, we believe every U.S. citizen should have the right to easily cast a vote during an election. Elections are crucial to democracy, ensuring people have a voice in their government. Our election system is becoming restrictive, suppressing voices and leaving policies to be made by lawmakers representing only part of the population.
Currently, efforts to restrict voting access through the requirement of additional identification, restricting mail-in ballot access, and complicating the voter registration process are just a few of the many ways voting is made more challenging and often disproportionately affects communities of color.
Faith in Place Action Fund supports initiatives that help get out the vote, protect easy voter access, and educate communities about upcoming elections. Securing voting rights for everyone helps us tackle the climate crisis together and helps communities decide for themselves what is important to their future–not politicians.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is coming up on Monday, January 17. As we approach that day of remembrance and celebration, the Faith in Place Action Fund Board Chair, Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, III, has joined a hunger strike urging Congress to pass voting rights legislation.
To support those efforts, please take a moment to tell your Senators and President Biden that we need to move quickly to secure voting rights for all. Sign our petition today!