For Immediate Release

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Dan Byrnes (202) 495-3039 or

Sierra Club Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act Signing

WASHINGTON - Fifty years ago today, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act (VRA) into law, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting. In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted a major portion of the law in Shelby County v. Holder, and some states have since passed laws that prevent minority communities from voting.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

“Today is less of a celebration and more of a wake-up call. The Voting Rights Act, a critical part of our nation’s progress to secure the fundamental American principle of equality for every citizen, was gutted by the Supreme Court just two years ago.

“To change everything, we need everyone -- and that must begin with equal access to the ballot box. In order to make the changes we need to address real-world issues like climate disruption, everyone needs to be able to participate in our democracy, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic background.

“The Sierra Club is working with our partners in the Democracy Initiative to urge Congress to update and strengthen the Voting Rights Act by supporting the Voting Rights Advancement Act, and to help move toward a democracy that truly represents all Americans.”


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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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