Tag Archives: Eric Holder

Civil Rights Groups Expect Swell of Support ~Black History Month

          The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gestures during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. Some at the National Urban League conference have called for another such march in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict and the Supreme Court's decision on the Voting Rights Act.
Leaders at the National Urban League convention say recent Voting

Rights Act decision and Trayvon Martin case have galvanized many

By Elizabeth Flock

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gestures during his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. Some at the National Urban League conference have called for another such march in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict and the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act.

PHILADELPHIA – The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington was intended to be a look back on the historic march of 1963 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech during the height of the civil rights movement.

But the recent Supreme Court decision that struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act coupled with the “not guilty” verdict in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin has lent new urgency and more participants to the anniversary event, according to groups involved.

[PHOTOS: Joe Biden Leads Re-enactment of Voting Rights March]

In Philadelphia, where the National Urban League is holding its annual conference on Thursday and Friday, president Marc Morial says that both the conference and march have changed in focus and in tenor because of “what’s happened in the last 30 days.”

“The Voting Rights Act decision [and] the Trayvon Martin tragedy [have] created a different mood among the people who are here. It’s a different kind of focus in their hearts and minds,” he says. “It’s a different enthusiasm.”

Some of that emotion, he says, has shown itself in the form of renewed distrust in the criminal justice system. Several panels at the conference also expressed frustration with the Supreme Court. And in a speech at the conference Thursday morning, Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was greeted by frustrated cheers when she told the crowd she’d better see them at the 50th anniversary march next month.

[READ: Holder Says Texas Must Get Pre-Approval Before Changing Voting Laws]

But Morial hopes those frustrations can be channeled into calls for action at the march: for a congressional fix to the Voting Rights Act, a hard look at the criminal justice system after the Trayvon Martin case and a plan for dealing with the lack of employment in minority communities.

The National Urban League is just one of some two dozen civil and human rights groups involved in the event. Five participating groups took part in the original 1963 march, but many more are new, including Rev. Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network, which has 40 chapters across the country, the National Council of Churches, which includes 100,000 local congregations, and the National Park Service.

“There were 250,000 people in 1963,” says Morial. “It remains to be seen this time… [But] these recent events have been encouragement for more people to attend.”

In August … we got Updates on Voting Rights Act

Dear Friend,


repost: Why? Where are they NOW ?

It’s been a busy summer here at the White House, with no shortage of exciting and important announcements. In light of this, I’m writing to let you know we will be having more regular updates to this list. During the month of August we find ourselves reflecting and commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington in 1963.  During that summer the country reflected on the economic and racial equality of others and today we continue to act on that legacy.

This past week the President met with civil rights leaders to discuss securing the Vote for All Americans. Please take some time to read this weekend and share with family and friends.


Heather Foster Office of Public Engagement


the Vote


All Americans”

Monday, President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez met with civil rights leaders, and state and local elected officials at the White House to discuss how to safeguard every eligible American’s right to vote in light of the recent Supreme Court decision on Shelby County vs. Holder.

President Barack Obama meets with Civil Rights Leaders in the Roosevelt Room

President Barack Obama meets with Civil Rights Leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 29, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

The Supreme Court’s decision invalidating one of the Voting Rights Act’s core provisions, upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent.

President Obama acknowledged that for nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans, and expressed deep disappointment about the recent decision.  He asked the leaders in the room for their ideas on how to strengthen voting rights, and also encouraged them to continue educating their communities on the Voting Rights Act, and how to exercise voting rights.

We’ve seen much progress towards guaranteeing every American the right to vote.  But, as the Supreme Court recognized, voting discrimination still exists.  And while the decision is a setback, it doesn’t represent the end of either our efforts to end voting discrimination, or our basic right to vote.

Since the decision, President Obama has called on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls.  The Voting Rights Act has been reauthorized repeatedly by wide bipartisan margins in Congress, and signed into law by Republican presidents.  In addition, every single American should have an interest in ensuring that every eligible American is able to exercise his or her right to vote.  So we remain hopeful that we will find a legislative solution to ensure a fair and equal voting process.

Monday’s meeting was another step forward to protect the vote, and we will continue to do everything in our power to secure this most basic right for all Americans.

Monday’s participants included:

Get Updates

55 years for marijuana ?

My brother Weldon was given a mandatory minimum sentence for a nonviolent marijuana offense that even the judge disagrees with.

Sign my petition and join the growing bipartisan support demanding President Obama to pardon my brother.

My brother Weldon is a talented musician, producer, and loving father. But for the past ten years his kids have grown up without their dad because he’s serving a mandatory 55 year sentence in prison for a nonviolent marijuana offense.

Weldon’s judge wanted to sentence him to just one day in prison for three small-time marijuana sales, but because an informant testified that he saw a gun, which wasn’t used or displayed, federal law forced him to issue a mandatory minimum 55 year sentence. The judge called it “unjust, cruel, and irrational.” But he had no choice.

The judge is hopeful that justice can still be served for my brother — he wrote a letter that strongly recommends President Obama commute Weldon’s sentence, and over 100 people signed his request in support — including former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and a prominent Republican Senator.

I started a petition on Change.org because I believe the momentum to free Weldon could pressure the President to grant him clemency. Please sign my petition asking Pardoning Attorney Rodgers to recommend that President Obama commute the remainder of Weldon’s sentence.

Weldon made the mistake of selling marijuana and deserves to serve some time, but his sentence is longer than those imposed for three aircraft hijackings, three second-degree murders, three kidnappings, and three rapes. Now, significant public support for the President to pardon him is the only chance Weldon has of getting out of prison before he’s 70 years old.

Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my brother. I can’t stand seeing his kids miss their father because he made one mistake and is now paying an unfairly high price for it. And I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Join thousands of others who have signed my petition on Change.org demanding that federal Pardon Attorney Rodgers approve the request of Weldon’s judge and recommend his clemency request to President Obama. Click here to sign. 

Thank you for your support.

Lisa Angelos

Don’t let the “Undectectable Firearms Act” expire on 12/9/2013 …

Team –
If you or your family have ever visited an airport, courthouse, or even some hospitals and schools, you know that a metal detector can be the last line of defense between your loved ones and a criminal with a gun.

But on December 9th, a relatively obscure but important law that prohibits the sale or shipment of firearms not detectable by a walk-through metal detector is set to expire.

It’s called the Undetectable Firearms Act and in the age of 3D printers that can produce a gun made almost entirely of plastic, it’s imperative that Congress move to reauthorize the legislation.

With three weeks to go, time is running out. It’s important that you sign our petition urging the House and Senate leadership to bring the Act to a vote before it expires.

Add your name here:

In the past Republicans and Democrats have come together to renew the law by simple voice votes. Even the NRA has agreed not to oppose the bill.

We’re counting on Congress to reauthorize this responsible solution to reduce gun violence. If you make your voice heard, we’re sure they will.

All the best,

Gabby and Mark

Gov Inslee in the Newsroom


  • 08/30/2013 –
Governor Inslee’s statement regarding news of additional plans approved by Commissioner Mike Kreidler for Washington’s health benefit exchange
  • 08/29/2013 –
Governors Inslee, Kitzhaber announce final mitigation agreement on Columbia River Crossing
  • 08/29/2013 –
Joint statement from Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson regarding update from Attorney General Eric Holder on implementation of Washington’s voter-approved marijuana law
  • 08/19/2013 –
Governor Inslee welcomed Hyogo Governor Ido to renew 50-yr sister state bond