BWA BILL ALERT: FOR THE PEOPLE ACT OF 2019: HR 1 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Background: On March 8, 2019, the 116thU.S House of Representatives passed the historic For the People Act of 2019 (HR 1), also known as “The Restoring Our Democracy” bill. Introduced by Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD) on January 3, 2019 and co-sponsored by 236 House members, HR 1 is a comprehensive bill that expands voter registration and voting access, makes Election Day a national holiday, and limits removing voters from voter rolls. Further, to guard against unjust gerrymandering, the bill provides for states to establish independent nonpartisan redistricting commissions. The bill is organized in three Divisions: A: Voting, B: Campaign Finance and C: Ethics.
Issue: The stated purpose of this comprehensive 706-page bill is to expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen the government’s ethics rules. It is important that African American women and their families be informed about this important legislation.
What the Bill Will Do: The bill would make voting easier for citizens providing for online registration, same day registration for federal elections, at least 15 days of early voting, require paper ballots to protect against computer tampering, and Election Day would be a federal holiday. The bill establishes in the Legislative branch the National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions to improve the cybersecurity of U. S. election systems. The bill addresses election security and includes provisions related to sharing information intelligence with state election officials, protecting the integrity and security of the voter rolls, and supporting states in securing their election systems. The bill addresses campaign financing by mandating disclosure and transparency around campaign contributions from organizations, including Super PACs (addressing the U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United Decision), and expands prohibitions on contributions from foreign nationals. Further, the bill addresses campaign advertising, including online platforms, and revises disclaimer requirements for political advertising. Importantly, convicted felons would regain their right to vote after they have completed their sentences.
The bill also establishes ethics standards including establishing a code of ethics for federal judges, and prohibits members of the House of Representatives from serving on for-profit Boards, and establishes conflict of interest and ethics requirements for federal employees and the White House. Further, the bill requires candidates for President and Vice President of the United States to submit ten (10) years of Tax Returns.
Status of the Bill: HR 1 was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 8, 2019. The bill was received in the Senate on March 12, 2019, and following the second reading on March 14, 2019, was placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders.
What You Can Do:
- Attend a Town Hall in your Congressional District
- Contact Your U.S. Senators at www.senate.gov www.house.govU.S. Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121); and urge the Senate to bring HR 1 to the Floor for a Vote.
- Share this Alert on Your Social Media Platforms
- Host A Forum to discuss the details of HR1 to enable citizens to be informed in your community
Vanita Banks, BWA Legislative Affairs Committee, Updated April 14, 2019
In this season of Thanksgiving let us embrace the words of renowned poet Maya Angelou-
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
Thanksgiving is a time when we gather around the table with family, friends, and loved ones to celebrate our blessings of the past year. It is our time to put aside our differences, give thanks for our blessings, and express our gratitude.
As we are move into the last weeks of 2023, we have witnessed and experienced some of the most challenging times that many of us have ever seen. Amid these times, we have been brought closer together not because of our similarities but because of our differences.
During our 2019 Symposium, Our WA President Gwainevere Catchings Hess said,
THE BLACK WOMEN’S AGENDA, INC. ENDORSES KETANJI BROWN JACKSON’S NOMINATION TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT
The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. (BWA) today announced its enthusiastic support for President Joseph Biden’s nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court. “While there are many individuals, including numerous Black women, who are exceptionally qualified to assume a seat on the nation’s highest court, Ketanji Brown Jackson comes to this moment with impeccable credentials,” said Gwainevere Catchings Hess, BWA’s National President.
The Black Women's Agenda, Inc., under the sponsorship of The Coca-Cola Company and in collaboration with BWA National Collaborating Organizations, proudly presents its virtual learning series of Financial Workshops as a part of I Am the Change: Empowerment Through Economic Freedom. This three-part series, hosted by financial expert Martin Booker of AARP and featuring illustrious guest speakers, is designed to impart essential skills to help black women to unlock their financial potential and take charge of their economic well-being.