For Immediate Release It's Everyone's Responsibility to Make Washington Work

Statement by Common Cause President Miles Rapoport on President Obama's State of the Union Address

Posted on January 20, 2015

Statue of Liberty

“President Obama’s proposals to attack income inequality, particularly his plans to make higher education affordable, invest in rebuilding our infrastructure and re-balance the tax code in favor of middle-income Americans, deserve better than the “dead-on-arrival” treatment they’re getting on Capitol Hill. Taken together, they’re a serious – if incomplete – response to critical national problems.

"Regrettably, the President offered little more than general comments about political inequality, a problem he repeatedly has promised to address but has given little real attention. Americans understand that the concentrations of economic power he spoke of tonight are entwined with an unprecedented concentration of political power in the hands of the wealthy; they want action on both fronts.

"These are not “conservative” or “liberal” issues. In “red” and “blue” states alike, more than 5 million have signed petitions or cast votes supporting limits on the power of big donors and protections for the right of every citizen to be heard. That means tougher disclosure requirements, a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United, and amplifying small donors' voices through public financing.

"It’s important to note that on key issues the President addressed tonight – a fairer economy, the dominance of money in our elections, the struggle to advance voting rights, action to protect an open Internet – citizen activism was a critical component in elevating the subject in public debate.

"At Common Cause, we are determined to continue our advocacy and organizing on these issues. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make Washington work the way it should.”

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: More Democracy Reforms

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