The Democracy for the People Initiative is a citizen-initiated ordinance that seeks to reform and modernize elections in Denver. The initiative backers say it will increase the transparency of our elections and ensure all of our communities have equal representation in city government.
Jon Biggerstaff with The Democracy for the People Initiative says that they’re trying to solve the problem of money in our political system.
“The problem is of course that people who have money tend to donate to political campaigns and tend to have more influence than those who don’t have money. So there’s an inherent inequity there that is systemic in our political system.”
The initiative aims to address that issue on a local level by
Biggerstaff points to recent spending in school board races and some state legislature races “often times the money that is spent on behalf of the candidates, also called Dark Money that’s been enabled by Citizens United, exceeds the fundraising of the candidates themselves.”
The initiative would prohibit candidates from accepting money directly from corporations and would reduce high contribution limits. It would require money spent on behalf or against a candidate (dark money) be thoroughly disclosed. It would create a small donor matching program, designed to help individuals in Denver have their voices amplified. The small donor matching program would be funded by appropriating $2 million from the city’s general fund (approximately 0.02% of the annual budget.) Read more here.
The Democracy for the People Initiative is currently gathering signatures with a view to getting on the 2017 ballot in Denver.