Voting rights advocates issued fresh calls Sunday to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and For the People Act as President Joe Biden signed an executive order to promote access to the polls.\r\n\r\nThe calls and order coincided with the 56th anniversary of an event that become known as \u0022Bloody Sunday\u0022 and is a seminal moment in the civil rights movement. On March 7, 1965, Alabama state troopers and police tear-gassed and brutally beat hundreds of nonviolent civil rights protesters who\u0026#039;d set off from Selma to Montgomery as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. One of the march leaders was\u0026nbsp; Rep. John Lewis, who died last year.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nJohn Lewis\u0026#039;s Voter Empowerment Act became the first 300 pages of the #ForThePeopleAct to eliminate voter suppression. Congress can honor his legacy by passing the #ForThePeopleAct and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. https://t.co/Yxd51G6Ncz\r\n— Brennan Center (@BrennanCenter) March 7, 2021\r\n\r\n\r\nIn the executive order, Biden points to \u0022significant obstacles\u0022 to the polls including \u0022discriminatory policies\u0022 impacting Black voters, as well as \u0022[l]imited access to language assistance\u0022 and the denial of \u0022legally required accommodations\u0022 for people with disabilities.\r\n\r\n\u0022It is our duty to ensure that registering to vote and the act of voting be made simple and easy for all those eligible to do so,\u0022 said Biden.\r\n\r\nAs CNN summarized:\r\n\r\n\r\nSunday\u0026#039;s order directs the heads of all federal agencies to submit proposals for their respective agencies to promote voter registration and participation within 200 days, while assisting states in voter registration under the National Voter Registration Act. In addition, the order instructs the General Services Administration to modernize the federal government\u0026#039;s Vote.gov portal.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe president announced the order in his virtual remarks to the \u0022Martin \u0026amp; Coretta Scott King Unity Breakfast.\u0022 He referenced the 2013 gutting of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and the \u0022unprecedented insurrection in our Capitol and a brutal attack on our democracy on January,\u0022 as well as the over 250 bills in state legislatures attacking voting rights.\r\n\r\nBiden also referenced H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which the House passed last week. The sweeping legislation includes the establishment of a national automatic voter registration system, an expansion of early and absentee voting, and a ban on large voter-roll purges.\r\n\r\nHe called it \u0022landmark piece of legislation\u0022 he hoped he would be able to sign into law.\r\n\r\nBiden also called for passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, H. R. 4, which, as the Brennan Center explains, would \u0022combat racial discrimination in voting by restoring and strengthening the protections of the VRA.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSince the founding of our democracy, Black, Latinx, and Native American voters have had to overcome efforts to block us from casting our ballots.\r\n\r\nMaximizing voter registration opportunities is a vital way to overcome these systemic barriers.\r\n— ACLU (@ACLU) March 7, 2021\r\n\r\n\r\nWade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, welcomed Biden\u0026#039;s order.\r\n\r\n\u0022In a fitting tribute to the first Bloody Sunday anniversary when civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis is no longer with us, President Biden has taken important steps to ensure people can participate in the political process. We applaud this action to promote access to the ballot box and will continue to push for those in power to protect the right to vote,\u0022 Henderson said in a statement.\r\n\r\n\u0022Government, at all levels, should tear down barriers to the ballot,\u0022 he continued, \u0022not build them as we are seeing in far too many places.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOn #BloodySunday, we commemorate the indomitable foot soldiers +leaders who met hatred on that bridge. We honor their fight when we demand justice, exercise our power \u0026amp; refuse to turn back. Yesterday, we rescued America for a time. Next, we make it permanent with #HR1/SR1 \u0026amp; #HR4.\r\n— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) March 7, 2021\r\n\r\n\r\nThis is not complicated. If we fail to abolish the filibuster and pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, our democracy is going to be gerrymandered into oblivion.\r\n— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) March 7, 2021\r\n\r\n\r\nAccording to author and voting rights expert Ari Berman, it\u0026#039;s a \u00221965 moment for Democrats.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022They can eliminate [the] filibuster to pass H. R. 1 and John Lewis Voting Rights Act to stop GOP voter suppression,\u0022 he tweeted. \u0022Or they can allow GOP to undermine democracy for [the] next decade.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe \u0022stakes couldn\u0026#039;t be higher,\u0022 Berman said.