Activist: 'We're the first generation of Americans to witness America become less Democratic'

An official of one of the largest grassroots anti-corruption organizations in the country on Tuesday said that the U.S. is becoming less Democratic, pointing to rollbacks of the Civil Rights Act and rise of voter suppression.

“We’re the first generation of Americans to witness America become less Democratic,” Renaldo Pearson, a director of nonpartisan group RepresentUs, told Hill.TV during an appearance on “Rising.”

Pearson pointed to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice that was released earlier this month, which found that at least 17 million voters were purged from voter rolls nationwide between 2016 and 2018.

The report noted that these purges accelerated following the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that requires certain states and local governments with a history of discrimination get preclearance from the federal government before making changes to their voting laws.

Pearson said his group is now calling on 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to heed what he characterizes as an attack on U.S. Democracy, and “pledge to fix democracy first.”

So far, he said a handful of candidates have signed onto the pledge, including Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Push for national popular vote movement gets boost from conservatives MORE (D-Mass.).

Pearson, along with a handful of activists, arrived at Capitol Hill over the weekend after walking from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about the role of corruption in politics, and demand a government that’s more representative of the American people.

The activist said, despite a few police pullovers along the way, he received a mostly positive response as he made the nearly 700-mile journey, noting that several people stopped off to offer a ride or water.

— Tess Bonn