Unity Statement of Principles: Solutions to the Undue Influence of Money in Politics

Original Post: http://www.getmoneyoutaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/UnityStatementSigners0116.pdf

The following is a statement of principles endorsed by 131 organizations in support of a wide range of solutions to the undue influence of big money in politics. Coming together to protect our fundamental democratic values, this is the largest collection of groups ever aligned behind such an extensive set of policy solutions to the money in politics challenge.

Each reform measure is an integral part of the solution, together working to build the type of democracy Americans want to live in.

Unity Statement of Principles

Solutions to the Undue Influence of Money in Politics

Democracy requires a commitment to self‐government passed from one generation to the next. We recognize our obligation to preserve our representative democracy as our way of resolving reasonable disagreements on public policy. Like generations before us, we come together as citizens setting aside policy differences and uniting to preserve our democracy, so that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this Earth. We stand united in support of a comprehensive set of public policies that recognizes the people as the ultimate check on the corrosive influence of money in politics that is eroding the very foundation of self‐government.

This Unity Statement of Principles reflects policies already working in many parts of the country to ensure a democracy where everyone participates and everyone’s voice is heard; where everyone knows who is buying influence in our elections and government; and where politicians play by common sense rules and are held accountable with enforceable penalties to deter bad behavior.

1. Everyone participates: In a democracy, everyone should have a voice in the decisions affecting their lives. Our system of funding elections should not privilege any particular interest, nor suppress the voices of others. We need to provide incentives that encourage the active participation of small donors in our elections so candidates are accountable to, and dependent on, the people, not moneyed interests.

2. Everyone’s voice is heard: Our democracy is based on the principle of one person, one vote—not one dollar, one vote. From equal access to the ballot box to the right not to be silenced by big money, democracy requires we recognize each other as equals in the political process. When elected representatives only hear the policy preferences of the very rich it distorts government’s responsiveness to the people. We need limits on using money in politics so our democracy doesn’t just respond to wealthy and corporate interests but responds to the needs of the people.

3. Everyone knows: Voters have the right to know who is trying to influence our views and gain improper influence over our representatives. We need effective disclosure requirements for the use of money at all levels of government because transparency is a foundation for accountability.

4. Everyone plays by common sense rules: Access to and influence over our elected representatives should not be determined by the size of your wallet. We must overturn the effects of cases like Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC and reclaim our Constitution to empower people to adopt common sense rules to stop the improper influence of big money on our government.

5. Everyone is held accountable: We need a fair and accessible elections system so our elected officials will be responsive and accountable to the people. This requires the FEC, IRS, SEC, FCC, and state agencies to enforce our laws so those who break them face real consequences that deter bad behavior.

Signers as of January 16, 2015

 350 Colorado
 ActivUs
 Alliance for a Just Society
 American Association of University Women (AAUW)
 American Family Voices
 American Sustainable Business Council
 Appalachian Coalition for Just and Sustainable Communities
 Asian Americans Advancing Justice
 Ben & Jerry’s
 Bend the Arc Jewish Action
 Boston Common Asset Management
 Brave New Films
 Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
 BridgeRoots
 Center for Effective Government
 Center For Environmental Health
 Center for Media and Democracy
 Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists
 Center for Science in the Public Interest
 Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
 Chicago Democratic Socialists of America
 Christopher Reynolds Foundation
 Citizen Works
 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
 Co-operate Colorado
 Coffee Party USA
 Common Cause
 Communications Workers of America
 Community Organizations in Action
 Conference of Major Superiors
 Constitutional Accountability Center
 Corporate Accountability International
 Courage Campaign
 Cow Hollow Fund at San Francisco Foundation
 CT Citizen Action Group (CCAG)
 Daily Kos
 Democracy 21
 Democracy for America
 Democracy Matters
 Democracy Matters – UPenn Chapter
 Demos
 Eco-Justice Ministries
 Endangered Species Coalition
 Energy and Policy Institute
 Environment Texas
 Ethical Markets Media
 Every Voice
 Fair Share
 Food & Water Watch
 Franciscan Action Network
 Free Speech For People
 Friends of the Earth
 Government Accountability Project
 Green Party Alliance at USF
 Greenpeace
 Harrington Investments
 Illinois Democratic Women
 Illinois Right to Know GMO
 Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
 Investor Voice
 Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
 Issue One
 Jobs With Justice
 Justice Party USA
 Kansas Values Institute
 League of Conservation Voters
 Left Action
 LocalHarvest
 Metro Denver
 Missionary Oblates JPIC
 Money Out Voters In
 MoveOn.org
 MOVI Wisconsin
 National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
 National LGBTQ Task Force
 National People’s Action Campaign
 National Women’s Political Caucus
 Natural Resources Defense Council
 NCLR Action Fund
 NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
 New Progressive Alliance
 Newground Social Investment
 North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections Coalition
 NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.
 Northwest Side Housing Center
 OurTime.org
 Pax World Management LLC
 Pay to Play
 People Demanding Action
 People For the American Way
 People’s Email Network
 Piper Fund
 Progress Florida
 Progress Texas
 Progressive Change Campaign Committee
 Progressive Democrats of America
 Public Campaign
 Public Citizen
 Purdue NORML
 Represent.Us
 ReThink Media
 Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network
 RootsAction
 Say No To Big Money
 Sierra Club
 Sisters of Mercy – Institute Justice Team
 Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
 Social Equity Group
 Stamp Stampede
 State Innovation Exchange (SiX)
 Story of Stuff
 Temple Political Science Society
 The Main Street Alliance
 The Other 98%
 UConn Students for Sensible Drug Policy
 Unitarian Universalist Association
 United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
 Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, U.S. Province
 USAction
 Vermont PIRG
 Voices for Progress
 WAmend
 Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
 Women Donors Network
 Working America
 Young Democratic Socialists
 Zevin Asset Management, LLC