"We must commemorate the historic steps taken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President Lyndon Johnson and other leaders of that era who worked to guarantee equal opportunities for all citizens. We best honor the struggle of the civil rights movement by keeping vigilant in our efforts to build a society that reflects our values of fairness and liberty." Yvette Clarke
Protecting Our Civil Liberties
As we work to prevent future terrorist attacks from occurring on our soil, we must also work to guard our civil liberties and not allow the terrorists to undermine our democracy by an unduly invasive response. Clarke supports an amendment to the 9/11 Commission bill to create a bipartisan Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to advise the Administration on how best to implement new anti-terrorism laws and policies without unnecessarily infringing on the daily lives of citizens.
The federal government should work to protect the public, gather intelligence and safeguard national security, but we must also uphold the due process rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
The 1965 Voting Rights Act Must be Renewed in 2007
In the 40 years since its passage, the Voting Rights Act has guaranteed millions of Americans the equal opportunity to participate in the political process. One of the most successful civil rights laws ever enacted by Congress, the VRA abolished literacy and other tests which had been used to deny blacks and other minorities the right to vote. The genius of the act was not simply that it outlawed discrimination at the ballot box. It also gave voters new tools to ensure fundamental fairness in the voting process. In 2007, some of these important mechanisms will expire unless Congress acts.
Supporting Diversity in Education
Clarke believes it is important to promote diversity in higher education.
Clarke believes the educational experience is enhanced by the interaction between students of diverse backgrounds and he supports the efforts of universities to pursue equal opportunity for all Americans. The Supreme Court ultimately recognized the positive impact that affirmative action programs have on higher education.
Preventing Hate Crimes and Discrimination
Clarke supports the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This legislation is a constructive and measured response to a problem that continues to plague our nation-violence motivated by prejudice. These crimes are especially destructive because their perpetrators seek not only to harm the individual victim, but to make a statement to an entire community. This legislation will remove these hurdles so the federal government will no longer be constrained to wage the fight against hate crimes with one hand tied behind its back.