social justice and equal rights

Eliot has distinguished himself in Congress as an unwavering champion of civil and equal rights and social justice.   

  • Working for criminal justice reform, fighting for meaningful reforms to address the needs of individuals and communities that suffer under the current system.
  • He authored a Constitutional Amendment to make the VOTING RIGHTS ACT part of the Constitution and sponsored H.R. 1, the FOR THE PEOPLE ACT, which includes protecting and expanding the right to vote.
  • Sponsored legislation to create a Commission to investigate and report on hate crimes and is working to pass the NO HATE Act to improve hate crime reporting, create hate crime hotlines and assist hate crime victims seek justice.     
  • Eliot has sponsored Congressional Resolutions denouncing white supremacists
  • Co-sponsor of the COMMISSION TO STUDY AND DEVELOP REPARATION PROPOSALS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS ACT.
  • Co-sponsored the HOUSING IS INFRASTRUCTURE ACT OF 2019, introduced by Maxine Waters, to facilitate the construction of affordable housing.
  • Eliot became an original co-sponsor of the PROTECT SNAP ACT. This bill aims to restore nutrition benefits for nearly 700,000 people who are impacted by Trump’s curtailment of SNAP benefits in 2019,
  • Co-sponsor of the COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY ACT which includes the restoration of Pell Grants allowing incarcerated individuals to pursue higher education in prison. Higher education is proven to dramatically reduce recidivism rates.  
  • Authored and introduced the MATERNAL HEALTH QUALITY IMPROVEMENT ACT to address the rising rate of maternal mortality, disproportionately among African-American women.
  • Co-sponsor of the MARIJUANA OPPORTUNITY REINVESTMENT AND EXPUNGEMENT (MORE) ACT to expunge records for certain marijuana offenses, reinvest in communities impacted by the War on Drugs and decriminalizes and reschedules marijuana.
  • In 1996 Eliot was one of only 67 Members of Congress to vote against the Republican’s DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT (DOMA), which defined marriage as only between a man and a woman. DOMA was overturned in a landmark Supreme Court decision.
  • Each year, Eliot marks GLSEN’s “Day of Silence” by introducing a resolution supporting the student-led movement to end LGBTQ bullying and harassment. 
  • Co-sponsored legislation opposing Trump’s 2018 travel ban on Muslims entering our country.
  • Supported raising the federal minimum wage to $15.
  • Helped pass the historic Equality Act, extending federal protections for LGBTQ Americans. Eliot is also a member of the House LGBT Equality Caucus. 

Eliot says, “”I want everyone to live in a fair, just America. This means working to change our nation so everyone, no matter their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation, have equal rights, equal pay for equal work, quality affordable health care, safe communities, schools that provide children with a strong education, and equal treatment in our criminal justice system.”

Eliot earned a 100% rating from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights,  the NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and the Human Rights Campaign. He also earned an “A” from the NAACP for his fight for civil and equal rights for all and against hate crimes.

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I know there is a lot of consternation and concern in the community right now. What’s happening is unprecedented; the coronavirus outbreak has led to school and business closings, economic uncertainty, and above all, concerns about public health.