BROOKLYN— Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Central Brooklyn) today joined Attorney General Letitia James, Comptroller Brad Lander, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and and other New York elected officials, labor and faith leaders to commemorate the first anniversary of the Capitol insurrection and to recommit themselves to defending democracy and protecting voting rights.
"One year ago today, we witnessed a deadly attack on our government to stop the peaceful and orderly transfer of power," said Senator Myrie, chair of the New York State Senate Elections Committee. "The Capitol riot in DC ended that day, but the assault on voting rights has continued in state capitals across this country. Instead of barricades and bear spray, the insurrectionists' tools now are bills and laws designed to restrict voting and weaken the fabric of our democracy."
"Even here in New York, we're not immune from the forces that see expanded voting rights as a threat to their power and control," continued Senator Myrie. "Just this week— the same week we are observing this solemn anniversary— a billionaire pledged to bankroll a campaign to make it harder to vote by mail in the middle of a pandemic. Those who would stand in the way of your right to vote have always been around— but they seem louder and stronger than ever."
“Every day we are haunted by the horrific attack on our democracy that occurred on January 6,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “But long before this insurrection occurred, and in alarming frequency in the year since, we have seen sustained efforts to undermine our democracy and our right to vote. Voting is a fundamental, constitutional, and sacred right, and we cannot and will not allow these attacks to continue. In the spirit of the late titan John Lewis, we must fight with everything we have to expand voting rights and uphold the promise of true liberty and justice for all.”
“The threat to voting rights is a threat not only to our democracy but to our economy," said NYC Comptroller Brad Lander. "We saw the violent potential of that threat too clearly one year ago when armed insurrectionists stormed the capitol in an effort to overturn election results. But that threat persists and grows every day as state legislatures pass voting right restrictions, as disinformation goes unchecked on social media, and as corporations bankroll lawmakers and organizations that seek to undermine our democracy. New York can and must lead in restoring confidence in our democratic system, broadening its benefits, and giving people a stake in a shared future."
“On the anniversary of the violent insurrection in our nation’s capital and the attempt by Republicans to overturn the results of the 2020 election, it’s important for us all to remember that in Brooklyn and New York City we will always defend democracy." said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. "I remain absolutely committed to working with this group of City and State leaders to push even further to protect voting rights and expand civic participation in our borough and across the nation.”
"The insurrection was an assault on all our democratic rights. Over the past year we have seen many states take action to restrict voting rights, and so far, the federal government has been unable to get anything accomplished," said Assembly Member Latrice Walker, chair of the New York State Assembly Election Law Committee. "It is up to New York. New York will fight to pass the John R. Lewis New York State Voting Rights Act, and always defend our democracy."
“As we face the grave anniversary of an armed insurrection attempt in our nation’s capitol, we must underscore that the bedrock of our democracy is the fundamental principle of majority rule made possible by the right to vote,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. “New York - the state I am so proud to serve - will always defend democracy, and must be a beacon to other states in our union. Our democracy depends upon it. New York has taken many important steps to expand voting rights and we will continue to making voting easier and more accessible for all. Every voice in our democracy is important and must be heard.”
“One year after white supremacists and neo-nazis stormed our nation’s capital, I am proud to say that New York City is leading the fight to strengthen our democracy,” said Council Member Shahana Hanif. “While dozens of states have rolled back voting rights, our city passed landmark legislation to allow almost a million of our neighbors to vote. The core principle of the ‘Our City, Our Vote’ legislation is that our democracy is stronger when everyone can participate. This is true now just as it has been at every point in our nation’s history. As a City Council Member, I will do everything in my power to expand and defend our democracy while we wait for much-needed action on the federal level to eliminate the filibuster and finally pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. The fight to defend our democracy will define our nation, and it's a fight for every level of government.”
“One year ago today, we saw the physical manifestation of decades of the voter suppression that happened and continues to happen in statehouses across the nation when armed insurrectionists stormed the Capitol and attempted to overturn the election,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson. “This shocking event was further evidence that we must fight to strengthen elections and the democratic process in New York by continuing our push for vital reforms like same-day voter registration and no-fault absentee voting. The best way to fight extremist claims of election fraud is to ensure New York’s elections are as free and fair as possible.”
"At the heart of the fight for the right to vote is to ensure every qualified voter has no barriers to exercise their vote and that every vote is counted," said Hazel Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference. "Now is the time to fight back against the attempts all across the country to restrict who gets to have a say in our government and demonstrate that we are the true defenders of democracy by making the John Lewis New York Voting Rights Act law."
"Today, we are issuing a commitment to New Yorkers: this state will always defend your right to vote," concluded Senator Myrie. "This state will always respect democracy. This state will never take a single step backwards. Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, wherever you live, whatever you look like: your vote and your voice will always matter in our state. As long as we are here, we will look for ways to make it easier to vote and continue to protect your rights."