Politics

If Elected Representative of the 1st Congressional District in Illinois, Jonathan Jackson Says He Will Vote to Restore and Expand the 1965 Voting Rights Act

Jonathan Luther Jackson, who is running for congress in the 1st Congressional District of Illinois, said the Voting Rights Act has played a significant role in recent court victories where police misconduct, racism and other social injustices were in the national spotlight.

If elected to Washington to replace longtime outgoing Congressman Bobby Rush, in a district that stretches from Chicago to parts of the city’s south suburbs and beyond, Jackson said he will support measures to restore and expand the landmark federal legislation, which granted all Americans the right to vote. In recent years, sections of the act have been gutted and, with the changes, some elected officials have resorted to efforts seen during the turbulent Jim Crow era to restrict voting.

This weekend, Jackson, 56, is joining civil rights, religious and political leaders in Alabama to participate in events commemorating the 57th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” and the historic marches from Selma to Montgomery that highlighted the need for Congress to pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

It is important for voters and citizens to know, he said, that Selma is not yesterday. The movement to protect the vote is relevant today.

“The obstacles that denied African Americans the right to vote and denied them their citizenship are still being enforced,” he said. “When you are denied citizenship, you cannot be on a jury. When you are denied citizenship, you cannot vote. You cannot have participation or self-determination in our country.”

Selma, Jackson said, is a bridge America crossed from a period of segregation to a period of voter registration and equal participation. Selma, he said, is a demarcation of the old America built on Slavocracy and the new true American democracy, where every man and every woman can vote regardless of their race, color and religion.

“Those forces that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6, 2021, do not want to see mass voter registration,” Jackson said. “They do not want to see increased voter participation. They want to talk now about counting the vote and the electoral college to limit participation. These are historical foes who have recreated themselves from old slave masters to new Jim and Jane Crows. We stand in opposition to this spirit. We are for voter registration and increasing participation in our country. I will support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which will restore the rights he and other brave leaders fought for 57 years ago.”

For the unregistered voters, there are positive signs why they need to vote, Jackson said. Justice has been served in the high profile, racially charged murders of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man killed by a police officer, Ahmaud Arbery, a Georgia man killed by whites for simply running through their neighborhood, and others.

“If you want the power to make a difference to stand up for Breonna Taylor, to be on the grand jury to weigh in on the opinion for Michael Brown, to be on the grand jury to talk about Tamir Rice, or Saundra Bland, or LaQuan McDonald and the many others, you have to be a registered voter, Jackson said.

“This is why your vote matters,” Jackson said. “In order to participate, you have to be a registered voter. I don’t want to fix the blame but fix the problem. If elected, I want to increase voter registration, increase voter participation, so everyone can get to the polls and vote.”

Amelia Brown

Amelia is a writer for Blackbird News. She has a degree in communications from Bristol University. Amelia enjoys publishing on celebrities, television and movies. In her spare time, she enjoys designing quirky clothing.

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