As college students in 2021, we have never known a government that truly works for us. Issues that matter to most people — our failing healthcare system, the climate crisis, the COVID pandemic — are rarely if ever addressed by our government, and the response, if there is any, is usually inadequate. Ordinary people like us are shut out from the political process because our elected officials listen to their corporate donors and millionaire friends, and the result is a Washington that works for the few, not for the many.
As young people with fresh eyes, we understand why Washington doesn’t work for normal people like us, and we know how we need it to work if we are to address the multitude of crises facing us in the 21st century. We held a press conference near the Capitol Building to emphasize what Americans already know: our politicians do not work for their voters, but rather their donors. Left or right, Americans know that their government is corrupt, but for the first time in many of our lives, we have a real opportunity to change this if we can succeed in passing the For the People Act. Dark money donors are working to oppose this bill because it would empower everyday people while limiting the influence of super PACs and big donors. It would eliminate gerrymandering. It would give the most marginalized among us a voice that they have never had. The political moment is here to fix a problem that all Americans understand. Unlike other problems that Americans can agree about, we will not let congress and our government evade action on this issue. The future of our democracy depends on this bill, we ask Senator Mark Warner and Tim Kaine: Which side are you on?
George Ardura, Sterling
Gracie Patten, Williamsburg