Independence Day Statement from America Votes President Greg Speed

July 2, 2020

Contact: CONTACT: Sahil Mehrotra,

America Votes President Greg Speed released the following statement marking this year’s observance of Independence Day:

“As America marks this 244th anniversary this weekend of our independence and the founding of our imperfect union, we grapple with how much more imperfect we’ve become. The events and crises of recent weeks and months have revealed a nation retrogressing from the top down in ways rarely seen across our troubled history.

“From its founding, America has failed to live up to the ideals put forward in our founding document to extend its promise and privileges to Black and Indigenous peoples, to women, to people of color, and many more. Nonetheless, the Declaration of Independence endures as a profound statement of equality, the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as well as the right of free people to “alter or abolish” government ruled by tyrants.

“Indeed, the acts of tyranny enumerated by our founders, including refusal to assent to the rule of law, infringements on democratic representation, restrictions on immigration, and obstruction of justice are a reminder of the banality of tyrants from King George to Donald Trump.

“As Independence Day 2020 approaches, we are living through a time of both enormous crisis and great potential for transformational change. The movement for Black lives and struggles for racial justice, equity, inclusion, and empowerment throughout society are coalescing at a time in which the failures of our opponents and their ideology of hatred, division, self-interest, and suppression have been exposed more clearly than ever.

“As distressing as our current moment is in so many ways, our nation may finally be moving forward in the process of justice and reconciliation necessary to make the promise of our founding declaration manifest in the lives of all its people, most especially the Black lives and people of color expressly and systematically excluded throughout our history.

“Victory in the 2020 election is an essential step in that process of reconciliation, but we’ve learned that one election or candidate alone cannot bring transformational change. That change will come from empowering all people with agency over their own lives and communities, and with free and unfettered access to voting being one critical means of engagement.

“America Votes is proud to be engaged with so many outstanding partner groups and allies in this work of democracy and movement building toward freedom and true equality for all. Across the country, voter registration, education, and engagement continues amid converging national crises. Our coalition’s efforts will contribute tremendously to protect the rights of voters to participate in a free and fair election this fall while empowering and mobilizing them to hold failed leaders and would-be tyrants accountable.

“When voters deliver this accountability via the ballot in 2020, it will reflect the best in our founding declaration and move us one modest step forward in making its promise of true equity and justice a reality for the many who have been systematically excluded for 244 years and counting.

“From everyone at America Votes, best wishes for a safe, healthy, and empowering Independence Day.”


America Votes is the central coordination hub of the progressive community both nationally and in more than 20 states across the country, working with more than 400 state and national partner organizations to advance progressive policies, win elections and protect every American’s right to vote. Visit for more information.