My name is Imaan Siddiqui. I am a student at the University at Albany and am the Racial Justice Committee Chair of my University’s Democracy Matters chapter, a student organization dedicated to creating a more representative democracy through campaign finance reform.
This Black History Month, we are advocating for support of the “For the People Act” (H.R.1) and “The John Lewis Voting Rights Act,” which will create a democracy that uplifts marginalized people of color. I am reaching out as a citizen who resides in Huntington to spread awareness regarding the importance of these bills in achieving racial equality in America.
This year we suffered a white supremacist insurrection that made us realize just how precious and delicate our democracy is. However, Congress has the opportunity to protect the sanctity of the democratic system as well as end systemic racial injustices by ending voter suppression and instating campaign finance reform.
Passing “The John Lewis Voting Rights Act” would ensure that discrimination in access to voting will finally end, allowing people of color to participate in their own democratic representation. The “For the People Act,” will curb the destructive power of big money in our political system by providing a way for congressional candidates from traditionally underrepresented communities to run for office without depending on the small group of ultra-rich campaign donors whose money has dominated our elections for too long.
As young people we can make a difference, stand up for democracy, and fulfill the promise of a government of, by and for the people.
Imaan J. Siddiqui (She/Her/Hers)
Democracy Matters’ Racial Justice Committee Chair
University at Albany, Honors College