BALTIMORE — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin yesterday addressed the 108th NAACP Annual Convention, calling on its members to remain unified and unwavering in the ongoing struggle to advance civil and human rights nationwide. Noting that the current political climate is not one inclined to embrace progress on key social issues, Senator Cardin spotlighted the critical role of the NAACP as a driver for change. Specifically, Senator Cardin asked NAACP members to continue to work in support of the immediate passage of two pieces of legislation he has authored, the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act and the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act.
“Taken together, these two pieces of legislation can begin to heal the fractured relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. They can be the beginning of a renewed push to fully deliver all Americans the civil rights they deserve,” said Senator Cardin. “Make no mistake: We are fighting for the soul of America … and we must always be in this fight together so that all people can share in the American dream.”
On a panel with fellow elected officials that have championed progressive change that included fellow U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), along with Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) [pictured below with NAACP Washington Bureau Director Hilary Shelton], Senator Cardin also spoke to the irreplaceable role that the NAACP plays in communities and policy debates across the country.
“We need the NAACP now like never before. Your agenda is America’s agenda. And the stakes could not be higher,” said Senator Cardin. “We’re not going to get a lot of help from the executive branch of government. We don’t have an Attorney General who is going to fight for the core values of diversity and inclusion. So we must be in this together, fighting for our shared values of diversity, inclusion and progress. ”