For Immediate Release: March 3, 2021
Contact: Lee Morrow, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-601-7871
Faith Leaders Support the For The People Act
Sr. Simone Campbell: “There is no constituency against democracy reform other than some powerful elites who have twisted our system to their own benefit.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the For the People Act (H.R.1), the most significant democracy reform bill in more than a generation. We are at a critical inflection point in our nation’s history, and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and the Faithful Democracy Coalition urge all Members of Congress to vote yes on H.R.1.
This hugely popular legislation would expand and protect voting rights for all, end partisan and racial gerrymandering, get dark money out of politics, and restore transparency and accountability in our government. Moreover, it would dismantle the racist and systemic barriers intentionally built over decades to exclude Black and brown voices.
According to Data for Progress and Equal Citizens polling, 67% of Americans support the For the People Act. A majority of Democratic, independent, and Republican voters support this legislation. The House and Senate must listen to the voters and pass the For the People Act into law.
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and the Faithful Democracy Coalition issued the following statements:
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice:
“The For The People Act is faithful democracy in action. 2020 proved that our democracy needs to be secured to protect the vote of people who are too often disenfranchised. This bill answers that call. That’s why the For the People Act is supported by a majority of Democratic, Republican, and independent voters. There is no constituency against democracy reform other than some powerful elites who have twisted our system to their own benefit. Every Member of Congress should support this bill, because H.R.1 is bipartisan in every sense. In a secular democracy, voting is the closest thing we have to a national sacrament, and we must protect this sacrament.”
Sister Quincy Howard, OP, Coordinating Director, Faithful Democracy Coalition:
“Our coalition represents a diversity of faith traditions united by deep concerns for the wellbeing of our democracy. There is a growing sense that our democracy is being hijacked in front of our eyes with aggressive attacks against multiracial representation and a deluge of dark money in politics. The baseline standards and reforms in the For the People Act (H.R.1/S.1) are necessary federal guardrails to protect the voice, the representation, and the dignity of voters in our democracy.
“The faith community engaged in safely getting out the vote in the 2020 election and voters responded, casting their ballots early, by mail and at the polls on Election Day. We celebrate the highest voter turnout in over a century: voters want to be heard and our democracy can still deliver!
“It is in that same spirit that we call for the passage of the For the People Act (H.R.1) as a significant step towards a more inclusive, fair, and truly representative democracy. The people are eager for these reforms which are overwhelmingly popular across the political spectrum. Now we call on our elected leaders to do everything in their power to show that Congress can also still deliver, by passing The For the People Act.”
Andrea Miller, Founding Board Member, Center for Common Ground:
“As a community of color led organization working in rural communities of color in the Southeast, we desperately need the voting rights advancements for our communities. Rural voters without internet find it difficult to plan for early voting with the inconsistent dates and times; many voters in the South do not even have early voting as an option. We applaud H.R.1 for recognizing the challenges faced by rural, older, and disabled voters of color and providing much needed solutions.”
Sister Carol Zinn, SSJ, Executive Director, Leadership Conference of Women Religious:
“The Leadership Conference of Women Religious endorses the passage of the For the People Act (H.R.1). This critical piece of reform legislation will protect and strengthen the sacred right to vote, stop partisan and racial gerrymandering, end the dominance of big money in politics, and restore ethics and accountability in government.
“Catholic sisters are deeply concerned about the state of our nation and the future of our democracy. We are committed to healing our democracy, standing with the disenfranchised, and supporting the common good. This legislation will help to repair our democracy and contribute to the work of building a more perfect union where the dignity of each and the welfare of all are protected.
“We pledge to continue to work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and all people of good will to build God’s beloved community.”
Sheila Katz, CEO, National Council of Jewish Women:
“The For the People Act is a bold reimagining of how our democracy can and should function. It is forward thinking and transformational, acknowledging systemic racism and structural inequities that impact access to voting and addressing them head on. Our democracy is strongest when it reflects the diversity of its people. H.R.1 will help make our democracy work for everyone.”
Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary, American Friends Service Committee:
“The more just and peaceful world we seek requires all voices to be heard and valued. H.R.1 will help give our democracy a chance, challenging efforts to suppress votes and deny equal representation, while beginning to address the destructive role of money in politics.”
Steve Schneck, Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network:
“As we advocate in the spirits of Saints Francis and Clare and believe in the human dignity of all, the Franciscan Action Network is delighted that once again H.R.1 is introduced in the House. Franciscans urge its quick passage through the House and the passage of S.1 in the Senate. As an estimated 265 bills at the state level are now being introduced to roll back voting rights, it is imperative now more than ever to pass H.R.1/S.1 to ensure that all Americans have equal access to the vote and that big money no longer has a stranglehold on our political discourse.”
Rebecca Linder Blachly, Director, Office of Government Relations, The Episcopal Church:
“It is a Christian obligation to vote, as it is the way we express our values and influence our public lives together. In last year’s U.S. election, we saw some of the highest voter turnout on record and election officials helped operate one of the most secure elections in history, despite the challenges of a pandemic. Challenges remain, however, for many who face barriers to voting, a situation that some are working to make worse. To help defend the right to vote, we support the House passage of H.R.1, the For the People Act, which contains critical assurances and reforms to our voting processes that not only a majority of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats support, but that will benefit all of us by increasing our ability to vote and participate in building better communities. We call on the Congress to pass this important legislation.”
Pablo DeJesus, Executive Director, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice:
“We are ready for the next step towards the promise of American democracy. The House is acting, and we must look to the Senate. Our goal is to continue acting for an inclusive democracy–a multiracial, multiethnic, multi-gender, and beloved community for our nation.
“One governed by the people, for the people. In that struggle, we are as one. We will have a democracy that counts every vote and hears every voice.”
Sandy Sorensen, Director, UCC Washington Office:
“Passage of the For the People Act heralds a transformative moment for democracy protection. Taking these crucial steps to dismantle the systemic racist barriers built into voting which exclude Black and brown people helps us live more fully into the ideal of a democracy for all.”
Johanna Mustafa, Policy and Advocacy Manager, Poligon Education Fund:
“Poligon Education Fund supports H.R.1 and calls for its passage as the most sweeping set of reforms to our democracy in a generation.
“For too long, our democracy has not been working for everyday Americans. Unnecessary barriers to voting and intentional voter suppression of Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color (BIPOC) communities has locked people out of our political process. The 2020 election cycle demonstrated the dire need for voter and election protections. As people of faith, we acknowledge such harm and call for the restoration of voting rights, ending voter suppression and reforming election administration to ensure all citizens have equal access to the ballot box.
“We urge Congress to support this pro-democracy, pro-public integrity legislation. We need fair and functional democratic systems where everyone can participate, every vote is counted, and every voice is heard. We demand a democracy that works for all of us.”
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic Sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. The Faithful Democracy Coalition is a growing inter-faith coalition of congregations and faith-based organizations that educate and advocate for transformational federal reforms that protect and strengthen our democracy.