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Civil and Voting Rights

Rep. Chu participated in the "NoH8" campaign to show her support for the LGBT community.

When the civil liberties of any group are violated, we all suffer Protecting the ideals of justice and equal protection under the law is necessary to ensure our country is one where all people are treated equal.

Our civil rights were earned by the blood, sweat and tears of those who came before us. I believe that all Americans deserve to have their rights protected and enforced. History has shown time and time again that systematic discrimination against any group of Americans is a threat to the freedom of all Americans.  Congress must work to end all forms of government-sanctioned discrimination, so every American can be treated equally and has a meaningful opportunity to participate in our democracy.

For these reasons, I am committed to standing up against racial and ethnic profiling, ensuring that all American citizens have the right to vote, supporting equal rights and opportunities for women, protecting marriage equality for all Americans, ensuring equal rights in the workplace and in housing, and fighting for meaningful campaign finance reform. 

Protecting the Voting Rights of All Americans
The right to vote is one of our most sacred rights and is fundamental to American democracy.  Unfortunately since 2011, there has been a concerted effort by state legislatures to pass laws that suppress the voting rights of Americans (over 160 laws have been introduced). These measures have made it harder for millions of Americans to vote – especially the elderly, our youth, the disabled and minorities.

For more than 40 years, the Voting Rights Act (VRA) has been one of our best tools for combating discrimination—particularly in places with a history of discrimination. However, in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court significantly weakened the VRA in its decision in Shelby County v. Holder by striking down the formula used in the VRA to determine which states and local governments would need to obtain court approval before changing their voting laws or practices. Although the VRA was designed to prevent abusive practices in areas that had a history of voting discrimination, the Court held that the formula was implemented based on data that was too old. Without new legislation to undo the damage done by Shelby, minority communities are now at risk of being disenfranchised.

Restoring the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA). I am a co-sponsor of the Voting Rights Amendment Act, a bipartisan bill which modernizes the VRA to address current circumstances. The bill would work to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, and would also require public notice and transparency regarding any changes to: (1) voting prerequisites, standards, or procedures; (2) polling place resources; or (3) demographics and electoral districts.

Protecting Democracy for All Americans
American democracy has been centered on the fundamental principle of one person, one vote and the notion that we all have an equal voice and say over government decisions that affect our lives and our nation. However, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010 eroded this principle by allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on American elections. The decision has very dangerous implications for the rights of Americans, as corporations are now able to make unlimited campaign donations without disclosing who they are.  In 2014, the Supreme Court further expanded the influence of money in politics, in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which invalidated aggregate limits on how much a single donor could spend per an election cycle, making it easier for the very the wealthy to influence elections.

I am working to ensure every American has an equal voice in our elections by:

Overturning endless political spending under Citizens United. I am a cosponsor of the Democracy for All Amendment which would amend the U.S. Constitution to reverse the effects of Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions, and limit the ability of corporations and the wealthiest donors to buy unlimited influence in our elections. This constitutional amendment would allow Congress and the States to regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.

Fighting for open and transparent campaign funding. I voted for H.R. 1 – a landmark anti-corruption bill. This bill would clean up our campaign finance laws to take dark money out of politics and increase disclosure requirements, both of which help voters understand what influences our decision making. And it also puts more power into the hands of our own auditors, the Office of Government Ethics to conduct more oversight and enforcement and put in stricter lobbying requirements. It’s not enough for us to demand integrity, we have to demonstrate it as well. This transparency will help our government run more efficiently and honestly, which is better for all of us.

More on Civil and Voting Rights

August 24, 2020 In The News

Democratic U.S Reps. Adam Schiff and Judy Chu added their votes in support of House Resolution 8015, the Delivering for America Act, a bill aimed at saving the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and the right to vote from changes to both by the Trump administration. 

The legislation, which passed by a 257-150 House vote, prohibits the Postal Service from implementing or approving any changes to the operations or service levels in effect on Jan. 1 that would impede prompt, reliable, and efficient service. 

August 18, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) held a press conference outside the Pasadena Post Office to condemn the White House’s attempts to hobble post office services before the election, including cutting worker hours, shutting down sorting machines, and removing post boxes. At the press conference, Rep. Chu also stated that the Administration’s announcement that they would suspend further changes to the post office was insufficient, announcing that on Saturday, the House will vote on H.R.

August 18, 2020 In The News

On Tuesday, Rep. Judy Chu (D-San Gabriel Valley) and members of the union that represents local postal workers blasted cost-saving measures they said are hamstringing the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the presidential election.

Chu called the recent cutbacks "sabotage" meant to undercut the public's faith in mail-in voting.

"This is a threat not only to our democracy, but also to our ability to stop the coronavirus pandemic," Chu said.

August 18, 2020 In The News

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park, held a press conference at the Pasadena Post Office with members of the American Postal Workers Union to call on the US Postal Service to be protected.

“This is not only a threat to our democracy, but also to people’s health,” she said in a written statement, as voting from home is necessary to help contain the spread of the coronavirus this year.”

Chu also added that the Postal Service is crucial for things beyond the election.

August 4, 2020 In The News

The chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif, has released a toolkit to guide her colleagues on how to avoid inciting or emboldening anti-Asian sentiment and racism tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The toolkit, which Chu disseminated to her fellow members of Congress last week, lays out language to help lawmakers push back on rising anti-Asian bias, offering suggestions on how to discuss China's role in the pandemic.

July 22, 2020 In The News

Washington (CNN)House Democrats voted on Wednesday to approve a measure that would repeal the Trump administration's controversial travel ban, a signature policy of the President the administration defends as necessary for national security, but Democrats argue discriminates on the basis of religion.

July 13, 2020 In The News

In the wake of George Floyd's killing, many Asian American leaders are pointing out that the drive for real change often fades away. But they're aiming to help prevent that this time around, they say.

June 26, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. The bill would make a number of reforms to policing to increase accountability and decrease violence, including banning chokeholds, ending the use of no-knock warrants for drug crimes, limiting the transfer of military equipment to state and local law enforcement, and mandating that body cameras be worn at all times by federal officers.

June 9, 2020 Press Release

Pasadena, CA –  Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) stands with House Democrats, who, led by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, introduced the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. This bill combats police brutality by banning chokeholds and requiring body and dashboard cameras. It removes the barriers to prosecuting police misconduct from officers who have violated civilians' rights and ends qualified immunity by law enforcement.

June 1, 2020 Press Release

Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement on the murder of George Floyd and the protests and riots that have followed in major cities across the nation: