Follow along with activist & SiriusXM host Joe Madison’s hunger strike for voting rights

“The difference between a moment and a movement is sacrifice,” Madison said of his quest to get the Freedom to Vote Act or John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act signed by Congress.

Matt Simeone
January 14, 2022

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Human and civil rights activist, acclaimed political commentator and SiriusXM Urban View (Ch. 126) host Joe Madison is on day 68 of his hunger strike for voting legislation. Find out more about his decision below and hear him talk about it on his podcast, Joe Madison the Black Eagle.

Madison, who admits that he’s willing to die for the cause, has lost 23 pounds so far in his quest to get the Freedom to Vote Act or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act signed, sealed and delivered. The hunger strike is meant to draw parallels between the necessity of voting rights to sustain democracy much like food is essential for sustaining life. Throughout this journey, Madison has vowed to not consume any solid foods until Congress takes action in light of the introduction of over 400 bills proposing voting restrictions in 49 states last year.

Related: Celebrate Joe Madison’s induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame

“I am not going to have my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren go through what our ancestors went through,” Madison said. “The difference between a moment and a movement is sacrifice.”

The Freedom to Vote Act aims to shield elections from voter suppression, gerrymandering, partisan sabotage and financial influence. The FTVA’s goals include making election day a national holiday, requiring states to accept mail-in votes and restoring voter rights to formerly incarcerated civilians, to name a few. John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore and strengthen parts of the Voting Act of 1965, which was enacted to ensure voter protection in states with histories of discrimination.

And despite Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the horizon, Madison has no plans to celebrate and will instead treat it as another day of action in honor of what activists before him would have expected.

Related: Honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy with tributes across SiriusXM

“No celebration without legislation,” Madison declared.

Hear Madison share regular updates on his hunger strike — which has drawn attention and support from bestselling author Don Winslow, acclaimed filmmaker and comedian Judd Apatow, CNN anchor Don Lemon, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (who shared encouraging commentary on The Dean Obeidallah Show this week) and many others — on SiriusXM Urban View.For more information about Urban View, click here.