Rep. Foster Commemorates 50th Anniversary Of The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
Washington, D.C.—On the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, an important turning point in the fight for civil rights, Congressman Bill Foster spoke at Aurora University and released the following statement:
“Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke of his dream of freedom and equality throughout the country. As we mark that important moment in history and honor those who have fought for justice and equality, we must continue the fight to realize that dream.
“My father was a civil rights lawyer who wrote much of the enforcement language behind the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He knew Dr. King and believed in and worked for the same ideals.
“We must continue to fight to ensure that everyone has the chance to realize the American dream – a good education, a job that pays a living wage and place to call home.
“We also must continue to fight to make sure everyone has access to one of the most fundamental rights in our Democracy – the right to vote.
“Unfortunately, even that fundamental right is at risk after the recent Supreme Court ruling invalidating part of the Voting Rights Act – a critical piece of legislation in the fight for civil rights that came after the march on Washington.
“Like many, I was deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling last month in Shelby County v. Holder. By invalidating Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the Court did great damage to an act that was, along with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one of the greatest legislative achievements of the civil rights era.
“When President Reagan signed into law the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 1982, he declared that the right to vote is ‘the crown jewel of American liberties.’ That has not changed and should never change. Ensuring that all eligible Americans are able to exercise their right to vote is critical to protecting the integrity of our Democracy.
“I am proud to say that fifty years ago, my family stood alongside thousands of others in the fight for civil rights. We have made great strides since the passage of the march on Washington, but our work is far from over. I am proud to continue my family’s long tradition of fighting for civil rights in this country as a Member of Congress and will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to restore these important protections and make the American dream a reality for all Americans.”