Mayors Hancock & Lightfoot to convene voting rights summit

Published on October 06, 2021

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot are convening stakeholders from across the country including mayors, legislators, county clerks, election administrators and community leaders to take a seat at the table of history and develop a framework for implementing national strategies to protect, defend and promote voter rights.

The National Nonpartisan Conversation on Voter Rights, taking place from Oct. 21-23 in Denver, will set a national action plan to end gerrymandering, ensure safe access to the ballot, and prevent partisan efforts that diminish voter access, especially in communities of color.

“There is nothing more foundational to our democracy in the United States than the free exercise of the right and access to vote. Anything that abridges the exercise thereof must be amended or abolished immediately,” Mayor Hancock said. “That’s why we as mayors, election officials, county commissioners voting rights advocates and civic leaders are coming together to have this conversation and express to our national leadership a path forward that secures the foundational right of every American.”

"Across the country we are seeing a wave of voter suppression bills being signed into law which threaten the very foundation of our democracy," said Mayor Lightfoot. "As we call upon Congress to protect voter rights, local leaders and stakeholders must also swiftly and strongly address these issues. I am grateful that we are coming together to have these conversations in order to protect the right of every citizen of this country."

Following the convening, participants will then be armed with the tools they need to advocate on behalf of their communities and organizations with their state legislatures and members of Congress to make the changes necessary to reverse the restrictions that have been put in place and promote access to the ballot. The action plan produced will provide legislators a roadmap to reverse the undermining of our inalienable right to vote.

Speaker and panel line up for the National Nonpartisan Conversation on Voter Rights will be announced in the coming days and weeks. For more information on the convening and program, visit denvergov.org/VoterRightsDenver.

In the 2021 legislative sessions alone, more than 400 bills with expansive provisions to restrict voter access have been introduced in 49 states. Eighteen states have already enacted laws this year that will make it harder for Americans to vote, in the most aggressive wave of voter restrictions our nation has seen in decades. Civic leaders across the country are being moved to action to reverse this assault on voter rights. With federal efforts stalling due to obstruction in Congress, local officials are leading the way to protect access to the ballot box.

Watch the press conference with Mayor Hancock and Mayor Lightfoot 

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