Recently, we’ve been asking citizen leaders from across the country why they support the 28th Amendment to get big money out of politics. While varied, the responses boil down to making our elected officials accountable to voters, not wealthy donors and dark money groups.
In this Q&A, American Promise Political Director, Ben Gubits, talks with Viki Harrison, recently named Director of State Operations for National Common Cause, a partner organization of American Promise. Before taking on this national leadership position, Viki had been the Executive Director of Common Cause New Mexico, where she shepherded the organization from a single-staffed office to a robust full time, two-person organization with contract organizers and researchers on various campaigns.
Under Harrison’s leadership, CCNM passed resolutions against Citizens United, advanced voter registration, campaign finance reforms, and overhauled state ethics. She has built successful lobbying campaigns, election protection programs, local ballot measures, published research and reports, and created coalitions for democracy at the state and local levels.
Ben Gubits: What issues do you want to solve by getting big money out of politics?
Viki Harrison: Our republican democracy only works if the people are involved in each step of the process–getting big money out of politics is crucial to helping us engage the American public and seeing real reform pass at the national, state and local level.
BG: What excites you most about the future of America where we the people govern, not big money and special interests?
VH: I am most excited about seeing a true representation of the American public in elected office–which can happen with campaign finance reform at every level. When our elected officials come from our communities and truly look out for our best interests, we will see policies passed in Congress and statehouses around the country that help, not hurt, us.
BG: What do you love most about where you live?
VH: I am fortunate enough to live in New Mexico, just outside of Albuquerque, where I have been for the last 24 years. The people are what I love the most, hands down—it’s such a caring and vibrant community. The green chile isn’t bad either!