For Jackson’s tight-knit voting rights community, whose members see themselves as torchbearers as Mr. Feggers and Mr. Evers are, all this is evidence of the continued absence of urgency.
“If the people most affected by this were white, the Democrats would have done something about it a long time ago,” said Rukia Lumumba, executive director of the Jackson-based People’s Defense Institute. Her brother is the mayor of Jackson, and her late father has also filled the role. They thought, ‘Oh, this is just the south,’ and it’s not just coming here to the rest of the country.
Holder, who now runs a group focused on redistricting and access to ballot papers, said he would encourage senators to cancel procrastination to pass a bill for the people, if needed. His group and partners plan to spend $ 30 million to introduce the legislation to voters in states with key senators, including Arizona, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
“The stakes are the condition of our democracy,” said Mr. Holder. “This is more than my party” Who wins and who loses? “Play it. If we do not succeed in HR 1 or HR 4, then I am really concerned that our democracy will suffer fundamental and irreparable damage.”
He added: “We will still have elections every two years or every four years, but they can become almost meaningless.”
Mr. Holder also found himself serving as an ambassador for voting rights among Democrats: Last month, in a hypothetical call with the black bloc in Congress, he was summoned because many of the older members of the caucus had deep reservations about For the People acting, according to those familiar with the planning The Call, is a rare disagreement between the Democratic leadership and the group often called “the conscience of Congress.”
In fact, Representative Thompson was the only Democrat to vote against the bill in the House of Representatives, reversing his position as a former co-sponsor. In the weeks that followed, Mr. Thompson refused several requests from the New York Times to explain his vote, or to respond to voters who say it conflicts with the rich history of Southern Democrats in defending black voting rights.