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President Biden, VP Harris to visit Atlanta Tuesday, addressing voting laws

Biden and Harris to visit Georgia Tuesday to push for John Lewis Voting Rights Act
Biden and Harris to visit Georgia Tuesday to push for John Lewis Voting Rights Act
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 9:01 AM EST
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ATLANTA (CBS46) — Ahead of Tuesday’s President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Atlanta, some local voting rights advocacy groups say they won’t attend the Tuesday event.

In a Monday virtual press briefing Monday, several civil and voting rights organizations announced their absence from the presidential event will symbolize their call for a greater need for work at the nation’s capitol, not the state’s capitol.

“We need action not more words,” said Jerry Gonzalez of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.

“It’s not time for another visit,” echoed Vyanti Josheph with Asian American Advocacy.

Former NAACP Atlanta President James Woodall added, “Right now, we don’t need any more speeches.”

The local activists explained Georgia’s own groups have done the groundwork to shine a light on the state level, but they feel the Biden Administration has not done enough at the federal level. It’s why they won’t be showing up to the Tuesday event at Atlanta University Center Consortium.

Instead, they will just listen in and offer a response afterward.

The groups said Biden would be of more help if he remained in Washington, D.C. talking with members of the U.S. Senate.

“To actually speak with the senate and be non-yielding, to have an LBJ moment, to say that ‘under no circumstance will we not have voting rights legislation, that I’m going to use the full power of my office. I’m going to use the full power as president,’” urged LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter.

The groups say Biden has not held up his end of the bargain. They say in the past year, more states have passed restrictive voting laws while there have been fewer election protections.

One leader cited it as an unfair advantage for Republicans, a ‘flag on the play.’

“It’d be like Georgia showing up to that game and there were no referees and Alabama setting all the rules and Georgia has to play the game according to Alabama’s rules,” she said. “We say no.”

Meanwhile, other organizations like Urban League of Atlanta will attend Tuesday’s event hoping its presences comes with more pressure on the president.

“Everything is on the line right now. If this democracy falls, where will black people be? Where will citizens of this country be as a whole?” asked Urban Leage CEO Nancy Johnson.

During the President’s speech, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will hold a news conference at the state capitol defending Georgia’s voting law.

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