Step up for good government

Step up for good

government

Editor:

Maintaining a great democracy requires a vigilant citizenry. As an organization dedicated to making democracy work for everyone, the League of Women Voters cheers on the current outpouring of public activism.

While Linn County citizens join others across the nation to peacefully protest the status quo, we remember our own roots, when, 90 years ago, our founders labored to secure for women the right to vote in public elections.

We face real threats to our democracy, especially to our campaign finance system. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in the Citizens United case opened floodgates to corporate and union campaign donations, muting individual citizens’ influence in elections. The League has advocated for campaign finance reform since the 1970s. We believe the best long-term solution is the public financing of elections.

Our electoral system is under attack in other ways. Congress is now considering eliminating the Election Assistance Commission.

The EAC was established after the 2000 election to make elections throughout the nation open, fair, and accountable. The LWV asks everyone to join in calling on Congress to not only retain the EAC but to strengthen it (visit http://www.lwv.org).

Though some disagree with protestors’ methods, the Occupy movement is helping to focus public attention on important issues like these. To create change, however, anger over political and economic inequity must be transformed into broad political engagement. Every citizen can do something about the current threats to our democracy.

Whether you move your bank account to protest fees, attend a demonstration, call or write members of Congress, join a public board or an advocacy group, run for elected office, or simply cast an informed vote, you will join in strengthening our government’s irreplaceable role as the ultimate custodian of the public interest.

Linda Ziedrich, president

Linn County League of Women

Voters Members-at-Large Unit

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