Fighting Big Money in Politics

The richest of the 1 percent have increasingly been able to put their mark on our democracy. Their values and interests differ from those of everyday Americans, and their mega-dollars diminish the votes and power of the rest of us. But we have the power to build a people-powered democracy. People need to get involved and adopt common sense reforms at the local, state, and federal level to ensure that the American people have a say in our government and the policy choices they make.

Concrete steps like the 2015 measure for clean, accountable elections in Maine and democracy vouchers in Seattle promote fair and just standards that eliminate barriers for people from all walks of life to run for office, not just a wealthy few. These reforms make a real impact on the lives of minorities, young people, people with disabilities, and working people. For instance, Connecticut was the first state in the nation to require paid sick leave for most employees. The passage of that law followed closely on the adoption of a law to fund campaigns with small contributions only. Not only are their solutions, there is a growing movement of people committed to solve the problem.

Small changes in cities and states are important first steps in the fight for fair, accountable campaign spending and a government that is truly of, by, and for the people. Breaking down the barrier of money in politics, however, will not be easy. The 25 largest donors collectively contributed $261 million in disclosed contributions and tens of millions more in undisclosed contributions in 2012. They have good reason to oppose laws that will amplify the voices of everyday citizens, because most of those voices - 7 in 10 of all Americans - support campaign finance reform. If we all work together, we can shift the balance of our democracy back to the people and show our leaders that the best way to get elected is with our votes, not their money. 

Testimony of Karen Hobert Flynn to Connecticut General Assembly on Public Financing


On Friday, February 9th, DI Executive Director Wendy Fields and Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn provided testimony on the need to expand and strengthen the Citizens’ Election Program (CEP) in Connecticut. Wendy and Karen expressed the need to strengthen the CEP as an important tool for giving ordinary citizens a voice and creating transparency in our government. Connecticut’s program is a model for the rest of the country. Since it was implemented 10 years ago, the General Assembly... Read More

Testimony to Connecticut General Assembly on Public Financing


Testimony of Wendy Fields Executive Director Democracy Initiative 
Before the Government Administration and Elections Committee 

February 9, 2018 


I. Introduction 

My name is Wendy Fields and I am the Executive Director... Read More

Groups Urge Full Senate Hearing on Judge Gorsuch Given Trump Administration’s Poor Track Record for Vetting

Press Release


Michelle C. Whittaker, Director of Communications, 202-567-6103

March  14, 2017


Groups Urge Full Senate Hearing on Judge Gorsuch
Given Trump Administration’s Poor Track Record... Read More

Join Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's and Democracy Initiative for an Ice Cream Social

Press Release



For Immediate Release Contact:     Monisha Som, 202-448-0219

September 27, 2016

Democracy Initiative and Ben Cohen to Host Ice Cream Social in Columbia, Maryland The event will support the Yes! On Citizens' Election Fund effort to get big money out of Howard County


The Democracy... Read More

DI Statement in response to Introduction of Reform Package

Press Release

Statement by Larry Cohen, Chair, Democracy Initiative

In response to introduction of legislative package to improve political system


The introduction in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives of a comprehensive set of campaign finance reform and voter registration policies is an important victory for both the American people and our democracy.


A democracy only works when the voice of each person is heard and counted equally.... Read More

The DI Report: Democracy Awakening

DI Report

This weekend, a mass movement of thousands of activists and advocates from more than 300 labor, environment, civil rights, and faith organizations, descended on Capitol Hill for Democracy Awakening in a brilliant display of... Read More

Democracy Awakening Brings Thousands of Activists and Advocates to Rally in Washington, DC

Press Release

Washington, DC – This weekend, April 16-18, the Democracy Initiative and its endorsing organizations are participating in Democracy Awakening, bringing together thousands of members, activists, and advocates from a wide variety of backgrounds to fight for an equal and influential voice in our democracy as the power of money in politics, attacks on voting rights, and Senate obstruction over the Supreme Court... Read More

The Movement to Fix Democracy Can't Be Stopped

Press Release

Washington, DC – Regardless of the outcome of the presidential primary, it is clear voters are demanding a democracy that guarantees all Americans an equal voice. As the polls closed on Super Tuesday, nearly 12,000 activists and advocates joined a tele town hall (click here for recording) with leaders from the labor, environment, and civil rights communities to hear about ... Read More

Democracy Initiative Responds to Passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Press Release

Washington, DC – Following the unexpected passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the Democracy Initiative issued the following statement:

“The President joined the nation in mourning the loss and honoring the life of Justice Antonin Scalia, a dedicated public servant and advocate for the ideals enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The President was clear that he intends to fulfill his constitutional responsibility to nominate a successor to Justice Scalia. He also called on... Read More

New Report Explores How Attacks on Unions, Voting Rights, & Campaign Finance Laws Part of Concerted, Anti-Democratic Effort

Press Release

Washington, DC –new report released today from the Democracy Initiative Education Fund, Democracy at a Crossroads: How the One Percent Is Silencing Our Voices, examines how the attacks on unions and the right to organize, assaults on the right to vote, and the dismantling of campaign finance laws are not isolated incidents. Instead, these events are... Read More