Showing posts with label U.S. Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label U.S. Congress. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Rep. Ayanna Pressley Introduces Amendment to Lower Voting Age to 16

WASHINGTON  – Ahead of debate in the House of Representatives on H.R. 1, the For The People Act - transformative legislation that puts the power of democracy back in the hands of the American people, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) introduced an amendment that would lower the federal election voting age from 18-years-old to 16-years-old.  In some states, including Massachusetts, 16- and 17-year-olds can pre-register to vote so that upon their 18th birthday, they can participate in the federal election process. Congresswoman Pressley’s amendment would expand these efforts so that people as young as 16-years-old can elect members of Congress and the President of the United States.

“Across this nation, young people are leading the way – from gun violence, to climate change, to the future of work – they are organizing, mobilizing, and calling us to action,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “My amendment to H.R. 1, the For The People Act, will strengthen the promise of our nation’s democracy. I am proud to propose an amendment that will lower the mandatory minimum voting age from 18-years-old to 16-years-old for federal elections, giving young people the power to elect members of Congress and the President of the United States. In the Massachusetts 7th, young activists remind us daily what is at stake, and just how high those stakes are. Our young people are at the forefront of some of the most existential crises facing our communities and our society at large. I believe that those who will inherit the nation we design here in Congress by virtue of our policies and authority should have a say in who represents them.”

Congresswoman Pressley has stood witness to deep and meaningful levels of engagement and mobilization by 16- and 17-year-olds. Last month, Congresswoman Pressley participated in the Boston Youth Justice Rally, organized by “I Have a Dream,” a statewide coalition of youth organizers.  At the rally, Congresswoman Pressley stood in solidarity with youth advocates, demanding more youth jobs and an end to youth criminalization. Additionally, Congresswoman Pressley will be hosting a Youth Summit this summer, which will bring youth together to actively engage on policy issues that matter most to them.
You can find text of the amendment here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Court-imposed election map paved way for new Virginia congressmen

When two new members of the Virginia congressional delegation are sworn in Tuesday, they can partially thank a panel of federal judges for their seats in Congress.

The judges fiddled with the boundaries of the districts enough to allow a Democrat to win in Richmond and a new Republican to oust an incumbent in the Virginia Beach area.

That means hello, Rep.-elects Donald McEachin (D) and Scott Taylor (R). Goodbye, seven-term congressman J. Randy Forbes (R).

Their unexpected paths to victory — or early retirement — reveal the extent to which the nuances of an elections map can help determine winners and losers.

The Virginia map changes started with a lawsuit filed by Democratic lawyer Marc E. Elias in 2013.

He argued a district represented by Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D) illegally packed enough African Americans into its boundaries to diminish their influence elsewhere. Elias said the Virginia congressional case in some ways was a model for lawsuits in North Carolina and at the state level in Virginia, for which he is awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

“We learned a lot in Virginia about how the Republican legislature approaches redistricting, and the Republican legislature hopefully learned that it can’t abuse its powers,” Elias said Friday.

The federal judges eventually handed down a new map that moved a significant number of African American voters, a group that tends to vote for Democrats, into Forbes’s district.

Read more: Court-imposed election map paved way for new Virginia congressmen

Thursday, December 29, 2016

N.J. congresswoman, Bonnie Watson Coleman vows to defy proposed GOP broadcast ban

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman has no plans to let a $500 fine get in the way of a protest.

Coleman called on House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other GOP lawmakers to "bring your fines" because she'll "keep on fighting" after news of a plan to pass a rule that would fine lawmakers for using electronic devices to transmit from the House chambers surfaced this week.

Coleman (D-12th Dist.) tweeted the rebuff of the proposed rule change, which was spurred by a July protest in the House chamber on gun safety that Coleman helped organize.

The tweet was a reaction to news that House Republicans next week plan to take steps to prevent Democrats from again taking over the chamber and broadcasting their protests.

The fine would be $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for each subsequent violation. House Republicans could vote on it next week.