Reclaim Democracy

Let’s push Santa Barbara to be at the forefront of campaign finance reform.

As a member of UCSB CALPIRG, I believe it is essential to reclaim our democracy. Our Democracy Campaign is focused on empowering voters and decreasing the influence of big money interests in politics.

As of this year, the city of Seattle, Washington, has effectively implemented a democracy voucher system that gives power back to ordinary voters. City residents are given $25 vouchers they can donate to their candidate of choice.

Adopting such a system in Santa Barbara would incentivize citizen participation, increase voter turnout, and decrease the influence of corporate and special interests in elections. City officials should consider this measure in ensuring free and fair elections.

As a national issue, taking big money out of politics is hardly a partisan idea. According to a New York Times study in 2015, 84 percent of Americans think money has too much influence in politics, including 90 percent of Democrats and 80 percent of Republicans. In addition, 84 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Republicans believe in either fundamental changes or a complete rebuild of the campaign finance system.

Let’s be at a forefront of reforming our political system. Change comes from the bottom-up, when angry individuals stand together and fight for something. It is abundantly clear we must take action in taking big money out of politics. Folks in Santa Barbara can help lead this charge.

Let’s convince our elected officials to consider such reform.

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