WASHINGTON – Bend the Arc: Jewish Action released the following statement on Wednesday in response to the U.S. House of Representatives passing the HR1 For the People Act:
“The American people joined together in November to demand a government that is accountable to all its residents,” said Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Washington Director of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “The House passage of HR1 is a first step in fulfilling the promise of a government of, by, and for the people, and the Senate should join their House colleagues in passing this bill without delay.”
“Unfortunately, while Americans continue calling for free and fair elections that make every voice heard, Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures across the country are working furiously to further undermine democracy and our right to vote. They are seeing what happens when voters choose their politicians instead of the other way around, and they are introducing more and more bills that attempt to disenfranchise Black and Brown voters in order to preserve a broken system that enshrines their own political power and wealth.”
“The violent attack on the Capitol on January 6 is a symptom of the right’s desperate attempts to hold onto power at any cost and underscores the urgency of efforts such as HR1 to transform our political system into one that truly represents all Americans. For generations, Jewish Americans have fought to expand access and protect the freedom to vote, and we will continue fighting for these pro-democracy reforms so our leaders can get to work building a country where everyone can thrive.”
Since the 2020 election, 43 states have introduced more than 250 bills to restrict or limit voting access this year – intentionally aiming to drown out the voices of Black and Brown voters who voted in record numbers this past election. The For the People Act will increase political power in Black and Brown communities by bringing together the most effective reforms enacted in states to create national standards that protect our freedom to vote and limit the power of special interests and wealthy donors.
It will also eliminate partisan and racial gerrymandering, which allows politicians who are driven by the priorities of special interests to draw districts and cherry-pick their voters. This racist practice has determined who will win elections for the rest of the decade, while silencing Black and Brown communities.
The For the People Act will also advance reforms that build the power of small donors in our elections to open up our political system to all Americans, including ensuring that Black and Brown communities, and more women, can run for elected office.
Bend the Arc has long advocated for the strengthening of voting rights and the repair of the Voting Rights Act following the disastrous Supreme Court Shelby County v Holder decision.Print