LANCASTER — Lancaster community members will host a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Saturday at Boeing Plaza on Lancaster Boulevard and Sierra Highway as part of a nationwide series of vigils to honor the legacy of the late Rep. John Lewis on the one-year anniversary of his passing.
The event is hosted by local volunteers in partnership with the Declaration for American Democracy, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Transformative Justice Coalition as part of the Good Trouble Vigils for Democracy, a nationwide series of more than 100 vigils honoring the Civil Rights hero’s legacy and calling on Congress to realize his vision for democracy by passing the For the People Act, John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and DC Statehood.
The title of the event comes from a famous Lewis quote: “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
“It is imperative that we continue to stand behind and push for immediate action on this item,” Doretta Thompson, host of the Lancaster vigil, said in a statement. “We need it approved. As citizens of the United States, we are entitled to actively engage our human rights and our rights to vote, maintaining democracy.”
As of June 21, 17 states enacted 28 new laws that restrict access to the vote, according to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013 on a 5-4 vote along idealogical lines, allowing states to change their election laws without advance federal approval.
The For the People Act would curb voter suppression and make it easier for all Americans to vote and cast a ballot. It would also outlaw partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, according to the Brennan Center.