AUGUSTA, MAINE– Un-PAC organizers, representing thousands of young people and students across Maine, met with Senator Susan Collins’ office this week to discuss their support for the For the People Act (H.R.1/ S.1), a comprehensive democracy reform bill that addresses voting rights, campaign finance, and Congressional ethics. The students presented Senator Collins’ office with hundreds of pledge signatures from young Mainers across the political spectrum stating that their support for Senator Collins is contingent on her passage of the For The People Act. The students also delivered letters of support from various student and public organizations, advocating for the passage of S.1.
“Senator Collins has a history of reaching across the aisle to make sure Mainers are taken care of,” said Zoe Reed, Un-PAC organizer and University of Maine student, “as a young person, I want Senator Collins to reach out to us by supporting a bill that the majority of young people support.”
When asked if Senator Collins would commit to voting yes on S.1, the Senator’s staff noted several concerns Collins had about the bill including the disclosure provisions and if the bill represents federal overreach. In fact, the Election Clause of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate federal elections; all of the reforms proposed in S.1 pertain to federal elections and therefore do not interfere with states’ rights from a constitutional standpoint. When presented with this information, Senator Collins’ staffer, who leads decisions regarding Maine Elections and campaign contributions, stated that he “needs to take a closer look at the updated text,” of the bill.
“The For the People Act has support from the majority of Democratic and Republican voters. This is the perfect legislation Senator Collins can get behind if she truly believes in bipartisanship,” stated Lotte Parsons, an organizer with Un-PAC and student from Bowdoin College. “Bipartisanship should be defined by what voters on both sides of the aisle want, not by what is politically convenient for members of Congress. 18- 29 year olds make up 13% of Maine’s electorate, and that’s only going to grow. Senator Collins should use this moment to welcome us into this process by passing the For the People Act.”
“That matters to students, and especially me,” said Un-PAC organizer and UMaine sophomore, Bailey Lewis, “Conservative young people agree that passing the For the People Act would give young people from all political persuasions the incentives we need to vote. If Senator Collins wants the support of young people, she needs to pass S.1.”
Un-PAC is a statewide organization activating students and young people to demand long overdue structural democracy reform so that we can actually solve urgent problems. Additional information can be found at www.un-pac.org, or on Twitter at @LetsUnPAC.