I first came to Kansas City to establish a new chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in support of the local and national Civil Rights Movement as it moved to the forefront of public conversation. Decades later, as a Member of Congress, a primary role of mine is to defend the Constitution and the rights it guarantees to each and every citizen of our nation. While we have come a long ways since the days of SCLC establishment there are many civil rights issues still challenging us today.
Voting Rights Act and Supreme Court Decision
As many of you know, the Supreme Court recently overturned key provisions of The Voting Rights Act of 1965. The ability of our citizens to exercise their right to vote is a critical act that defines the United States as a constitutional democracy. This recent decision threatens that ability, especially for groups of voters that are most likely to become disenfranchised. I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court on this decision, but I believe Congress has a unique opportunity to make things right. I hope to continue the fight for voting rights for all and believe that the good and decent people of this country need to speak out.
EASY (Equal Access to Support Youth) Voting Act
The most important protection for our democracy’s future is the involvement of our future leaders. Engaging our youth in the electoral process is critical. Recognizing this, I introduced the EASY Voting Act during the 112th Congress that would prohibit efforts to discourage voter registration and electoral participation of students at institutes of higher education. Key provisions would allow students to utilize a school-issued ID for in states that require photo identification and stop the dissemination of false information about the registration process. My intention is to re-introduce this bill to the 113th Congress with the hope that Congress will pass these key provisions to protect and encourage our youth’s civic spirit.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
Fifty years ago, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law that required employers to give women working in the same jobs as men equal pay to their male counterparts. This legislation was monumental in the women’s rights movement but unfortunately women all across our nation are still making thousands less than their male colleagues. This reality is more than just a moral failure; it is an economic one as well. This income disparity, like any other income inequality, undermines the economic security of our families and falls short of the economic promise our nation makes to all. My hope is to seek and promote any opportunity, legislative or otherwise, available to remedy this problem.
More on Civil Rights
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II along with Congressmen Ro Khanna, John Lewis, and James Clyburn, introduced legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to civil rights icon Reverend James Lawson. Rev. Lawson will be celebrating his 90th birthday this year. Rev. Lawson is recognized as one of the most consequential leaders of the civil rights movement.
(Kansas City, MO) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II sent a letter to the Financial Services Committee calling for a congressional hearing with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and various national banks to inquire about a recently surfaced policy that requires customers to prove their citizenship status.
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement on the selection of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as the nominee for the next Supreme Court Justice.
"Granted by the authority given to him under the constitution, President Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. While it is the President’s duty to nominate a justice, the Senate is given the responsibility of vetting and either confirming or denying the President’s selection.
June 26, 2018
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the travel ban which denies visas to nationals of six Muslim-majority countries. The lower courts struck down three previous versions of the travel ban. The Supreme Court announced its decision with a vote of 5-4 today on the case of Trump v. Hawaii.
June 21, 2018
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement regarding President Trump’s recently signed Executive Order to address the issue of children being separated from their parents at the border.
Last month, the Trump Administration began to enforce their “zero tolerance” policy for individuals illegally entering the country. Many of these families arrived at the border seeking asylum. Since that mandate, undocumented children have been routinely separated from their families. It has been reported that nearly 1,800 families have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border since the policy was implemented.
It was a busy week in the district but it was also productive. I had the chance to visit with some of my most promising constituents. I spent time each day of the week, visiting nearly a dozen high school students in the Fifth District. I listened to students talk about their concerns about school safety and procedures in their schools. These were good discussions. I wanted them to speak openly about the changes they wanted to see. We cannot wait on their protection, on their safety. Congress must get to work for our children. We also celebrated and remembered the great Dr.
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II was pleased to hear that Internet Association (IA) has announced it will create a new position within the organization to work on diversity and workforce policies in the tech industry. The IA is a trade association representing major technology firms like Amazon, Facebook and Google.
(Washington, D.C.) - Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II is pleased to hear that after much discussion with Facebook’s executives regarding diversity and inclusion, Facebook has announced that outgoing CEO of American Express, Kenneth Chenault, has agreed to join its Board of Directors. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, made the announcement today posting this statement.
Kenneth Chenault is a successful business executive and was the third African American CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
It is quite possibly one of the most over-used statements in the English lexicon, yet rings true on so many levels, “Language is powerful.” What you say is just as important as what you do.