FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2022
CONTACT: Heather Cabral, 202-550-6880, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alabama Faith Leaders Condemn SCOTUS decision on Congressional Redistricting, Call Out Efforts to Suppress Black Voters
BIRMINGHAM–Voting is a sacred right, say leaders with Faith in Action Alabama who condemned this week’s ruling by the Supreme Court which would disenfranchise Black Alabamians. Attacks on voting rights have spiked in the wake of the 2020 election, which saw historic turnout among communities of color, and the recent ruling is just the latest example of the conservative push to erode democratic freedoms.
Faith in Action Alabama is focusing much of its efforts this year on voting rights. On March 25, 2022, at 6 p.m. CT, they will host the People’s Agenda Action and unveil their People’s Agenda, which is based on a recent listening campaign that included hundreds of conversations with Alabamians focusing on their core concerns and aspirations. The pillars of Faith in Action Alabama’s People’s Agenda are community safety, liberty, and democracy.
Below are statements from Faith in Action Alabama clergy and leaders:
Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton of the Fifth District of the CME Church, Chair of the Governing Board of National Council of Churches: As people united in faith, we have a responsibility to answer the moral clarion call that is the voting rights movement. Redistricting that marginalizes black and brown voters is direct evidence that our democracy is at stake. The Supreme Court’s ruling upholding gerrymandering in Alabama reinforces the need to fully and permanently guarantee civil rights for all Americans.
Bishop George Crenshaw of the AL-FL District of the AME Zion District: As a Black pastor in the south, I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact of faith-based organizing. The Supreme Court’s latest ruling on Alabama’s congressional redistricting is clearly backlash to the strides we have made in recent years.
Harry L. Seawright of the 9th District of the AME District: We’ve long been pushing for fair and just access at the ballot box. Last spring we urged Gov. Ivey to withdraw HB 445 so the SCOTUS ruling is just another tactic that we’re up against to ensure all Alabamans can cast a vote.
Dr. A.B. Sutton, Jr., chairperson of Faith in Action Alabama’s Board of the Directors: We are seeing barriers put in place to make it harder for Black people to vote, especially across the south. All these political moves to oppress the vote is the modern-day version of asking folks how many bubbles are in a bar of soap in order to gain the right to vote.
Daniel Schwartz, executive director, Faith in Action Alabama
“We’re disheartened that SCOTUS has sided with Alabama officials that seek to undermine democracy and create the space to politically silence the voice of African American Alabamians. This redistricting plan highlights efforts by Alabama’s Republican-controlled committee to oppress voters rather than expand democracy. Redistricting, voter ID laws, and felony disenfranchisement are a collection of sinister efforts in Alabama to blunt the democratic voice of Alabama’s Black community.
Let’s be clear – this anti-democratic agenda is Pharaoh seeking to find new ways to block the honoring of all. But we are committed, with our allies, to bring praise, honor, glory to God of Liberation through helping ensure the voices, cries, and dreams are honored throughout Alabama. Faith in Action Alabama is committed to working at the grassroots level and in the halls of power to help honor to create a thriving democracy throughout Alabama, across race and zip code lines. We are working with allies to remove barriers to voting faced by formerly incarcerated Alabamians and will move a robust voter engagement campaign leading up to this year’s November.”