June 23, 1963 is an important date in Michigan history. It's the day Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous speech that would ring through the annals of time.
DETROIT, Mich. – Dr. King is most revered for his role in the March on Washington in 1963, where he delivered his “I Have a Dream”, but it wasn’t the first time he had spoken those famous four words.
Two months before King spoke in front of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, he gave another impassioned speech at the Walk to Freedom in Detroit on June 23. The Walk to Freedom was the largest civil rights demonstration to date at the time and was called “one of the most wonderful things that has happened in America” by King himself.
Michigan's Walk to Freedom commemorated 20 years since the Detroit race riot of 1943 when over two dozen people were killed and many more injured. King was joined by Rev. C.L. Franklin, the father of Aretha Franklin, and the Mayor of the city Jerome Cavanagh.
Over 125,000 people demonstrated with Dr. King down Woodward Avenue to Cobo Arena (TCF Center). The Walk to Freedom's main purpose "was to speak out against segregation and the brutality that met civil rights activists in the South while at the same time addressing concerns of African Americans in the urban North: inequality in hiring practices, wages, education, and housing."
Another notable connection to Michigan – During the tragic day of Dr. King's assassination, Dr. William Anderson of Detroit was on the phone with Coretta Scott King when it happened.
“She used to call me Andy,” Anderson said.
“I was at home in Detroit, sitting with my wife and kids, and the message came on the air, that Martin had been assassinated in Memphis by an unknown assailant. I was on the phone, talking to Coretta. She said, ‘Wait a minute, Andy — something has happened to Martin.'
"She never came back to the phone.”
Dr. King's legacy reminds us of the sanctity of our right to vote – that without constant vigilance, democracy is still under threat. Voting rights must be protected. This isn't a partisan issue. It's a civil rights issue.
Dr. Bob Lorinser will work tirelessly to protect voting rights for all Americans
If you agree your Representative should fight voter suppression, I need your help continuing my public service. I will work to expand voting rights. Your generous financial contribution will help me advocate for the integrity of our elections. With your support, I will champion this issue on the campaign trail and during my term when I'm honored to serve in Congress.
WASHINGTON, D.C.. — Last year, the Senate could not advance important #VotingRights legislation. Three times in the past year my opponent, Jack Bergman, stood against voting rights, and never honored the will of the people in last November's election.
Senate Republicans blocked the John Lewis Voting Rights Act from advancing when the Senate took a procedural vote on whether to open debate on the legislation.
In October, the 'Freedom to Vote Act' was blocked from making its way for debate on the Senate floor. This was a compromised, scaled-back version of the For The People Act that passed the House without my opponent's vote.
The Freedom to Vote Act would have:
Automated voter registration through the DMV
Declared Election Day a public holiday
Allowed 15 days of early voting for federal elections
Curtailed partisan gerrymandering
Enforced stronger FEC campaign finance laws
Required Super-PACs to report their donors
The bill would have protected our elections from interference, dark money, partisan gerrymandering, and voter suppression. It also included compromised provisions clarifying state voter ID laws.
Voter suppression benefits no one. I may disagree with a voter’s vote and be displeased with an election result. However, no one has a right to suppress votes or call our free and fair democratic election invalid. As we move forward to advance our union, we should ensure safe, secure, and fair elections are accessible to as many eligible voters as possible.
Additionally, as recently as Aug. 20 my opponent continues to stand behind his vote against certifying the 2020 election, referencing Antrim County‘s alleged discrepancies. Arizona — a state in which my opponent objected to election results — conducted a GOP-led audit. It confirmed the vote was accurate. Because this result was politically inconvenient for my opponent, now he is calling the Big Lie a distraction.
My opponent twice tried to invalidate a free and fair election, attempts that have been proven over and over again to be unjustified and ill-intended.
A Republican-led / bipartisan Michigan Senate Oversight Committee found no evidence of voter fraud. There is no reputable evidence of significant voter or election fraud, as certified by all 50 states’ Republican and Democrat election committees. Challenges to the validity of the election are refuted, and many court challenges support the integrity of the 2020 election.
Here are the facts:
In 2016, our country elected Donald Trump in a fair and free election. In 2020 we elected Joe Biden. We are a democracy, and we need to allow the people’s will—and the votes they cast—to guide us.
As a nation, we should collectively want all eligible voters to vote. Unfortunately, on average, just over half of all eligible voters exercise this right. We must support any efforts to register eligible voters and remove any barriers for American citizens to exercise their rights.
We need to recognize and promote multiple methods of casting a ballot. In-person, mail-in, and absentee ballots are all valid and secure.
Despite the constant rhetoric coming from opponents to democracy, we have and will continue to have elections absent of widespread voter fraud, but continued investment in safeguarding our elections against any foreign influence is vital.
Gerrymandering to support one candidate over another is not who we are, and we must seek to end this practice. I support independent, non-partisan redistricting committees to evaluate maps and redraw them fairly and accurately. Maps should not give an unfair advantage to any party, Democratic or Republican.
Strengthening our governmental ethics and campaign finance rules to protect our democracy is necessary.
Our system is not perfect, and I support improvements to our election. The House has passed two bills that would protect our democracy and the right to vote, both would bring necessary improvements and enhancements to our system:
In March, the For The People Act, H.R. 1 passed the House. My opponent did not vote on the bill. The bill is designed to improve access, promote integrity, and ensure the security of our elections. If I were in Congress as your Representative, I would have voted for this bill.
On August 24, 2021, my opponent voted against the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, H.R. 4. This bill aims to protect the right to vote and would strengthen the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It would make any voter restriction efforts more difficult for states to implement in the future. If I were in Congress as your Representative, I would have voted for this bill.
My opponent voted against certifying a fair election. He did not cast a vote on the For the People Act, and he voted no on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
These are three positions that don’t reflect and represent our district, nor do they promote the will of the people. I fundamentally disagree with my opponent because our democracy is stronger when it is accessible to as many eligible voters as possible.
I'm humbly asking for your support in making this reality when honored to be a Representative for Northern Michigan and the UP.
Thank you for your consideration.
Robert J. Lorinser, Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress | Michigan 1st District
The Dr. Bob Lorinser campaign for U.S. Congress started a new fundraising quarter on Jan. 1, 2022. After successfully completing a three-month, six-figure milestone, the campaign seeks to expand outreach to the new 1st Congressional District in Michigan, comprising of six new counties across nearly 30,000 square miles. This effort takes a lot of resources. Can you chip in today?
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