College students team up to urge Manchin to support For The People Act

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Times West Virginian, Fairmont
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Apr. 27—FAIRMONT — College students around West Virginia are coming together to urge U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D.W.Va., to support the For The People Act that has been introduced in Congress.

A new chapter of a group called "Un-PAC" has launched at Fairmont State University, led by senior Zachary Fancher. According to a press release. "Un-PAC is an organization of students and young people that mobilizes around fixing our broken democracy by getting big money out of politics."

"Fixing our democracy is not a partisan issue," said Fancher, Un-PAC Fairmont State founder. "After learning about the For The People Act, I knew that students at my school needed to participate in passing this existential bill. Today, West Virginia lost a congressional seat, and we all know why.

"Young people understand that our government is not working for us. We will keep fleeing our state as long as corporations and the ultra-wealthy are allowed to have a stranglehold on our politics and our opportunities remain fleeting. Senator Manchin can define his legacy by saving our democracy, and demonstrate that he stands with us, against corruption, and for a truly bipartisan bill, by supporting the For The People Act."

Last week, the Student Government Association of West Virginia University voted to pass a resolution in support of the For The People Act. The previous day, Marshall University's Student Government Association also unanimously passed a similar resolution in support of the bill. These SGAs collectively represent over 29,000 West Virginians across the two schools.

Otherwise known as House Resolution 1 or Senate Bill 1, the bills calls for various finance and voting rights reforms. Neither of West Virginia's Senators have yet to co-sponsor the bill, though the vast majority of West Virginians support its components (58% support, 13% don't know, and 29% oppose), according to a recent Data for Progress poll.

"One of the main reasons I supported President Trump is because he was right: we need to drain the swamp. That's what passing the For The People Act would do," said SGA member and WVU student, Jacqueline Bonar. "The root of too many of the problems we face here in West Virginia is our broken democracy. We need to get big money out of politics and make it easier for everyone to vote, and I hope Senator Joe Manchin knows that if he wants to win the support of young conservatives like me, he needs to make sure this bill is passed."

Un-PAC is a statewide organization ensuring that students and young people in West Virginia are part of the advocacy in favor of the For The People Act.

This group believes that fixing democracy is the only way Congress will become incentivized to address urgent problems that West Virginians face, such as the opioid crisis and crippling student debt. Un-PAC employs dozens of student and youth organizers who are leading the effort to pass the For The People Act on their campuses and in their communities, and has a presence at WVU, Marshall University, Fairmont State University, West Virginia State University and several high schools.