Washington, D.C., January 19, 2021 – Following the decision by Senator Chuck Schumer to designate the ‘For the People Act’ as the honorary first bill, S.1, of the 117th congress, Brady urges both chambers to quickly pass S.1 alongside H.R.1, its companion bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2019. These bills will safeguard and build upon the efforts ahead of the 2020 election to expand access to our democracy and the ballot, which resulted in the most secure election in American history with record-breaking participation.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“The violent attack on our Nation’s Capital was an attack on our democracy. That is why we need Congress to pass the ‘For the People Act,’ more than ever before. This bill will remove the influence of dark money from politics, such as the dark money chokehold that the NRA and gun lobby has held over elected officials for a generation, stopping needed and life-saving change. The ‘For the People Act’ seeks to dismantle the racist and systemic barriers to voting faced by Black and Brown Americans, such as dangerous voter intimidation and voter suppression like closed polling stations and long lines. For the gun violence prevention movement, the effort to expand access to our democracy is inseparable from the effort to end gun violence. When all citizens’ voices are heard, and their votes counted, our nation’s gun laws reflect the common-sense policies that the majority of its residents want.
Following the historic 2020 election where a record-breaking number of Americans voted to choose their leaders in spite of the surging coronavirus pandemic, now is the time to act. We must build on the policies put in place to allow Americans to vote in record numbers, including vote-by-mail. Brady urges both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to pass this bill at once and looks forward to working with members of both parties in both chambers to make this law.”
About S.1. and H.R.1.:
The For the People Act is a once-in-a-generation package of proven reforms that would, among other things, put ordinary Americans ahead of big-money donors, expand and protect voting rights and access to the ballot, hold elected officials accountable, and more. These reforms go to the core of our ability to create a representative democracy and address America’s gun violence epidemic.
About Voting Access as a Gun Violence Prevention Issue:
Though overwhelming and bipartisan majorities of Americans support common-sense gun violence prevention solutions such as universal background checks, federal action on these policies remains stalled. It is clear that, when our government does not represent the totality of its citizens, it is not responsive to their needs.
Nearly 40,000 Americans die from gun violence a year, while communities who are continuously shut out of our democratic processes bear a disproportionate amount of that burden. Ensuring that all citizens who want to exercise their right to vote are able to do so freely and easily is vital to enacting common-sense gun laws.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.