Local leaders call for action on the 1-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots

NOW: Local leaders call for action on the 1-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It's been one year since the attacks on the US Capitol building and those inside it. Local leaders and community groups in Milwaukee held an event, and they called the riots on Jan. 6, 2021 an attack on democracy. They said the fight to save it has only just begun. 

"That dark day is still etched in my mind," said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. 

Events at City Hall started with a presentation of flowers placed under the names of the nine people who were killed in the chaos. 

Reverend Greg Lewis with Souls to the Polls pushed for Wisconsin state leaders to act on expanding rights for voters instead of limiting them with things like, "no curbside voting, voter intimidation, gerrymandering, long lines, proof of citizenship laws."

Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson is still in quarantine after a positive COVID test, but Democratic State Representative Christine Sinicki read a letter from him. In it he advocated for the federal 'Freedom to Vote Act.' It would create national standards around voting rules, like early and absentee voting. 

"We must recommit ourselves to setting a high standard for all politicians of all parties, to put country over party when democracy itself is at stake," Sinicki read. 

Speakers all urged people to channel their anger from the Jan. 6 events towards activism and getting out to vote.

"We have to elect people and individuals with values who believe in the democratic principles of this country," said Crowley. 

The Freedom to Vote Act was introduced by Democrats in September. It was not passed during a vote in October, and it has since been reintroduced. The Senate will look into modifying or passing the bill by the end of this month. 

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