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Friends of the Earth Action calls on Presidential candidates to support comprehensive democracy reform

FOE Action stands with coalition of more than 100 good government and civil rights organizations

WASHINGTON – Today, Friends of the Earth Action signed an open letter that was sent to all 2020 presidential candidates urging them to make comprehensive democracy reform an integral part of their campaign platforms. The letter was written and signed by a coalition of more than 100 democracy, environmental, religion, good government, civil rights, and other groups from the Declaration of American Democracy Coalition. You can view the letter here.

“It is critical that the next president of the United States commit to strongly restoring our democracy, which – between voter suppression and corporate capture – has fallen into shocking disrepair,” said Michelle Chan for Friends of the Earth Action. “Until we put an end to voter disenfranchisement tactics such as gerrymandering, voters will be deprived of their political voice and hampered in their ability to protect their environments and hold polluters accountable.”

Poll after poll has shown that Americans of all political affiliations are looking for fundamental changes in our democratic process and it is incumbent upon these candidates to listen to the will of the voters. Below is a list of the following reforms that we urged all candidates – Democrat and Republican – to campaign on and ultimately make policy priorities once in office.

  1. Expand the right to vote and make it an easier, more inclusive process. This entails early and absentee voting, improving access to polling stations, restoring former felon’s voting rights, and allocating more funding for election security.
  2. The executive and legislative branches must operate under stronger, more enforceable ethics laws. The next president should endorse, prioritize, and work aggressively with Congress to pass legislation that strengthens and expands federal ethics rules.
  3. End the dominance of big money in our political system. This means setting limits on campaign contributions, empowering and incentivizing small-dollar fundraising, and strengthening oversight of our campaign finance rules.
  4. Create more transparency over campaign finance donations and federal influence. This includes mandate disclosure of corporate spending in our elections, more stringent disclosure requirements for politically-active nonprofit groups, more information about online advertising, and easy access to federal ethics and financial disclosure forms.
  5. Limit the revolving door and create stronger guidelines for the Washington influence industry. This includes policies that expand the cooling-off period for members of Congress and federal officials to become lobbyists, limit the role played by lobbyists in campaigns, expand the definition of lobbyist to eliminate loopholes, and prevent federal officials from profiting off their public service.
  6. Strengthen the checks and balances system to protect against bad actors. Implementing policies that ensure the president does not abuse the powers of government to settle political scores or place themselves or their friends and family above the law.

 

The next president of the United States must stand with Americans across the country and commit to building on the foundation of the For the People Act, H.R. 1, passed this year in the House of Representatives and its Senate companion, S. 949. The functionality of our Democracy depends on it.

Media Contact: Erin Jensen, (202) 222-0722, ejensen@foe.org