We, the People (Minus a few)
One of the cornerstones of American democracy is the concept of “one person, one vote”, simply meaning you have the right to choose those who serve you in the federal government. This is true for about 218,000,000 U.S. citizens – that number equaling the number of citizens eligible to vote in federal elections. However, there is a sizable number of United States citizens, who, despite being of good character, of the legal age (18), and even paying federal taxes, do not have a say in who will decide whether taxes go up or down, whether we go to war or not, and so on. These people live in the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. My time as a volunteer at the 441 PAC has sought to end this injustice.
The 441 PAC, a registered non-profit, has worked to raise awareness about the injustices residents of Washington, DC and Puerto Rico face each and every day. Since the 441 PAC is such a new organization, their main goal since I’ve joined has been to get their website up to par, so it can be used as a resource to learn more about the issues being raised, as well as how each person can help. Because a vast majority of residents of Puerto Rico are Spanish-speakers, one of the main goals of my work has been to translate the entirety of the website, so both English- and Spanish-speakers can use the site as a way to get information on how to take action, on issues such as voting representation in Congress for both of these areas (The 441 PAC’s main mission).
While this work certainly brought its challenges, including the fact that it is such a new/small organization that they have no physical headquarters, I have still found the work to be very rewarding. I’ve had the ability to learn first-hand about the injustices residents of both Washington and Puerto Rico face day-in and day-out as American citizens without a voice, and I’m hopeful that at some point, the 441 PAC’s mission will be achieved.
Side note: The “441” in 441 PAC refers to the number of voting members of the House of Representatives there would be if the mission of this organization was reached (Currently 435 members plus 1 for D.C. and 5 for Puerto Rico).