While I have been very pleased with the fact that our congressman, Brad Schneider (IL-10), has been voicing his support for marriage equality and rejoicing over it repeatedly on his Facebook page; I have not seen a single post or heard a single word from him about the Supreme Court's striking down of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Marriage equality is great and I do support it, but what about the right to vote, the rights of minorities, the rights of women?
I and a number of constituents have asked you repeatedly to sign onto HR 12, the Voting Rights Act of 2013, sponsored by Rep. John Lewis, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement. You posted a picture of yourself with Rep. Lewis commemorating the March at Selma, which Lewis marched in, was beaten during, even having his skull fractured, but you have never signed on to his bill. As constituents, we have gone to your district office several times to talk about the importance of HR 12, written to you, emailed you, called you, visited your legislative staff in DC, and still nothing. The bill has 172 co-sponsors - where are you Brad?
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Additionally, we have asked you repeatedly and gone through the same motions in regards to the Equal Rights Amendment for women. This was introduced just before Mother's Day and I visited your office back in April assuming you would want to be one of the original sponsors of such legislation. Instead, I was told you would need to examine it further, though Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) signed on less than 24 hours after we spoke to her staff, and Senator Mark Kirk even went so far as to write a "Dear Colleague" letter to his fellow senators. But, again - where are you Brad?
If you really believe in "equal rights for all Americans," which you have posted prominently on your Facebook page, then why aren't you fighting for them? The photo-ops are nice, but I want to see some real commitment from our congressman in relation to these very serious issues. Brad, aren't you going to fight for us in Washington?
Jeanne Marie Dauray
National Issue Teams Coordinator
Progressive Democrats of America