Ellen Moorhouse of RepresentUs: Big Money Has Distorted Our Democracy

At the National Citizen Leadership Conference, Oct. 19-21 in the D.C. metro, democracy reform organizations will come together to advance the 28th Amendment to get big money out of politics. RepresentUs, a cross-partisan, anti-corruption organization, will be there to discuss their organization’s work. Through collaborative efforts, American Promise aims to raise awareness and grow support for a constitutional amendment.

Ellen Moorhouse is the Grassroots Communication Manager at RepresentUs, a cross-partisan organization working to advance various anti-corruption reforms, including those aimed at getting big money out of politics. In her role, Moorhouse lifts up the success stories of citizens working together across the nation to make our government more responsive to the will of the people. 

Moorhouse will be a keynote speaker at our National Citizen Leadership Conference, Oct. 19-21 in the D.C. metro. Below, she shares her thoughts on the fight against big money.

Why is the issue of getting big money out of politics important to you? 

Getting big money out of politics is important to me because it’s the issue behind all other issues. Policies are no longer determined by the best ideas, by democratic process, or the will of the people. Instead, they are crafted by and for the biggest political spenders who have distorted the way we vote, the way candidates run for office, and the way politicians govern once they get there. 

Because of this, every issue that Americans care about gets stalled in Congress, tied up in partisan mudslinging, or left behind because our lawmakers care more about pandering to special interests than addressing the needs of their constituents. It’s a broken system that’s serving the few at the expense of the many. 

What can citizens do to help get big money out of politics? 

Everyday citizens can make a real difference to change local laws in their state, which history has shown can actually lead to overall federal reform. In New Jersey, RepresentUs leaders were pivotal to getting a dark money disclosure law signed by the governor. In North Dakota, the “badass grandmas” led the charge to establish an independent ethics committee. These are just a few examples of states across the country that are leading the charge to strengthen disclosure laws, reform campaign finance rules, and many more policy solutions to fix our broken system and fight corruption. Getting involved with local chapters can make all the difference in making change right where you live and work. 

What most excites you about the future of America where we the people govern? 

To see actual change in our current state of politics. To see bipartisan bills get voted on and passed that impact every aspect of American life, from health care, to education, to infrastructure, and so much more. Americans want to see solutions, and if we can get past the broken two-party duopoly and respect the will of the people—and each other—we can make real change when we work together on pragmatic solutions to the pressing issues facing our country.

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