Press release

Chiraag Bains of Demos Testifies in Support of H.R. 1, the For the People Act

H.R. 1 is a comprehensive proposal to address the deep political, racial and economic inequities that diminish the voices of everyday people, and particularly people of color.

Statement to be attributed to Demos Director of Legal Strategies Chiraag Bains

Our democracy only works when we all have an equal say in shaping our collective future. But for far too long, our system of government has catered to special interests to the detriment of working families and communities of color. 

Voter suppression and the influence of big money in politics pose an existential threat to our democracy. It’s time to rebuild our democracy and create the America that all of us – and not just the wealthy and powerful – deserve.

That’s why I’m proud to testify today at the Committee on House Administration and stand in strong support of the For the People Act (H.R.1) – a comprehensive proposal to address the deep political, racial and economic inequities that diminish the voices of everyday people, and particularly people of color. H.R. 1 will usher in a truer democracy.

This bold legislation would expand access to the polls, modernize voter registration, require independent redistricting and protect voters from aggressive purging. It would also commit to fully restoring the Voting Rights Act, amplify the voices of Americans currently drowned out by billionaires and corporate donors, and institute new ethics restrictions to hold federal officials accountable to the people they serve. 

With voter suppression on the rise, this legislation could not be more urgent. Since the Supreme Court’s wrongheaded decision in Shelby County vs. Holder, at least 23 states have erected new barriers to the ballot box, from onerous photo ID laws in North Carolina to voter purges in Indiana and Texas. 

We also cannot overstate the disproportionate racial impact of systemic policing, prosecution and incarceration, which has further diminished the role of people of color in the democratic process. This history of racial bias is compounded by a striking racial wealth gap in America: white, rich and male donors dominate our political system, allowing them to set the agenda in Washington and in state capitols across the country. 

Voter suppression and the influence of big money in politics pose an existential threat to our democracy. It’s time to rebuild our democracy and create the America that all of us – and not just the wealthy and powerful – deserve.