The filibuster should be altered or abolished in order to deliver on critical priorities demanded by the American public.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a very popular proposal, supported by two-thirds of Americans, according to the Pew Research Center. But now that the Senate parliamentarian has ruled that the minimum wage did not pass the budget reconciliation test, the issue faces high likelihood of obstruction by filibuster.

Furthermore, the nation’s electoral procedures are long overdue for overhaul. The For the People Act is critical for ensuring fair representative democracy in the United States, a topic which deserves bipartisan support. However, it, too, is threatened by filibuster from those who benefit from gamesmanship and voter suppression allowed today.

Partisan gridlock serves no one, regardless of who is in power; it’s time to make it easier to pass legislation in the Senate and reform the filibuster. Yes, it may make it easier for other political parties to pass their legislation as well, but isn’t the freedom to change our minds at the heart of American democracy?

Rules favoring obstruction over progress and reform don’t just stall legislation; they stall democracy.

Paul Malmsten, Seattle