You can protect democracy with just a minute or two of your time each day. That’s all it takes to call your Senators and urge them to pass the For the People Act (S1).
Make it a daily habit! Senators pay attention to voters who keep calling.
Senator Cardin: 202-224-4524
Senator Van Hollen: 202-224-4654
Outside Maryland: 888-453-3211
Message: “Please support the For the People Act and do whatever it takes to get it passed.”
Invite three friends to call each day. If they need persuasion, short talking points can be found here and below. Let’s flood the phones!
Why we must flood the phones now!
- It’s now or never. Many states will starting re-districting this fall. S1 will help ensure districts are drawn fairly. Without S1, gerrymandering will be on steroids. This is our last shot to fix this until the 2030 Census.
- Majority Leader Schumer declined to delay the Senate recess until mid-August or later to get S1 passed–we need to make sure our members of Congress use the recess to step up the pressure on their colleauges!
- Public pressure is working. Senate holdouts on S1 and the filibuster are slowly coming around. Biden and the Senate leadership are working the inside game, quietly and persistently. Maryland’s Senators have told us they need to continue hearing from We the People to keep the heat on them and keep S1 front and center.
If you want to step up your democracy game, you can check out a list of opportunities at www.alliesfordemocracy.com to reach the last few hold-out Senators in other states. Click on “Sign up to Fight for the People”.
Talking points for the For the People Act
Polling shows the first two bullets are the most popular provisions in the bill:
- It will end gerrymandering and help ensure Congressional districts are drawn fairly by establishing independent re-districting commissions. States will be re-districting starting this fall based on the 2020 Census. The districts they create will be in place for the next 10 years, until after the 2030 Census.
- It will reduce the influence of billionaire donors and dark money in politics by requiring organizations that spend money in elections to disclose their donors.
- It will ensure elections are secure, fair and accessible to all voters.
Talking points for filibuster reform
- In a democracy, the majority rules. The voters make decisions, not a minority of the legislative body. The Senate’s filibuster rule turns this on its head. It effectively requires 60 votes to pass any legislation, allowing 41 Senators who may represent as little as 14% of the U.S. population to decide what can be brought to the Senate floor for debate and a vote.
- In recent years, the filibuster has been weaponized to abuse the Senate process and has resulted in gridlock. There have been more filibusters in the last two years than in the entire history of the filibuster since the Senate adopted it in 1837.
- This is a Constitutional issue. The filibuster is inconsistent with the Founders’ intent to limit supermajority requirements to extraordinary circumstances, such as impeachment (⅔ of the Senate to convict) and ratification of Constitutional amendments (⅔ of each chamber). Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution gives Congress the overriding power to regulate elections, the bedrock of our democracy. This cannot be made contingent on securing a supermajority of 60 votes not required in the Constitution.
Sources: Common Cause, Brennan Center for Justice, conversations with Maryland MOCs and Senators