Contact: Mike Myslinski, 650-552-5324
BURLINGAME – Forty-eight years ago this week, President Johnson signed into law the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965, giving all citizens the freedom and the power to vote without interference. As he signed the bill, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks looked on. Dean E. Vogel, president of CTA, issued this statement in honor of this historic legislation that was recently weakened by the U.S. Supreme Court:
“California’s educators join teachers everywhere – along with all those who care about justice and the ongoing battle for civil rights – in marking this 48th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act. We teach in our classrooms how President Johnson made history on that day of August 6, 1965, and gave hope to the civil rights movement during those years of turmoil and sacrifice in the streets.
“But now we have new teachable moments about this struggle, like the misguided ruling by the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court this past June to weaken the Voting Rights Act. Now many of us are asking how the highest court in the land could weaken a law that protects the fundamental rights of all Americans to be able to vote without harassment or intimidation.
“I know that CTA members stand with me in opposing that Supreme Court ruling, as does National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. He said the ruling ‘gives credence to the myth that our nation has achieved racial parity’ and troubles all of us who dedicate our lives fighting for social justice. This anniversary of the Voting Rights Act reminds us of all the hard work that was done to achieve it, and of the work ahead that Congress and the civil rights movement must do to restore its core protections.”
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.