MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – Tonight, the Student Government Association of West Virginia University voted to pass a resolution in support of the For The People Act. Yesterday at 4:19pm, Marshall University’s Student Government Association also unanimously passed a similar resolution in support of the bill. Otherwise known as House Resolution 1 (H.R.1) or Senate Bill 1 (S.1), this legislation is a powerful package of campaign finance and voting rights reform currently being considered in the US Senate. The only Democratic member of the Senate who has not co-sponsored the legislation is Senator Joe Manchin.
“One of the main reasons I supported President Trump is because he was right: we need to drain the swamp. That’s what passing the For The People Act would do,” said SGA member and WVU student, Jacqueline Bonar. “The root of too many of the problems we face here in West Virginia is our broken democracy. We need to get big money out of politics and make it easier for everyone to vote, and I hope Senator Joe Manchin knows that if he wants to win the support of young conservatives like me, he needs to make sure this bill is passed.”
The Student Government Associations of both West Virginia University and Marshall University are made up of roughly 50 students. Both SGAs boast a cross-partisan mix of members, and they are guided by a purpose of serving as the major bodies in assisting the overall wellbeing of students. Both resolutions passed were brought forward by students organizing with Un-PAC, a statewide organization that activates young people in support of the For The People Act.
“Fixing our democracy is not a partisan issue,” said Isabella Robinson, SGA member, author of the Marshall University resolution, and Un-PAC organizer. “After learning about the For The People Act, I knew that, as a school with so much integrity, Marshall University needed to voice its support and urge our Senators to pass this bill. As a representative of the student body in our school’s government, I commonly hear frustration from my constituents about the ‘real’ government not representing them. I hope my resolution brings attention to how many young people on my campus and across this state are demanding democracy reform, voter accessibility, and all the other things a functioning democracy should have.”
A strong majority of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats, support the For the People Act. According to a recent Data for Progress poll (March 2021), young people (18-29) in West Virginia support the For The People Act by an overwhelming margin of 44 points (64% support, 20% oppose), including a majority of conservative and independent young voters. Despite this support from a politically diverse swath of constituents, extremely wealthy individuals have recently been exposed for conspiring with members of Congress sympathetic to corporate interests to block this legislation.
Un-PAC is a statewide organization ensuring that students and young people in West Virginia are part of the advocacy in favor of the For The People Act. This group believes that fixing our broken democracy is the only way that Congress will become incentivized to address urgent problems that West Virginians face, such as the opioid crisis and crippling student debt. Un-PAC employs dozens of student and youth organizers who are leading the effort to pass the For The People Act on their campuses and in their communities.