Beyoncé, Solange, Janelle Monáe, and more have signed an open letter, urging Senate leaders to pass legislation that would protect the voting rights of every citizen, particularly of Black and Brown citizens. The letter was written by Beyoncé and Solange’s mother Tina Knowles-Lawson and is addressed to Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. Find the letter below.
Working alongside the groups And Still I Vote and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Knowles-Lawson called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to implement reform, specifically by passing a bill called the HEROES Act. The act, which passed in the House of Representatives in May, would provide $3 trillion for those most impacted by COVID-19, particularly disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities.
In addition, Knowles-Lawson elaborated on ways that elected officials have failed voters, including missing absentee ballots, broken voting machines, inadequately trained poll workers, and limited polling locations. “This is modern-day voter suppression plain and simple. Voters in all these states risked their health, and that of their communities, simply to make their voices heard,” she wrote. “People should be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote and stay healthy, even during a pandemic. We should not have to choose between public health and a functioning democracy.”
Other signatories of the letter include mothers of children whose deaths have sparked the Black Lives Matter movement: Gwenn Carr (the mother of Eric Garner), Kadiatou Diallo (the mother of Amadou Diallo), Sybrina Fulton (the mother of Trayvon Martin), Maria Hamilton (the mother of Dontre Hamilton), Wanda Johnson (the mother of Oscar Grant), Wanda Cooper Jones (the mother of Ahmaud Arbery), Rep. Lucy McBath (the mother of Jordan Davis), Tamika Palmer (the mother of Breonna Taylor), and Geneva Reed-Veal (the mother of Sandra Bland).