Work That Matters

Campaign finance reform is not an issue that tends to get people dancing in the aisles. But I challenge you to spend some time with the members of Democracy Matters and not feel excited about fighting for Clean Elections. Democracy Matters, started six years ago by Golden State Warriors center Adonal Foyle, is made up of students in colleges and universities nationwide working to bring students into the debate over money in politics and into the work of winning Clean Elections public financing systems.

 

Often their work is done behind the scenes, but as they've grown as an organization and established chapters all over the US, their work has gained greater attention; here's a sampling of what Democracy Matters students have done in just the last month in pursuit of a political system that encourages involvement and participation by taking big money's influence out of the picture:

 

Launching new chapters, raising awareness and getting students involved.

 

Rallying in Rhode Island to raise awareness about the influence of money in politics, praise the practical and effective nature of a Clean Elections system, and to urge their state to pass a Clean Elections bill.

 

Getting after New York State for its high contribution limits and the exclusion of ordinary voters from the political process as a result.

 

Exploring the implications of a presidential contest in which access to seams of wealthy donors is a cornerstone of a candidate's viability.

 

Recognizing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and encouraging people to continue the march towards equality by addressing the inequalities created by money's influence on our elections.

 

Young people, like many other traditionally less wealthy groups in our society, are frequently pushed out of the political process and the articles above go to demonstate what a loss that is for our elections and our government. When you make elections all about money -- and with the next presidential race expected to cost $1 billion, how can you not? -- you cut most voters out in favor of courting big donors. Democracy Matters is working to bring people back into politics, one Clean Elections victory at a time -- and if you get the chance to join them, I would definitely recommend it.