Speaking from Gettysburg six months after a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C., state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta outlined a multi-part plan to strengthen the nation’s voting laws and democratic processes if he’s elected to the U.S. Senate in 2022.
Kenyatta painted a dark portrait of the state of American government, saying that democracy is “under attack” by those looking to restrict access to the ballot and undermine trust in elections.
“While we no longer see active storming of federal buildings, the theater of combat has shifted to legislatures, the courts, and to the hearts and minds of voters all across the country,” Kenyatta said. “The opponents of free and fair elections push for aggressive proposals that degrade trust in the sanctity of the vote. Trafficking misinformation and disinformation, they have utilized every tool at their disposal to make it more difficult for citizens to be a part of the democratic process – especially those that they think threaten their power.”
Kenyatta said he would support the following policies in the U.S. Senate:
- Creation of a Civilian Democracy Corps to educate Americans
- Eliminating the Senate filibuster
- Passage of House Resolution 1, the “For The People Act”
- Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act
- Expanding the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court
- Approving statehood for Washington, D.C.
- Approving self-determination for Puerto Rico
- Establishing a day of remembrance on Jan. 6, the day of the U.S. Capitol insurrection
Kenyatta, who was a vocal critic of legislation in Harrisburg that would have mandated voter ID in all elections, outlined the changes as many states consider rewriting their voting laws. The second-term state representative said that educating voters about how government and elections work is crucial to bolstering civic engagement.
“Around the world, America is engaged in the painstaking work of aiding new democracies in their development, but we must also do that work here at home. These Civilian Democracy Corps members will go all across the country – they'll work with schools and nonprofits and community organizations to teach civic education to folks of all ages,” Kenyatta said. “If we're going to have a democracy, we have to continually educate our people about how it works.”
Kenyatta’s stop in Gettysburg marks the beginning of his “Democracy Summer” tour, which includes community events and voter registration drives.