EVERYONE'S VOICE SHOULD BE HEARD
Our government works best when everyone has an equal voice in solving our state’s challenges, and an equal chance to run for office to serve their community.
But there are real barriers to making democracy work for all of us. Right now, wealthy special interests are dominating the conversation, and regular folks like us don't have a voice.
According to a recent report by OSPIRG, large donors and other contributors like PACs accounted for 97 percent of all campaign contributions in Oregon's 2016 state elections.
We need to build an inclusive democracy where everyone participates, every vote is counted, and everyone’s voice is heard--where people from all walks of life can run for and win office, not just the wealthy and well-connected.
Big money is a barrier
Our government is supposed to work for everybody, not big donors or lobbyists. Unfortunately, many people are shut out of our political process and the result is that too often government works well for the wealthy and powerful, while others struggle to get by.
Candidates for public office are forced to spend time raising money from wealthy donors and special interests, instead of campaigning among everyday people to raise the money needed to win an election. This also prevents people without networks of wealthy donors from running for office – often women, people of color, young adults, and low-income workers – resulting in our state’s elected officials not being as diverse and the people they represent.
When everyone matters in our elections, it won’t just be the big donors or lobbyists that our candidates are listening to. It’ll be ordinary people—working families and young people and students, people historically passed over when our candidates have to raise big money to be competitive. And when candidates are listening to ordinary Oregonians, they can better represent our voices in office.
Tweet your representatives in support of Small Donor Elections
Small Donor Elections Are the Solution
It’s time to reform our elections to ensure that our elected leaders represent all of Oregon.
Many different communities are coming together behind Small Donor Elections, which will ensure everyday people have a bigger voice in state politics. A Small Donor Elections system will match small donations from Oregon residents. If adopted, Small Donor Elections will lift up the voices of everyday people in statewide elections, and help make our democracy more open and accessible to everyone.
HERE'S HOW SMALL DONOR ELECTIONS WORK
Candidates for legislative offices can choose a different path to raise money for their campaigns. These participating candidates agree to accept contributions from small donors that are $250 or less. In exchange, small donations will be matched six-to-one with limited public funds. This allows candidates with community support to raise enough money to win elected office without relying on wealthy donors and to spend more time talking to their constituents.
This reform would make our elections open and accessible to everyone, because:
- Small donor elections puts our democracy back in balance. It ensures that everyday people have a bigger voice than wealthy donors and special interests.
- Candidates can raise enough money to run for office — and win — without needing to rely on wealthy donors. They won't need to spend time competing for contributions from a small group of special interests. They'll be able to spend more time listening to our concerns, and our voices. This plan puts everyday people like us back in charge of our democracy.
- The restaurant server who can’t give a lot of money will see her $15 donation become a $105 donation. Now she can better support her favorite candidate.
- Candidates for office will be able to talk with more of their constituents, hear their concerns, and engage with them throughout their terms.
- More diverse candidates can run for office and represent their communities, whether or not they have a network of wealthy friends or family to bankroll their campaigns.
Our democracy succeeds only if our voices are heard and our communities are represented. We need to reform Oregon’s elections, so that our government truly works for all. Tell your legislator that you want Small Donor Elections to ensure a voice for all Oregon today.