LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Leading civil rights activists joined forces in Los Angeles Friday to announce plans to fight President Trump on his agenda.
Rev. Jesse Jackson joined Latino activists from MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund).
“This is beneath the dignity and the promise of America,” said Jackson regarding what many considered Trump’s tepid rebuke of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and KKK members. “And we’re going to fight back together,” he added.
Jackson was a headliner of a downtown Los Angeles press conference — with members of MALDEF — hoping to get the president’s attention.
They wanted the White House to know that they are forming their own voting rights justice commission. This group is in direct contrast to the president’s commission on voter integrity.
Jackson and the group said they were also troubled by the president’s remarks about the violence in Charlottesville.
“We must bring all of the monuments and the legacy of slavery and essentially have a one person, one vote democracy,” Jackson said.
Said Thomas Saenz, co-founder of MALDEF, “We have to say to those who would suppress our vote, that in response to that, we will increase our participation.”
California’s Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, made headlines of his own earlier this year when he refused to comply with the voter integrity commission’s demand to turn over personal data on all California voters.
The Trump administration says the commission is necessary — to root out voter fraud. But Padilla argues that widespread voter fraud is “fiction” and alleges it’s all a smoke screen.
“What we’re saying here isn’t a hypothetical,” says Padilla, “it’s not what we’re fearful of, if Trump and Kobach and others have their way. Because we have seen it play out in state after state after state.”
Jackson and MALDEF are vowing to have voter registration drives and the courts to uphold voters’ rights. They also said they vowed to support DAPA, the Obama-era program that protects Dreamers from deportation.