Democracy Initiative Lauds Final Passage of D.C. Fair Elections Act

Statement by Wendy Fields, Executive Director
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Getachew Kassa, Senior Campaigner
gkassa@democracyinitiative.org / 202-394-2388

 

DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE LAUDS FINAL PASSAGE OF D.C.
FAIR ELECTIONS ACT

Statement by Wendy Fields, Executive Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. - “The Fair Elections Act is a major step forward towards strengthening our democracy by reducing the power of big money in politics,” said Wendy Fields, Executive Director of the Democracy Initiative (“DI”).

“This victory is a testament to the power of grass roots organizing around the issue of democracy,” said Fields.  The DI participated in a coalition of more than 70 organizations that delivered over 5000 petitions to elected officials.

“People all over the country are mobilizing to eliminate the corrupt influence of big money in politics, so we can have a government that addresses real problems affecting the environment, education, poverty, and injustice,” said Fields.

The law passed the D.C. Council unanimously, and Mayor Bowser signed it yesterday. It follows on a similar law passed in Howard County and Montgomery County, Maryland. A public financing bill is currently under consideration in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The measure provides public matching funds to candidates who only accept small contributions, leveling the playing field and reducing barriers of entry to candidates who are not beholden to wealthy donors.

“The fair elections program will return power to the working people of D.C., so they can begin to transform the system,” said Fields. More than 60% of election contributions in D.C. currently come from corporations and non-DC residents.

The next step is to fully fund the program and make sure that it works for D.C. residents.

Congratulations to the organizations and DI Partner groups that worked on this campaign including Common Cause, Communication Workers of America, Greenpeace, NAACP, Public Citizen, Sierra Club, American Postal Workers Union, Demos, Every Voice, Food and Water Watch, Jobs with Justice, Service Employees International Union, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Working Families Party, and more.  

The Democracy Initiative Board includes:

Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President, Co-Chair

Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA Executive Director, Co-Chair

Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director

Tefere Gebre, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President

Derrick Johnson, NAACP President CEO

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The Democracy Initiative is a dynamic network of organizations launched in 2013 working toward a bright future in which all Americans participate fully and freely in the democratic process. We believe that the voice of every citizen should be heard and counted, so all of us have an equal say in a democracy that is of, by, and for the people. Our endorsing organizations pursue a diverse range of progressive goals, including civil rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights, and climate justice, but we know that success in any of these areas depends on reforming our democracy.

United by a shared vision for a political process that counts every voice and every vote equally, we are mobilizing members of Democracy Initiative organizations to ensure that all Americans can vote, diminish the influence of corporate and special interests, and halt the obstruction that has thrown our Congress out of balance. Together, we can break down these barriers and protect our democracy from the systematic effort to shift power from the many to a wealthy few by silencing our voices in the workplace, in the ballot box, and in the offices of our elected officials.