Protecting Democracy in Our State

An end to partisan gerrymandering

Without a doubt, the practice of partisan gerrymandering has contributed to the polarization of politics in our state and prevented us from making progress on the most important issues. Instead of putting the ethical burden of redistricting on our state legislators, we should instead lean on an independent commission to ensure district lines are not engineered to short circuit the democratic process. We should also make this process more transparent by engaging with the public and allowing them to shape the development of redistricting plans.

Election Laws that make Government Work

Healthy government is about representation, not control. Our winner-take-all elections create an incentive for partisan gerrymandering and result in a government that doesn’t truly reflect the diverse values of the people it serves. It’s no wonder so many of us feel like our voices aren’t being heard. We deserve elections that are focused on issues and solutions, not just controlling seats or flipping districts.

We should switch our state’s electoral system to a proportional representation system so our elected officials can put their energy into working together instead of trying to out-game each other. We should also update our elections with improvements like instant-runoff voting or approval voting so that people can vote for the candidates they actually want in office.

Protecting our elections from partisan games also means transferring the authority of our state board of elections to a nonpartisan commission instead of letting the two biggest parties select appointees.

Get big money out of elections

Nobody should be able to buy an election. But our campaign finance laws allow wealthy candidates to contribute unlimited amounts of money to their own campaigns. These are the same candidates who have extensive networks of clients and colleagues who can make big donations in exchange for future influence. Big political parties can also pour unlimited amounts of money into candidate campaigns. This makes it nearly impossible for regular folks with regular jobs to compete.

We need to take our elections back from the folks at the top by capping these campaign contributions for candidates and political parties. We also need to level the playing field by offering public campaign financing for all the incredible grassroots candidates out there who don’t have immense personal wealth or friends in the c-suite.

Transparent Representation

Legislation in North Carolina is increasingly being written in a vacuum behind closed doors. This not only undermines the democratic process; it also prevents lawmakers from seeing past their own biases and blinders. Likewise, we have seen policies for important issues crowded into huge budget bills, deceptive bill names that are engineered to mislead the public, and parasitic riders that take advantage of admirable laws for political manipulation. We should be increasing deliberation, collaboration, and public engagement because it will lead to better laws that accurately reflect what we as North Carolinians value.

Are you registered to vote?

Election day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018. You can find more information on registration and voting by visiting the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections.

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