With election season at a close, the question of newly elected officials holding up to the promises made during their campaigns is not the only concern of voters, but the question of “what can be improved” is also being raised. After the controversial election of 2016, voters and activists are looking at issues on a national scale, and looking locally to see how their voices can be heard.
On Nov. 28, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Howard University College Democrats, The Abram Harris Economic Society, the D.C. Federation of College Democrats and the Society of Collegiate Black Men hosted a panel discussion regarding financial reform. A small audience of no more than 12 gathered at Blackburn’s Digital Auditorium to learn about the Citizens Fair Election Act.
The panel focused more so on the Citizens Fair Election Act that would give candidates the ability fund their campaigns with the help of community supporters rather than wealthier donors. The DC Fair Elections Coalition who states that its mission is to pass meaningful campaign finance reform in order to strengthen democracy and empower D.C. residents.
“People donate to your campaign, because they know you or have an interest in you winning. And there is virtually no donation not connected to any of those two things,” said newly elected Councilmember Robert White. This past election White ran against incumbent Vincent Orange. During the panel he talked about his own experiences with finding funding for his own campaign. He mentioned that at one point, while a potential donor offered him money, he did not agree with the grounds on which the money was offered.
This panel, made up of White, activist Rochelle Stone, Emmanuel Kazanis, and Howard University student Adriyanna Andreus. Each advocating for publicly funded campaigns by sharing the positives as well as using their own thoughts and connections to express its importance to the small crowd.