WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — This Martin Luther King Day, a spotlight is on the fight over voting rights legislation. With the Senate set to start debate on two voting bills Tuesday, the King family has a message for lawmakers.
Hundreds of people came out to Washington D.C. on Monday to march across the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge for the annual Martin Luther King Day Peace Walk.
Reverend Wendy Hamilton was one of the people leading the crowd alongside the King family.
“They can’t ignore us when they see us show in numbers. So today I was up out of my bed like, ‘Where do we have to go? What to we have to do?’ Because I want to embody the spirit of Martin Luther King,” Hamilton said.
This year, Martin Luther King III, the son of Martin Luther King Jr., used the event to call on lawmakers to pass voting rights legislation.
“We find ourselves embroiled in trying once again to permanently get voting rights straight,” King said.
Marchers from all over the country chanted in support of that message. Laurie Woodward Garcia came up from Florida for the march and to fight for the voting rights bills.
“Our democracy is under threat. Voter suppression in my state is real,” Woodward Garcia said.
Jeffrey Lott lives in Texas and also came to D.C. to be part of the march.
“Equality comes with people being active and getting out there and marching,” Lott said.
Congress is considering legislation that advocates say will expand and protect access to voting. However, the lack of Republican support right now and the Senate filibuster means it’s unlikely to pass.
“To ensure that all Americans have the unencumbered right to vote,” King said.
The King family says they’re no stranger to a fight and promise won’t give up.
“Until all is well, it’s not the end,” Arndrea Waters King, wife of Martin Luther King III, said.