June 23, 2016
Demographics of D.C.’s Donor Class Highlight Need for Fair Elections
Statement of Aquene Freechild, Co-Director, Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign
Note: Today, Demos released the report, “D.C.’s White Donor Class: Outsized Influence in a Diverse City.”
The Demos report “D.C.’s White Donor Class” brings to light an implicit truth about D.C. politics. Those who represent the corporate interests dominating D.C. elections are predominately white as well as wealthy.
The white and wealthy majority donor class is out of touch with the day-to-day realities of District residents. A recent Public Citizen report found that most of the funds raised by candidates early in the recent D.C. primary came from top-level employees of large developers and contractors, plus their family members.
We need to pass D.C. Fair Elections, a proposal for a small donor public financing system that would flip the incentive structure and allow residents to participate in District politics no matter how much they earn. If passed, the voices of everyday District residents concerned about the climbing cost of housing would be heard alongside the voices of those building shimmering new luxury condos.