The family of Martin Luther King Jr. leads marchers across the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., in a call for voting rights reform, Jan. 17, 2022.
Descendants of slain U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and their supporters marched on Washington Monday to urge Senate Democrats to overcome obstruction within their own ranks and Republican opposition to push through a national overhaul of voting rights.
They rallied on the national holiday honoring King on the 93rd anniversary of his birth. The march occurred just days after two centrist Senate Democrats, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, said they would oppose attempts to change legislative rules in the politically divided 100-member chamber to allow Democrats to set uniform national election rules over the objections of all 50 Republican senators.
King’s son, Martin Luther King III; his wife, Arndrea Waters King; and their teenage daughter, Yolanda Renee King, joined several hundred activists as they walked in chilly weather across the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, symbolizing recent congressional support for a $1.2 trillion infrastructure measure.
U.S. President Joe Biden said in a video address that Americans must commit to the unfinished work of Martin Luther King Jr. by delivering jobs and justice and protecting "the sacred right to vote, a right from which all other rights flow."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for a vote as early as Tuesday on the legislation that would expand access to mail-in voting and early voting before the official election day in early November, strengthen federal oversight of elections in states with a history of racial discrimination, and tighten campaign finance rules.