Thursday, February 21, 2013 (Washington, DC)
Rev. Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network issued this statement following his meeting with President Barack Obama today and other civil rights leaders at the White House this afternoon:
“I and other leaders had a very significant discussion with the President Obama about concerns in the African-American community and the civil rights community in general and most specifically about voting rights. Just yesterday the state of Virginia House of Delegates passed strict government photo ID requirements for voting. As states around the country engage in what we feel are voter suppression methods, next week the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about Section 5 of the Voting Rights act.
We are hopeful that the President will continue to push back on any impediments to voting rights that will disproportionately impact African-Americans and he shared the sentiment in the meeting that he would.
On unemployment, which is also disproportionately impacting our communities, we must deal with job creation and job programs, educational inequality, the problems of unfairness in the criminal justice system, and the problem of gun violence. Many of our communities go unnoticed but suffer a disproportionate number of casualties from gun violence. The President engaged us in a spirited conversation and seemed to be listening intently.
We talked at length about the threat a Sequester will have in our community.
As civil rights leaders we have been meeting around a Black Agenda to propose to the President and to each of his Cabinet Members and Congress members. These meetings will continue as we work with all communities to make our nation a more perfect union.”
Reverend Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network