ATLANTA — Yesterday, Vice President Kamala Harris participated in the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Unity Summit, where she spoke about the importance of mobilizing and strengthening the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and how critical the efforts led by the AAPI Victory Alliance are to strengthening democracy for all Americans.
In her remarks, Vice President Harris spoke about the urgent need for Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR 4) and the For the People Act (HR 1) in order to defend and expand the right to vote. She also highlighted how attacks on mail-in voting are a blatant attempt to suppress the votes of Asian Americans, who vote by mail at higher rates than average.
View a video excerpt of her remarks here.
Below are excerpts from Vice President Kamala Harris’ remarks:
May, 19, 2021
- “I believe that we have a unique opportunity now to shape our nation’s future. To transform how we live, how we work, and how we vote for the better.”
- “…Finally, we have the opportunity to shape how we vote. We have the opportunity to make voting easier, not more difficult, to lift up more voices, not fewer. And we must start by fighting against attacks on voting rights, and it is happening right before us in so many instances in such a blatant way, and in an unapologetic way.”
- “So we must fight against those attacks was the start of 2021. More than 360 bills to restrict the right to vote have been introduced in nearly every state in the United States of America. Many of these bills, specifically target vote by mail, and let’s be clear about this, specifically target vote by mail while 64 percent of Asian Americans vote by mail.”
- “In fact, in Georgia, in the state of Georgia in the runoff election that just happened…nearly 34 percent of Asian Americans voted by mail, compared to 24 percent of voters on average. So we must see these efforts for what they are.”
- “Let’s be clear eyed: they are an attempt to suppress the right to vote, and while we must be vigilant in defending the voting rights that currently exist, we must also do that and work to expand the right of all Americans to vote, and that includes urging Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and urging the Senate to pass the For The People Act and to send both to the president’s desk for signature.”
- “And I want to be clear, as far as I’m concerned, voting rights is not a Democratic right, or a Republican right, it is an American right.”