We believe that each and every American deserves the right to vote and to participate in elections and our government without unnecessary obstacles in their way. A democracy should be inclusive and not suppress the voices or votes of any American. Only when all Americans are heard can we have a government that represents all of us.
Our democracy is under attack. State legislatures across the country are working day and night to disenfranchise voters, particularly voters of color, for political gain. 30 states have enacted laws that restrict access to the ballot box since the 2020 election. Allowing state legislatures to legally disenfranchise millions of voters nationwide will undermine our democratic values and also will suppress the will of the people perpetually. We need to make voting easy through policies such as vote-by-mail, same-day voter registration and automatic voter registration, eliminate gerrymandering, as well as the introduction of Election Day as a federal holiday, among other proposals.
American citizens residing in DC have been denied the rights of those in states, the right to federal representation. They bear the same responsibilities of all Americans, paying federal taxes and taxes to federal programs, with no representation to yield for it. It is time we right the wrong of denying over half a million citizens their full right to federal representation, the basis of the American Revolution.
Self-Determination for US Territories
The US’s history of imperialism and not granting the same rights to all citizens make it imperative that we allow US territories to determine their own fate. Whether it is Puerto Rico or any other US Territory: If the citizens of a territory want to become a state, they should be allowed to become a state. If they want to be independent, they should be allowed to be independent. The bottomline is that the citizens of US territories are the best people equipped to determine what is best for them.
It’s time that future generations receive some say, beyond voting, for matters in the US Government. It’s necessary that we have formal and recognized youth representation from qualified individuals in both legislative and executive branches of government in the form of councils or boards that serve as a form of advisement for the president and lawmakers alike. Youth voices and youth issues deserve and need to be heard to protect the interests of youth generations moving forward and to better protect the future of this country and the world. This starts with establishing a White House Young American Advisory Council.
Abolish the Filibuster
The filibuster, a long-time abused system in the Senate (typically used to block popular legislation from passing), can block all progress in acting on critical issues like civil rights. It is a completely undemocratic process that stifles the will of the people and places power in the hands of self-acting politicians. For our government to truly act on the will of the people instead of the interests of a powerful few, it is necessary that we eliminate the use of the filibuster, so that Congress can pass crucial legislation. 56% of college students support abolishing the filibuster to allow legislation to pass through the Senate with a simple majority.
Campaign Finance Reform
Money in politics is the source of many of our problems. Political donations are at an all-time high. Super PACs, special interest groups, and political parties alike all funnel endless amounts of money to elect more members of their party and to ensure specific policies are enacted or blocked. Many of our politicians are working at the benefit of themselves and their donors, and not the constituents that elected them into office. It’s critical that we limit money in politics while simultaneously disallowing politicians from impacting legislation when they receive considerable amounts of money from stakeholders of that legislation.
If you’re interested in reading more, you can download the full Voters of Tomorrow Policy Platform.