DECATUR, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Georgia) met with Metro Atlanta faith leaders on October 18, 2021, for a roundtable in Decatur. They’re joining together in an urgent effort to pass federal voting legislation.

During a roundtable, Ossoff briefed the faith leaders on the legislation he introduced honoring the late Congressman John Lewis. “First, the Right to Vote Act, which I introduced earlier this year, would establish the first ever affirmative guarantee of voting rights for eligible citizens ever, in federal law,” he said. It would allow citizens to challenge laws that reduce access to the ballot in court. Ossoff also introduced the Election Worker and Polling Place Protection Act. “We saw a shocking increase in the incidents of threats against election officials,” he said.

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Supporters have said these proposed laws would counter the sweeping legislation Georgia and other states passed after the last presidential election. Georgia Republicans have said the new state law promotes fair and secure elections. “These restrictions are about making it harder for some people to vote,” Ossoff said.

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“We will be striving all the more so to support leaders such as Senator Ossoff and Senator Warnock,” said Reverend Jerry D. Black, the pastor of Beulah Missionary Baptist Church. These faith leaders say it’s a journey about faith, keeping communities informed and the ongoing pursuit of civil rights. “We stand together in an agreement that we will not be silent. We will not just stand by,” said Light of the World Christian Tabernacle Archbishop Ruth Smith, while leading a prayer. It’s a role Black churches have played throughout their history. “All movements had a spiritual aspect to it in this country, whether it was women’s right to vote whether it was civil rights movement,” said Bishop O.C. Allen, the founder and senior pastor of The Vision Church of Atlanta. “I appreciate the fact that he is staying engaged with us, particularly faith community.”

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The faith leaders say they’re in it for the long haul, and they’re supporting those leading the effort here locally and on Capitol Hill.