The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kristen Voorhees,, 202.548.7166

Senate Must Act on Democracy Reform, Say Gupta, Rep. Sarbanes in The Hill


In an opinion piece in The Hill, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-3), called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a floor vote on the democracy reform package, the For the People Act. Sarbanes, chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force, helped lead efforts to pass the bill in the House of Representatives.

"The For the People Act offers a transformative vision for democracy that puts the American people and our shared values first. Importantly, it also commits to restoring the heart of the Voting Rights Act," Gupta and Sarbanes say in the piece. But, McConnell "appears determined to derail efforts to fix our democracy and expand the franchise," and he "fears any threat to the kind of system he has built--one dependent on a diminished electorate where everyday people are disenfranchised while powerful, freewheeling special interests pull too many of the strings."

The piece outlines the countless hurdles voters face to make their voices heard in addition to the public's overwhelming support for democracy reform. "Democracy is foundational to America's highest values," Gupta and Sarbanes write. "From its base grow equity and justice, and freedom and opportunity. But when people's voices are blocked from civic participation--as they increasingly are today--our hard-won progress becomes vulnerable."

The full piece can be read here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society - an America as good as its ideals.

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