STATEMENT OF THE EMERGENCY MINORITY LEADERSHIP CONSULTATION ON THE VITAL NECESSITY OF THE
VOTING RIGHTS ACT AND POWER SHARING
(Issued June 11, 2006 at New York City Hall)
The Voting Rights Act is now settled American law. In an extraordinary bi-partisan gesture both parties in the House and Senate gathered on the steps of the Capitol to announce their joint support of the renewal of the Voting Rights Act. This law, however, can constitutionally only provide opportunities for minority representation. Beyond the courts other forces must participate to facilitate a fulfillment of the Power Sharing intent of the Voting Rights Act.
In Brooklyn the current campaign of a majority candidate competing with minority contestants to take a voting rights designated congressional district seat has produced a situation of serious concern. The deployment of overwhelming economic power in pursuit of this control also sets a precedent with implications far beyond the 11th Congressional District in Brooklyn.
We fully recognize the fact that any individual citizen has a right to run for any office. We contend, however, that political parties and responsible democratic institutions have a duty and obligation to promote the principle of Power Sharing. There are great benefits that such arrangements generate for the overall good of our society.
In this twenty-first century, with change exploding all around us, Power Sharing must not be treated as an incidental or ancillary ingredient of governance. Across the globe in numerous quests for peace and for the rule of law with justice, workable Power Sharing is a major consideration on the negotiation tables. There can be no peace in Iraq without an acceptable Power Sharing arrangement among the majority Shiites and the Sunni and Kurd minorities. Our nation can proudly offer the Voting Rights Act as one working model to be considered.
It is important to note that the U.S. has crafted a successful innovation in democracy which must not be destroyed by individual ambitions. Group reaffirmation of the need for Power Sharing and condemnation of the consensus destroyers is the most potent antidote against those who feel no obligation to support the general welfare of society.
As minority leaders, former community activists and spiritual descendants of those who died in the Civil Rights struggle for just representation; and in the name of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, three martyrs for voting rights, we respectfully request the following:
"That at the national, state and county levels both the Democratic Party and Republican Party adopt and promote policy positions which support Power Sharing. We request that all parties speak clearly and forcefully in support of the principle of Power Sharing which we now promote throughout the world."
In conclusion, we recognize the fact that an overwhelming dollar invasion of a voting rights district is not illegal. But the massive use of such majority fiscal resources can set precedents for "hostile takeovers" which, when replicated at the three levels of government, may sweep our nation's innovative Power Sharing into the dust bins of history.