During 2021, Open Buffalo is working in coalition with dozens of other statewide organizations to protect voting rights and save our democracy through passage of the "For the People Act" (H.R.1/S.1) in Congress.
Our democracy and our future are under attack; fear mongering about election fraud are leading to new laws being enacted all around the nation that undermine one’s ability to vote, especially in poor communities and communities of color. True democracy is supposed to be rooted in "one person, one vote," however, when corporations and the wealthy are allowed to flood our elections, their priorities drown out the needs of everyday people.
Not only do we need to protect existing provisions, we must expand opportunities to vote in poor and communities of color. The poverty rate in Buffalo is more than twice the national U.S. average at 28.8%. Because of this alarming and disheartening statistic, it is clear that we must find new and innovative ways to ensure more Buffalonians have access to the ballot box, not less.
Through this campaign, we are organizing hundreds of Western New York voices to tell Senator Schumer that protecting our democracy isn’t a partisan issue. The For the People Act would do the following:
- Expand access to the ballot for tens of millions of Americans.
- Lessen the undue influence of a smallgroup of extremely wealthy donors by empowering small donors.
- Ban what’s known as “partisan gerrymandering” where politicians draw their own district lines and instead puts in place uniform standards for congressional redistricting that include stronger protections for communities of color.
- Create automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration and stops voters from being kicked off the voter rolls.
- Shore up rules that block the undue power of big money in politics and ensures they are enforced.
- Strengthen ethics codes across all three branches of the federal government.
Voting and civic engagement are the cornerstones of our democracy. The For the People Act will make sure we have the access to protect our communities. It is important to have the support of our leaders in education. Below, you will find specific information on the Bill.