News & Updates
Bend the Arc is proud to join a friend-of-the-court brief defending the constitutionality of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in United States v. Miller, a case before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The brief, authored by the Anti-Defamation League, was joined by 40 prominent civil rights, human rights, religious, educational and law enforcement organizations.
Today, Bend the Arc Jewish Action urged members of the House of Representatives to sign a discharge petition calling for a vote on the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 (H.R. 1010). This crucial legislation will help bring of millions of hardworking Americans above the poverty line and ensure that, in the future, the minimum wage does not lag so dramatically behind inflation.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer 1964, a national movement is underway to protect the ability of every American to exercise his or her right to vote. You’d think by now this would be a non-issue, but recent events—including the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision last summer striking down a key piece of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965—make this fight all too timely.
There is something quintessentially American and quintessentially Jewish about voting -- and fighting for the right to vote. After all, voting is an act of faith. It's a ritual, part of belonging to the community. Like all rituals, we may find them inconvenient when they interrupt our daily schedule, but we also hold them dear. It may not feel sacred in some moments -- filling in little bubbles or pulling little levers -- but it connects deeply with our past and our core sense of who we are as a people. And ultimately we do it because we believe in something bigger than ourselves, something that we can't see directly and are taught to trust in -- in this case, a sense that all of us, doing this little ritual, adds up to a government of ourselves, by ourselves, for ourselves, that stands up for liberty and justice for all.
KQED interviews Rabbi Melanie Aron about the launch of Bend the Arc's voting rights campaign.