By Wambui Gatheru, Citizen Empowerment Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
New Hampshire citizens are fed up with big money muddying up our democracy. Recent nonpartisan polls show that an overwhelming majority of Granite State voters believe big money is a major problem. "80% of voters—including 79% of Democrats, 74% of Republicans, and 85% of Independents—believe big money in New Hampshire elections is a problem" the poll shows. 81% of New Hampshire voters believe donors, lobbyists, corporations and special interests have more influence in state politics than voters. Only 14% of Granite Staters think voters have the most influence.
New Hampshire citizens understand the problem, and are now pushing for the solution: an amendment to the constitution placing the rights of people over profits.
“I am deeply concerned that elections are being bought and paid for by a handful of private interests looking out for themselves–not the people,” said Olivia Zink, Open Democracy’s executive director. “Voters are sick and tired of outside interests spending millions to influence our elections."
Enter HB 1524, a bill introduced in the 2018 legislative session by Representative Ellen Read, that would make New Hampshire the 20th state demanding Congress to pass a 28th Amendment so people - not money, not corporations, not special interests - govern. Things are moving quickly in the state legislature, and it's time to turn up the heat. The vote for this historic bill is set for Thursday, February 22.
"As a country we fight with each other over every issue from climate change to gun control, taxes to healthcare, when the fact is that none of our fighting, on either side, will mean much of anything to those in power until we have a government that actually represents people, instead of whatever group has the most cash," said New Hampshire State Representative Ellen Read, the lead sponsor of HB 1524.
HB1524 formally calls Congress to pass a constitutional amendment addressing the role of money in politics, as well as partisan gerrymandering. Foundational democratic reform like this is exciting, and needed. This strong 28th Amendment resolution reflects the good work of Fix It America, and the determination of the people of New Hampshire.
"Like the vast majority of people in our country, New Hampshire citizens are fed up with money's political influence. Sustained grassroots activity spurred this action in the state legislature - that's how democracies are meant to work, that's how we'll win the 28th Amendment," said Ben Gubits, American Promise Associate Director.