Maya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement following President Biden’s State of the Union address:
“Tonight, we heard an agenda from President Joe Biden that touched on many of the important issues that are facing the country: justice, equality, civil rights, and democracy. President Biden understands that for our nation to succeed, we must ensure fairness and equality for all.
“In the speech, President Biden called on Congress and the country to embrace an America built on fairness and opportunity. That includes passing the PRO Act to enable people to join a union. Passing the Equality Act to ensure the safety and dignity of the LGBTQ+ community. Codifying Roe v. Wade and protecting abortion access for all. Reinstating the expanded child tax credit to give families a break and reduce child poverty. Expanding Medicaid so more people have access to health care. Protecting Dreamers and other immigrants and passing comprehensive immigration reform. And forcefully speaking out in defense of our democracy.
“We are especially pleased that President Biden used this moment to speak powerfully about Tyre Nichols in the presence of his family. In one of the most high-profile moments at the start of the year, President Biden spoke eloquently about his life and illustrated to the nation that he understands what Black families face — because they too often must fear the police, as his murder reminded us. We urgently need police reform in this country, and we are prepared to work with President Biden and with Congress to finally get it done.
“The president’s message is in stark contrast to some Republicans, who are using their new majority in the House to distract attention from the pressing needs of the American people to instead focus on conspiracy theories that threaten our democracy. Rather than expanding voting rights, too many cling to debunked claims of voter fraud, and too many avoid tackling police reform. And rather than strengthening civil and human rights, they want to roll them back — driving fear about teaching history.
“We look forward to working with our coalition members to support the priorities we share with the president — those that protect, expand, and defend the civil and human rights of everyone in this country.”
About The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.