1. Everyone participates.

The next president of the United States should commit to a 21st Century democracy where everyone participates. The president should endorse, prioritize, and work aggressively with Congress to pass legislation to provide public funds that will amplify small donations to federal candidates who agree to lower contribution limits.

Fighting Big Money, Empowering People:
A 21st Century Democracy Agenda
 1. Everyone participates
 2. Everyone's voice is heard
 3. Everyone knows who is trying to influence our views and our representatives;
 4. Everyone plays by fair, common-sense rules
 5. Everyone is held accountable, with enforceable penalties to deter bad behavior.

With each election cycle, our elected leaders depend on a smaller and smaller share of our population making larger and larger campaign contributions. As a result our leaders listen to a handful of deep-pocketed interests at the direct expense of everyday Americans.

We need to provide incentives such as matching funds that encourage the active participation of small donors in our elections so candidates are accountable to, and dependent on, the people—not wealthy donors and special interests. Other potential incentives include limited tax credits and small dollar vouchers.

Providing public funding support to amplify the role of ordinary Americans in financing elections makes elected officials less indebted to a narrow set of funders, allows candidates to spend more time listening to their constituents, gives more people the ability to run for office, elects officeholders more reflective of the community at large, and leads to policies more responsive to public needs and less skewed by wealthy interests.

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