For the People: Our American Democracy

Meeting Status: 
Rescheduled
Date: 
Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 8:30am
Location: 
1310 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
For the People: Our American Democracy

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COMMITTEE HEARING

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Room 1310 Longworth House Office Building

Hearing: For the People: Our American Democracy

On Thursday, February 14, 2019 the Committee on House Administration will hold a hearing entitled “For the People: Our American Democracy.”  The Committee will meet at 8:30 AM in Room 1310 of the Longworth House Office Building.

Please contact Peter Whippy at peter.whippy@mail.house.gov or 202-225-3244 for media inquiries. 

Please contact Sean Jones at sean.jones@mail.house.gov or 202-225-2061 if you have questions, need additional information, or require special accommodations.

 

Opening Statements

Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) - Opening Remarks: "For the People: Our American Democracy"

“Good morning, and we welcome our witnesses and members. I’d like to bring the Committee on House Administration to order and thank everyone in attendance.

 

“Just a few housekeeping matters – we do have the funeral of our former colleague John Dingell this morning, and so we are going to have panel one prior to that and we will reconvene around 1 o’clock for the second panel. 

 

“I’ll just say that I am pleased that we are having this hearing on “For the People: Our American Democracy.” We have a distinguished group of witnesses who will share their insights and experiences.

 

“Before we hear from them and from our Ranking Member, I would be remiss if I did not thank Congressman John Sarbanes for the tremendous effort that he has made over the years for H.R. 1 that is before us. 

 

“As we know, trust in Government is at a low point, we have many challenges that we have to work on together. One thing is that everyone in this country has a stake in how our country works and the way they express that is through their vote and deciding who their government will be.

 

“The mechanics of our democracy—access to voting, running for office, holding government accountable—have all undergone radical changes in recent years. These changes have tended to restrict the rights of eligible voters to vote. It has made the voices of the wealthy and powerful so loud that they can drown out the voices of ordinary people, our neighbors and our communities.

 

“Cutbacks to early voting, shutting down polling places, and purging eligible voters from the rolls all put barriers to participation to our elections and certainly we have issues with technical matters relative to voting and voting machines. 

 

“There is hope that we can work to restore our democratic promise and H.R. 1 is the beginning of that. 

 

“Ultimately, if we are to address the problems that we face tomorrow, and in the years and decades ahead, it is essential that our democracy works and the voices of all of our citizens, rich and poor, young and old are heard and heard equally. The promise of our democracy is indeed For the People.

“So I look forward to our time this morning, and I would now like to recognize Ranking Member Davis for any statement he may have.”

 

Witnesses

Chiraag Bains
Director of Legal Strategies, Demos

Peter Earle
Wisconsin Civil Rights Trial Lawyer

Brandon A. Jessup
Data Science and Information Systems Professional; Executive Director, Michigan Forward

David Keating
President, Institute For Free Speech

Alejandro Rangel-Lopez
Student

Wendy Weiser
Director, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

Fred Wertheimer
President, Democracy 21

The Honorable Kim Wyman
Secretary of State, State of Washington

Documents