Juneteenth is the celebration of the freedom of Black people from chattel slavery. One hundred and sixty years later, our fight to dismantle racial barriers and systemic inequities is far from over.

This is why for more than 70 years the ACLU of Colorado, as the state’s largest and oldest civils rights organization, has stood firm to protect, defend and extend the civil rights and civil liberties of all people in Colorado.

In just the past few years, we have worked in coalitions to end cash bail for low level offenses,  insure that LGTBQ rights are guaranteed, demanded the limited the reach of ICE in our communities, and passed laws to ensure that every person in Colorado can access contraception and reproductive health options.

In this election year, stand with ACLU Colorado as we ensure that our voices are not ignored, and our votes are cast in the ballot box. Even in Colorado, with some of the strongest voter protection laws in the country, the Black vote is still threatened. Recently lawmakers in El Paso County tried to dilute the Black vote by re-drawing the electoral boundaries, but the ACLU of Colorado and our community partners did not — and going forward, will not — stand for racial gerrymandering in our state.

When we come together, we are a force for change. In November we must rally together with our votes to stop the efforts of those who are wanting to roll back our rights.

If we do not show up and vote to ensure our democracy is upheld, we will see a wave of dismantling of hard-earned rights. There are those running for local offices who are promising to ban books and erase Black and multi-cultural history in libraries and schools across Colorado. On the Federal level, candidates have pledged, if elected, will ramp up deportations and end birthright citizenship. Now is the time to mobilize to hold the line. We must not allow a retrenchment of hard-earned rights that our ancestors fought and died for.

With our vote, we ensure that our collective commitment for true equality continues to move forward. We are the ones that our ancestors passed the baton to run this lap in our marathon toward freedom.

From now until November, stand with ACLU as we rally together our communities, elect those who align with our agenda, and how those elected accountable to uphold the rights of “we the people.”   

Let us pledge to — vote like we have never voted before, If not us, then who? If not now, then when? Late Hon. John Lewis