For the People Act

Friday, 02 July 2021

July 1, 2021

Senator Mike Braun
374 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Dear Senator Braun:
The Leadership Team of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ is writing you to raise up the op-ed written by Christopher Harris, Marilyn Moran-Townsend, and Ranjan Rohatgi and published in the South Bend Tribune on June 29, 2021 (linked here).

As a person of Catholic faith, we invite you to consider the moral call to recognize the importance of creating a democratic system that takes seriously the voices of each person – and the voice of the Spirit that speaks through the collective voices of the people. If we silence any those voices, we silence part of the message that the Spirit is leading us to.

As members of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, Harris, Moran-Townsend, and Rohatgi speak specifically to gerrymandering. Gerrymandering mutes the value of certain voices and raises up the value of other voices, muting God’s voice. We would like to add for your consideration a few other provisions of the For the People Act.

The For the People Act creates a national baseline for voting that all citizens can count on. It does this by standardizing a minimum level of access to early and absentee voting, providing for automatic voter registration, and prohibiting common voter suppression tactics. Elections are meant to be won by winning over voters with good policy, not by excluding voters from expressing their views.

The For the People Act also provides for updating and modernizing our election system to ensure transparency throughout the voting process. We must restore faith in our elections process through transparency not through restrictive and punitive practices that either target or disproportionately impact communities of color.

Catholic Social Teaching calls for people to participate in their society. Voting is just one way to follow that call, but it is a critically important one. Our elected officials – like you – have the responsibility to ensure that all people have equal access to fulfilling that responsibility.

The provisions in the For the People Act (H.R.1/S.1) are not partisan. The American people broadly support these provisions. More importantly, our faith compels us to act in such a way that recognizes and honors the dignity of each individual. In a democracy, this means enacting reasonable provisions to ensure the participation of each and every member of the society. The For the People Act does just that. We urge you to support the passage of the For the People Act.

Provincial Leadership of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ