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New Deal for Youth: “For the People Act Must Pass, Very Least America Can Do to Protect Democracy”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: CLASP@itseleventhirtysix.com  

July 13, 2021 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, young leaders from the A New Deal for Youth initiative called on Congress to pass the “H.R. 1 – For the People Act.” A New Deal for Youth Changemakers, as the young leaders are called, firmly support passage of the bill, but note that it is the bare minimum Congress can do to protect American democracy.  

A New Deal for Youth rated the ‘For the People Act’ a 3.3 out of 10 on its legislative scorecard, applauding provisions included in the bill that would make it easier for young people to vote such as making Election Day a federal holiday and requiring additional resources be allocated to community polling systems. However, A New Deal for Youth Changemakers say that policymakers must do more  to counter voter suppression tactics across the country that disproportionately impact young people and people of color. More on the ways A New Deal for Youth Changemakers believe the ‘For the People Act’ falls short here.  

Aiden McCloud, A New Deal for Youth Changemaker from West Virginia said: “The ‘For the People Act’ must be passed. Passing this piece of legislation is the best way to guarantee that all voting rights are upheld and that anyone who wants to participate in our democracy can do so with as little hassle as possible.” 

Kaylyn Goode, A New Deal for Youth Changemaker from Washington, DC said: “At a time when state governments across the country are implementing measures to make voting even more difficult and less accessible, a federal piece of legislation is needed to protect the rights of voters nation-wide. This bill may not address this country’s history of voter suppression, especially targeting people of color and young people; however, it would be a monumental step towards protecting and truly building a democracy that equally serves all Americans.” 

Nia West-Bey, Director of CLASP’s youth team said: “We believe the ‘For the People Act’ should be passed; it is unfortunate that our nation’s leaders are unable to be on the same page about what is required to protect the very foundation of our democracy. This bill is the very minimum we can do to ensure people in communities across the country have their votes protected and counted, but does not go far enough to dismantle policies that endanger the right to vote for young people and communities of color. We call on Congress to swiftly pass H.R.1, but to also work with young people in their communities who have the passion, energy, and ideas to ensure civic participation doesn’t just happen on Election Day, but throughout every day of the year.” 

A New Deal for Youth Changemakers will continue to score legislation and policy proposals according to criteria informed by their personal experiences and by proposals they are developing with Congressional allies and partner organizations. Young leaders from A New Deal for Youth are available to discuss their experiences and ideas that Congress and the Biden Administration can implement to better address their urgent needs. 

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About A New Deal for Youth  

A New Deal for Youth is a youth-led, youth-centered effort advocating for the creation of new systems, policies, investments, and structures that reimagine life for young people in America. Through defining and advancing a transformational and holistic agenda that addresses the urgent challenges young people are facing due to COVID-19, the economic downturn, and structural racism, A New Deal for Youth Changemakers, partners, and allies are developing visionary policy proposals and community solutions that help shape public discourse and that decision-makers at the federal, state, and local levels and in the private sector can implement to address this crisis. Learn more at www.newdealforyouth.org.   
  

About CLASP and the CLASP Youth Policy Team   

CLASP is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty nonprofit advancing policy solutions for people with low incomes. CLASP develops practical yet visionary strategies for reducing poverty, promoting economic opportunity, and advancing racial equity.  

The CLASP Youth Policy team seeks to advance a vision for America co-created with youth and young adults, ages 16-25, that centers safety, healing and well-being, and economic and racial justice. The team advances policy, community strategies, and investments that support economic mobility, community safety, equal access to quality health care and mental health resources, and that dismantle structural barriers preventing youth of color and youth with low incomes from opportunities to transform their lives. 

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The New Deal for Youth Policy Platform advances radical and interconnected policy ideas that transform current systems, and that center racial, gender, and social justice. Our policies seek to redefine whose expertise, experiences, and systems of knowledge are valued, understanding that young people not only deserve a seat at the decision-making table, but that we can also shake the table and create the menu.
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