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Fred Yamashita
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Statement from Arizona AFL-CIO Executive Director Fred Yamashita on Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s Floor Speech in Support of the Filibuster

The legitimacy of our democracy rests on our ability to participate at the polls. Generations of union members have shaped our communities, our counties, and our country by exercising this sacred right. Sadly, over the last year, former President Trump and his enablers in the Arizona legislature have worked tirelessly to undermine our electoral process and restrict our right to vote. This week alone, our state legislature introduced ten bills that would further restrict our access to the ballot box, continuing a reprehensible trend from 2021.

While Senator Sinema’s support of the advancement of voting rights is recognized by our labor movement, her decision to protect the filibuster to the detriment of our democracy is devastating. Working people cannot afford to let voting rights legislation fall victim to a procedural tool conceived during segregation. Without an immediate federal response to pass both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Arizona legislature’s majority party will stop at nothing to prevent working people’s access to our electoral process. We urge Senator Sinema to reconsider her position immediately.