It’s time to tackle the big, structural problems that keep our democracy from working for everyone. It’s time to pass the For the People Act, a sweeping reform bill that would expand voting rights, add millions of new Americans to the rolls, and reduce the influence of corruption and big money in our politics.
Far too many Americans have lost faith in our government because our democracy has never worked for all of its citizens. Instead, it perpetuates a status quo that works well for the rich, white, and well-connected.
Rampant voter suppression prevents millions of Americans from having a voice in government. Barriers to voting and representation, like gerrymandering, racist voter ID laws, unnecessary hurdles to registration, and felony disenfranchisement, disproportionately marginalize Black and Brown people — skewing power in favor of white Americans.
Our broken campaign finance system also reinforces this inequality. The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United vs. FEC allowed wealthy donors and special interest groups to spend unlimited amounts helping elect candidates. This gave the overwhelmingly white, wealthy, and male donors who contribute the vast majority of the money in politics even more sway over our elected officials.
Donald Trump came to power by exploiting both of these dynamics: voter suppression and unjust campaign finance structures that allow a white, wealthy majority to dictate politics. And once in office, he exploited ethical and legal loopholes to enrich himself and those around him.
We must act. Without bold and sweeping change, our political system will never be truly democratic, our government will continue to work only for the privileged few, and we leave ourselves open to future anti-democratic leaders coming to power.
The For the People Act is a bold step towards reducing the racial and economic inequalities in our political system. It would strengthen our democracy by expanding voting rights, reducing the influence of big money in politics, and taking on corruption.
This legislation would enact automatic voter registration and same day registration nationwide, as well as restore voting rights to the formerly incarcerated, reduce voter purges, and expand early voting.
These changes would add tens of millions to the voter rolls — particularly voters of color — and help ensure our democracy works for all of us.
Empowering voters of color on such a large scale would dramatically change the American political landscape. Just take the historic Georgia Senate runoff. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won their Senate seats with narrow margins and their victories certainly would not have been possible without the newly registered voters added to the rolls after activists like Stacey Abrams pushed for the enactment of automatic voter registration four years earlier. Those voters were predominantly younger and people of color.
The For the People Act would also reduce corruption in politics by enacting limits on donations from lobbyists and requiring presidents to release their tax returns and divest from financial holdings. It would increase the power of grassroots campaign contributions from ordinary Americans by enacting a small-donor matching program.
Rooting out corruption and enacting public campaign financing would incentivize candidates to seek out support and donations from all of their constituents, not just the white, wealthy donor class. Decreasing the influence of big money and increasing the influence of constituents would also allow a more diverse candidate pool to run for office and be elected.
The Path to Winning
You might be thinking that this is a lot to address in one piece of legislation. And you’re right. The For the People Act is sweeping democracy reform. Ambitious legislation is worth fighting for, which is why we need you with us in this fight.
In 2019, the House passed the bill with unanimous Democratic support, and there is already momentum now that House Democrats have reintroduced the bill this year. But passage is not guaranteed in the narrowly-controlled Democratic House and even less assured in the 50-50 Senate (with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris!). It will be up to us to let our elected officials know where their constituents stand on democracy reform — and to ensure that they prioritize it and don’t let the filibuster stand in the way.
Support Bold Democracy Reform
House Democrats have introduced the For the People Act, sweeping anti-corruption and voting rights legislation that would increase transparency, reduce the impact of big money in our politics, and protect and strengthen voting rights for all Americans.
Passing this bill would help us build our democracy back stronger and start dismantling the systemic racism that has long suppressed Black and Brown voters.
Make a call to your representative, urging them to support this democracy-strengthening legislation today.