Our campaign finance system is broken and does not serve the interests of the American people.
The result is that, all too often, lobbyists and large special interests determine who is elected and affecting public policy decisions, over the needs of the people of Illinois. In a state mired with political corruption and patronage, we need a system that ensures politicians listen to voters and are not beholden to big special interest money.
That is why Common Cause Illinois has launched a new campaign, Fair Elections Illinois, advocating for the City of Chicago to establish a small donor match campaign finance system, similar to New York City’s system.
An increase in small donors in electoral campaigns decreases the reliance on large special interests, enables a diverse pool of candidates, and increases political participation and the impact of small donors - especially in low-income communities.
Under New York’s system, previously disenfranchised communities achieved long-sought reforms on paid sick leave and a domestic workers' bill of rights.
During this first phase of Fair Elections Illinois, we successfully placed the following advisory question on the February 24 City ballot:
"Should the City of Chicago or the State of Illinois empower voters and reduce the influence of big special interest money in our elections by financing campaigns using small contributions from voters and a limited amount of public funds?"
As we approach the third anniversary of the disastrous Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, which unleashed a flood of dark money and Super PACs on our democracy, Chicago has a real chance to join New York City and Los Angeles in defying the new status quo (both cities have already passed a public financing system).
But we need your help.
There are 40 days until the election. Can you donate $40, $1 per day, to the Fair Elections Ballot Initiative Committee to preserve our democracy and help create this campaign finance system? Of course, any other amount will help us move forward. You can donate here.
Don't forget to also like our Fair Elections Illinois Facebook page and participate via Twitter with #fairelex.
Office: Common Cause Illinois
Tags: Fair Elections