Joe Madison is starting a hunger strike in solidarity with all those who are calling on Congress and President Biden to protect voting rights.
“As a political protest, I am beginning a hunger strike by abstaining from eating until the Senate passes and President Biden signs the Freedom to Vote Act or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” stated radio talk show host Joe Madison.
His hunger strike comes on the heels of the inaction of the Senate to advance voting legislation for the fifth time. Both bills were recently passed by the House of Representatives, and both have stalled in the Senate by a party-line Republican filibuster. Senate Democrats failed to advance the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act after Republicans blocked the vote from advancing to debate.
The legislation would replace part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that the US Supreme Court struck down in 2013 and would aim to restore Justice Department review of changes in election law in states with a history of discrimination. The bill did not receive the 60 votes needed to overcome a legislative hurdle called a filibuster, preventing the start of debate on the legislation.
In a vote of 50 to 49, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the only Republican who supported proceeding to debate. Speaking from the Senate floor prior to the vote, she said while she had “reservations” on the legislation, she believed it was the best starting point to begin debating voting rights legislation.
Madison spoke out, saying, “All of you know, my show is action-oriented and personifies taking action. I always say, ‘What are you going to do about it?’ And for me, it’s not just a slogan. It is what drives me and inspires me. So I have begun this hunger strike, I should say this, in solidarity—let me repeat, in solidarity—with all those who are calling on Congress and the President of the United States to protect our voting rights.”
Madison continued by stating, “I am here to say at some point we’ve got to change these moments into movements. And the difference between a moment and a movement is sacrifice; this is a moral as well as political cause for me, it is a component of a much larger movement.”
About Joe Madison
Joe Madison grew up in Ohio and maintained a close relationship with his parents and grandparents who were influential during his youth. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
Joe Madison is a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, and the no-nonsense host of SiriusXM channel 126 The Urban View. Formerly a national political director of the NAACP, Joe Madison has long been active in the top circles of African American leadership and activism. Joe lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Sharon.