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'We feel like we don't need more speeches and meetings' | Nonpartisan group on Pres. Biden, VP Harris Atlanta visit

Here's how the nonpartisan progressive group, the New Georgia Group feels about the presidential visit to Atlanta.

ATLANTA — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Atlanta tomorrow, and not all Democrats are happy about the president's visit to the Peach State.

The New Georgia Group, a nonpartisan progressive group, was one of the four Georgia voting rights coalitions that signed a statement saying President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris should skip traveling to Atlanta unless they come with a concrete plan to pass federal voting laws immediately.

RELATED: Georgia voting rights advocates urge action from Pres. Biden, VP Harris ahead of Atlanta visit

Kendra Cotton, the Chief Operating Officer at the NGP believes the visit is just for show.

"I would not say that we are excited as we truly believe that the speech is performative and it's kind of like a photo op right now," said Cotton. 

The voting laws in question are the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, both laws first introduced after Biden was elected. 

If passed, the two pieces of voting legislation would help eligible voters, no matter where they live, get registered and vote and have their vote counted. 

"We feel like we don't need more speeches and meetings. We need action and so unless the president is coming here to announce the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, we just really can't for the life of us figure out what the point is," Cotton said. 

She added that the time spent traveling could be used elsewhere. 

"You're coming down, you're bringing other senators or bringing senators along with you that we've heard that essentially, you know, to make a speech that could have been made in D.C. and if the speech was made in D.C., that would enable those senators to, you know, get back to work, to work towards getting a yes, said Cotton. 

The statement against the presidential visit was signed by the Black Voters Matter Fund, the Asian American Advocacy Fund, the New Georgia Project Action Fund and the GALEO Impact Action Fund, an organization representing Latinos.

“Georgia voters made history and made their voices heard, overcoming obstacles, threats, and suppressive laws to deliver the White House and the US Senate,” the statement said. “In return, a visit has been forced on them, requiring them to accept political platitudes and repetitious, bland promises. Such an empty gesture, without concrete action, without signs of real, tangible work, is unacceptable.”

The full statement can be found at the AJC

The NGP will not be in attendance at the presidential visit tomorrow. 

"We're tired. We haven't had an opportunity to rest and it's been unrelenting," said Cotton. 

 

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