Jackson Lee: Dems must be 'vigilant' in ensuring all Americans have right to vote 

Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeConsequential GOP class of 1994 all but disappears Video of Greta Thunberg crossing paths with Trump at UN goes viral Lewandowski: House testimony shows I'd be 'a fighter' in the Senate MORE (D-Texas) says Democrats must be “vigilant” when it comes to ensuring that all Americans have the right to vote ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Jackson Lee, who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), emphasized the importance of eliminating voter suppression and teaching lawmakers how to fight for voting rights from a policy perspective.

“The fact that felons who have done their time are stopped from voting. The fact that people are being purged off lists, voting machines don’t work. There’s no double-check after a vote is cast,” Jackson Lee told Hill.TV contributor Jamal Simmons at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference.

The 12-term congresswoman said this message is what CBC will be driving home to members during this week’s annual conference.

“You have to be vigilant, so what we’ll be teaching here with the NAACP is to get people trained to know the law,” she told Hill.TV.

Jackson Lee also stressed the importance of Democrats getting out into their communities and signing people up to vote, saying that “without registration and activism – there is no voting.”

“Freedom is not cheap and voting does not just happen – you have to fight for it,” Jackson said.

Jackson Lee represents Texas' 18th congressional district, which includes Houston – an area hard hit by Hurricane Harvey last year.

The congresswoman told Hill.TV that some members of the CBC were not able to make conference because of Hurricane Florence. 

"We're concerned about our friends and neighbors and we offer our prayers – and particularly our constituents that would have been here and certainly those members of Congress that working with their constituents, such as congresswoman Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsGOP senator blasts Dem bills on 'opportunity zones' Omar knocks Republicans for appearing to bring phones into highly-classified SCIF room To boost minority serving institutions, bipartisan Future Act needs immediate action MORE [D-N.C.], congressman G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldBlack leaders say African American support in presidential primary is fluid North Carolina ruling could cost GOP House seats Democrats see whistleblower report as smoking gun MORE [D-N.C.] and an array of others," Jackson Lee told Hill.TV. 

Hurricane Florence is still barreling towards the Carolina coasts, with winds speeds expected to topple 80 miles per hour. 

Even though the tropical storm has been downgraded to a Category 2, officials are warning that the storm is still incredibly dangerous. 

Brock Long, who is the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told residents in the affected areas to "not let your guard down," citing the threat of storm surges. 

 — Tess Bonn