The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) stands behind Our Power, Our Message, in support of H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2021. CBC Chairwoman Joyce Beatty offered the following quote regarding the bill: “As the Congressional Black Caucus celebrates its 50th anniversary, we continue to fight for Black people and our communities. The importance of H.R.1 cannot be overstated, and the active participation and advocacy of the Congressional Black Caucus have been critical in helping to ensure the legislation adequately addresses the needs of the communities we serve and does not dilute minority representation. The Congressional Black Caucus has worked with House leadership, civil rights organizations, and voter advocacy groups to ensure H.R. 1 addresses the full range of election reform”.
Notably, the legislation includes authored amendments by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman GK Butterfield, former chair of the CBC. Congressman Butterfield’s amendment requires another “set of eyes” on the final map. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson provided the following quote: “the amendment will ensure diversity and to prevent discrimination in the selection of the redistricting commission members”. Most recently, CBC leadership led by Congressman Hank Johnson met with Stacey Abrams, election access champion and founder of Fair Fight Action, to discuss the importance of diminishing voter suppression to ensure open and fair elections. The CBC has also actively engaged with the NAACP, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and a host of other organizations to ensure H.R.1 reflects the needs and interests of Black people, arguably one of the nation’s most important, yet marginalized, constituencies.
In addition to critical improvements and reforms in the Campaign Finance and Ethics landscape, H.R.1 authorizes Independent Redistricting Commissions to prevent state legislatures from drawing congressional maps that are racially and politically gerrymandered. The commission will be required to use orderly criteria for drawing maps to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the U.S. Constitution. Any citizen may challenge the map in federal or state court, and enforcement of the map will be delayed until a final court decision.
H.R. 1, the For the People Act, will protect the right to vote, ensure our elections’ integrity, hold elected officials accountable, and end the era of big, dark, special-interest money in our politics. It provides important safeguards to protect our American elections, the cornerstone of our nation’s democratic system of government.