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Cárdenas Welcomes Black History Month PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 13 February 2014 03:54

Since 1976, February has been a time to recognize invaluable contributions that African- Americans have made to our nation’s history and identity. U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (DSan Fernando Valley) joined millions of Americans marking the beginning of Black History Month. “As we celebrate Black History Month, let us celebrate the African-Americans who made extraordinary sacrifices in the name of justice and equality in the past,” said Cárdenas.

“Let us recommit ourselves to continue working for an America that fully lives up to its ideals and ensures that every American has the tools and opportunities they need to pursue the American Dream.” The theme of Black History Month this year is “Civil Rights in America,” focusing on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A year after the historic March on Washington in 1963, highlighted by Reverend Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, Congress finally passed this momentous civil rights law.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin, including barring discrimination in all facilities open to the public, ending the Jim Crow era in regions of the country. Critically, this included discrimination in the voting booth. However, in June 2013, the Supreme Court issued a controversial 5-to-4 decision in the Shelby County vs. Holder case that severely weakened the Voting Rights Act.

“It is the highest priority that this Congress act to pass bipartisan legislation that once again strengthens the Voting Rights Act, while complying with the Supreme Court ruling, to fully ensure that every citizen has the right to vote,” said Cárdenas. “For all Americans, the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy.”