From Democracy 21
Democracy 21 joined with over 100 good government, civil rights, environmental, religious, and other groups from the Declaration for American Democracy in sending a letter to all prospective 2020 presidential candidates today emphasizing the importance of prioritizing democracy reforms if elected.
The groups urged candidates to make enacting a democracy revitalization plan their first legislative priority in 2021 if elected. “The American people overwhelmingly reject our rigged political system and corruption in Washington,’ according to Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer.
“The next President must make repairing the rules of our democracy the first priority of his or her presidency, if we are to make progress on solving the social and economic problems facing our country,” Wertheimer said. The groups wrote:
[W]e look forward to seeing your comprehensive plan to address the structural inequities that have denied too many people access to the ballot and silenced too many voices, while giving those with wealth and access undue influence in Washington. Our democratic institutions are under attack and need renewal and repair.
The letter continued:
In addition to proposing a specific, bold platform to combat corruption and strengthen and expand our democracy, we want to know how you’ll champion these reforms on the campaign trail. We’d like to hear how you’ll make your democracy revitalization plan a central part of your campaign and build support for these policies. If elected, this platform’s enactment must be your first priority in 2021.
The letter urged presidential candidates to incorporate the policies included in historic reform legislation H.R. 1, the For the People Act, as the foundation of their democracy platforms and to “explore additional new aspirational reform measures to revitalize our democracy.” The For the People Act passed earlier this year in the House, and was introduced in the Senate (S.949) and cosponsored by the entire Senate Democratic Caucus. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he won’t allow the bill to come to the Senate floor. According to the letter:
Americans are looking for leaders who will take on our broken, entrenched campaign finance system, and who are committed to guaranteeing the absolute right of all eligible Americans to access the ballot. Your leadership and commitment to action on these issues will show voters across the country that, like them, you believe our democracy works best when it represents everyone, not just those able to unduly influence policies based solely on their power and their wealth.
The letter also included a detailed list of potential democracy reforms, many of which are included in H.R. 1 and S.949. Read the full letter and list of signatories here.