American democracy is an experiment in self-government that has been continually perfected over the years. But while the U.S. has gradually moved toward realizing a fully inclusive democracy, a small, right-wing majority has been able to seize outsized power, protect the wealthy and powerful and suppress the will of the people in our elections.
Just weeks ago, the violent insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 sounded the alarm on the urgent need to protect our democracy against radical right-wing extremism and white supremacist forces intent on overthrowing our government because of the electoral victories that Black, Latino and other voters of color helped achieve.
To achieve a government that is truly of, by and for the people, our voices – and our votes – must be fairly represented. And the For the People Act (H.R. 1 in the House and S. 1 in the Senate) is a landmark piece of legislation that addresses many of those underlying threats to our political system. This bill is the prescription we need for a more equitable and effective democracy, and will enable our lawmakers to address the countless challenges facing our country.
The reforms that the For the People Act would put into law are transformative. To protect and expand our voting rights and ensure fair political representation, it would provide automatic, online and same-day voter registration. It would provide all voters access to free, universal mail-in voting regardless of where they live. It would guarantee a minimum of 15 days of in-person early voting. It would also bring an end to partisan gerrymandering by creating independent redistricting commissions in every state.
And to counter the rise of big money in politics, it would establish a system of small-donor public financing for congressional and presidential races and increase disclosure requirements for the unlimited outside political spending that was brought about by Citizens United.
In short, the For the People Act would put power where it belongs – in the hands of the people.
In the last Congress, the For the People Act had the support of every single Democrat in both the House and Senate. Now, with unified control of Congress and the White House, there is a path that would allow the For the People Act to become law. But in order to make sure that happens, we must raise awareness about this incredibly important piece of legislation.
Despite extreme polarization in this country, people across the political spectrum are united in their belief that the government must do better in representing the will of the people. The For the People Act is an answer to that call, and it is achievable with this new Congress and administration.
Every American has a reason to support this bill. We have the power to create a democracy that is truly of, by and for the people. Tell your friends, your relatives, and your members of Congress: we must pass the For the People Act.