DI Statement on passage of H.R. 1, the "For The People" Act

Friday, March 8, 2019

For Immediate Release
March 8, 2019

Myke Bybee: (202) 567-6103

Statement from Wendy Fields, Executive Director, the Democracy Initiative, on the passage of HR1 in the House:

Today’s passage in the House of H.R. 1, the “For the People Act” is an historic moment for our democracy and a victory that belongs to every American, every organizer, and every coalition that has fought for years to strengthen our democracy. H.R. 1 brings us one critical step closer to repairing our political system, revitalizing our democracy, and fulfilling the promise of our country’s ideals.

Make no mistake: today’s victory began at the grassroots. Last November, a sweeping series of state-level democracy reforms made crystal clear that when democracy is on the ballot, it wins.  Today’s vote in the House is a testament to the thousands of Americans who knocked on doors, made calls, and talked to their neighbors about the threats to our democracy.  Despite a deliberate, organized voter suppression campaign, designed to disenfranchise millions of Americans, and bankrolled by special interests and the wealthy few, the American people are demanding democracy.  

This is our democracy: established on the principle of government for the people, by the people. Together with our 68 partner organizations, we commend the House passage of H.R. 1, but we know our work continues. Our 45 million members are Black, white and brown, families and workers struggling to make ends meet; first-time voters, and citizens returning to society after paying their debts. We refuse to be silenced because we know winning on democracy reforms is not just about democracy as an end in itself; it’s about achieving social and economic justice and building a better world for us all. Now we fight community by community, state by state, in the legislature and at the ballot box to strengthen our democracy. This bill is the new floor, not the ceiling—now we turn to the Senate to continue the fight.

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Statement from Tefere Gebre, DI Board Co-Chair and Executive Vice-President of AFL-CIO:

“For many years, special interests have used their influence to disenfranchise communities of color and take away their voice and their right to be part of our democratic process. H.R. 1 is a major step toward reducing the influence of big money in our democracy and restoring equal access to the ballot box for all voters.”

Statement from Karen Hobert Flynn, DI Board Co-Chair and President of Common Cause:

"The For the People Act (HR 1) is an important first step to solidify the people’s voice in our democracy. For the first time the bill brings together pragmatic solutions to strengthen our democracy in one bold, comprehensive package the American people are demanding. One of the best things about the For the People Act is that it is also by the people — the solutions in it modeled on solutions the people have already won locally and proven they work in cities and states coast to coast."