Rep. Kenyatta did not hold back when talking to Ali Velshi about voter rights, the need to pass laws to protects voters and why Democrats, especially 2 Senators, need to fight harder for Americans.
July 20, 2021

Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta (and current candidate for US Senate) joined Ali Velshi on MSNBC on Monday after to talk about voter rights, the filibuster and the need for certain Democrats in the Senate to fight harder to protect voting rights of all Americans, but specifically those of Black and Brown voters, who are the backbone of the Democratic party. If we could harnass just 10% of his passion, we could actually affect real change. Watch this clip:

VELSHI: Let's talk to one of those state representatives. Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta is joining us. He has been on this beat for a long time. Representative Kenyatta, in Pennsylvania the Democratic governor is vetoing attempts to make voting more restrictive. But that is not dissuading Republicans in the state of Pennsylvania. In fact, they are attempting to emulate not only more restrictive voting rights bills but also the ridiculous audit that's going on in Arizona.

REP. KENYATTA: Absolutely, Ali. I know some people have tried to laugh this off and say, well, we have a Democratic governor. He can veto some of the worst things, and so it's a joke. It's not a joke. It's not a joke. And let's be very clear about something. They are not trying to stop everybody from voting. They're trying to stop certain people from voting. Look at me. Look at me for a second. They are trying to keep folks who look like me, who come from working poor backgrounds like me, who are young, like me. These are the people they're trying to keep from the ballot box. That is why I take this so damn personally. Because They understand that when young people come out to vote, when Black people come out to vote, when marginalized people come out to vote, we get things like sending Joe Biden to the White House, we get things like historic victories in Georgia to send two Democratic senators to the United States Senate. Folks are getting $300 in their bank accounts right now because young people, Black people, brown people, came out to vote in record numbers. This is what the Republicans have been doing for a long, long, long time, trying to restrict the votes of Black and brown voters, of marginalized, and working class people is not new. That bill HB1300, when you look at their attempt to take us from the drop boxes that we have in Philly down to just five drop boxes, who does that impact? The working mom who might be working two and three shifts, who has a kid to take care of, who needs a quick, accessible, and safe way to drop off their ballot. They are going after the people who have always called this nation higher. Always.

VELSHI: You and I were together in the days before the election, right here in West Philadelphia, you and I were together, and, you're right in calling out the fact it's Detroit, it's Philadelphia, it's Milwaukee, it's the nine counties around Atlanta, Georgia, it's places like that. President Biden seems to get it because he said it last week. Vice President Kamala Harris seems to get it. How do you get the passion you're bringing when you say look at me and get them to do something about it that will change the actual outcome of these legislators who are trying to restrict people's right, people who look like you, and their right to vote?

REP. KENYATTA: Well, a part of what I think will help is getting me to the United States Senate, which is why I'm running, as I believe the first African-American to ever even run for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, certainly one of the youngest people to ever run. Because these issues, for me and for so many other voters, are not hypothetical. If we fail on this, it is not some abstract thing. It is people in my district who won't be able to vote which is why I've always taken this so seriously. We don't get a second chance. If the right to vote is taken away, we won't get another chance. Let's be very clear about what will happen in this upcoming election. This will be the Congress that will certify or not certify the presidential election. And we see very clearly these folks will do everything in their power to not let the voices of the people be heard, to not respect every vote. So this is a five-alarm fire. I don't know what other words to put it in. And I will say what should be said, and I know that they're hearing it every single day. Krysten Sinema, Joe Manchin, stop playing around, stop mucking around. Let's get rid of the Senate, and let's ensure that Black and brown voters, who are the backbone of the Democratic party, that we are able to vote as easily and accessibly as possible. Because as I've said before, they're not trying to shut up everybody. They're trying to shut up young people, trying to shut up Black people, trying to shut up marginalized people, and we won't shut up. We're going to continue to do what I have done as the chair of the Subcommittee on Campaign Finance and Elections, I'm here in the Pennsylvania House, is call out the lies, the garbage, the bullcrap every single time. My grandfather and so many others bled, some folks died for the right to vote. And everybody is putting out these tweets the other day talking about John Lewis who we lost a year ago. John Lewis doesn't need a tweet saying how wonderful he was. What he needs is for his life's work to matter. If you put out a tweet about John Lewis, then you ought to actually have the backbone to get rid of the filibuster and do what is necessary to secure our democracy.

Rep. Kenyatta needs to be on tv more. His passion is palpable and it is the exact kind of fire that we need in the Democratic party.

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