Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, the Voting Rights Act is a landmark piece of national legislation prohibiting discrimination in voting. Section 4(b) of the Act requires federal preclearance for any and all changes to the voting laws that could result in discrimination before enactment by states or parts thereof that had been cited by the Department of State. Since the Supreme Court’s decision in June, harsh voter ID laws having a clear intent to limit the rights of minorities, first time voters, the aged, and the disabled have already been enacted and gone into effect in some states.
“The Village of Ossining is an inclusive community. We celebrate our diversity and are intolerant of discriminatory laws and practices,” said Mayor William R. Hanauer. “A ruling which opens the door for the unjust or prejudicial treatment of any person is against the principles of liberty and democracy.”
The Village’s Board of Trustees is urging Congress to restore to the fullest extent any and all safeguards to the Voting Rights Act in order to ensure protections against all discriminatory practices and policies. A copy of the resolution will be sent to President Barack Obama, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the New York State Congressional Delegation. The resolution will also be available to read on the Village’s website, www.villageofossining.org.
Hanauer continued, “Restoring the Voting Rights Act with language unassailable by the Supreme Court would correct the Court’s recent undermining of centuries of progress toward greater freedom and expanded rights for all Americans. Our Village is in the midst of a renaissance; we’ve made a number of important strides in recent years and look forward to a bright and fully inclusive future for all who live here.”
Earlier in May, the Village Board of Trustees adopted Local Law No. 1-2013, which provides opportunities for individuals to secure education in skilled construction trades by requiring apprenticeship training programs of contractors in connection with certain public works contracts. On an environmental front, the Village maintains its stance against hydraulic fracturing ("hydrofracking") following a resolution last year requesting that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation extend the moratorium for an indefinite period to allow further evaluation of the risks posed.
“The Village of Ossining has a progressive Board of Trustees that recognizes the importance of developing and sustaining a strong workforce as well as protecting our environment, public health, and the rights of our people. We will continue to work on all fronts for the benefit of our current and future generations,” said Hanauer.
For more information on the Village of Ossining, please contact the Village Manager’s Office at 914-941-3554 or visit www.villageofossining.org.
About the Village of Ossining