Democracy upgrade needed

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In the coming days, members of Congress will be voting on an important piece of legislation called the For the People Act (HR1 and S1) that will modernize our democracy and take it from fragile to functional. Every Democrat in the House has co-sponsored the bill, and in 2019 then Congressman Anthony Brindisi voted for it. It is with high hopes yet low expectations that our current member of Congress would put partisanship aside and vote yes on HR1 given her past voting record and rhetoric.

We all benefit from an inclusive, representative democracy, which can happen once Congress votes to make the District of Columbia the 51st state in the union (HR51 and S51). Right now there are more people in DC than in the state of Vermont or Wyoming. Their votes don’t count for the presidency. They have no representation in the Senate, and their one representative in the House doesn’t have a vote.

When DC becomes a state, it will become the first state with the majority of citizens who are people of color. It will have state’s rights, which means a president cannot have tanks driving down the streets and terrorizing people like we saw last summer. The DC statehood bill has been introduced every session for the last 50 years, but finally in 2021 Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer can bring it up for a vote. Please join me in calling Sen. Schumer’s office to let him know we support him voting yes on S1 and S51 for an inclusive, representative democracy at last.

— Sarah Reeske, Clinton

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