Are our state politics rigged?
Three national groups with footholds in Colorado are gathering Saturday at The Alliance Center in Denver for a public event they’re calling “Unrig the System: How we can fix Colorado politics.”
Represent.Us is a national group focused on nonpartisan efforts to combat corruption at the local level in cities around the country through ballot measures. In Colorado, the group is currently gathering signatures for a ballot measure in Denver for this November’s elections.
If passed in Denver, the Democracy for the People Initiative “will require transparency and disclosure for campaign contributions and restrict corporate spending in local elections,” said the local group’s chapter in a statement. “In addition, it will create a publically-funded small donor matching program for elections at the city level.”
The Independent Voter Project seeks to “reverse the trend toward dysfunction bred by an increasingly polarized political environment.”
The Centrist Project, which recently moved its home base to Denver, is trying get unaffiliated candidates elected to the state legislature next year to dilute the influence of political parties.
On Saturday, the three groups will converge to share what they characterize as common sense reforms to bridge a partisan divide, help pass anti-corruption measures, end partisan gerrymandering, and open up the voting process.
“We’re tired of the broken political system, so we’re putting aside partisan differences and working together to fix it by passing a city ordinance protecting our communities from corruption and building momentum for national reform,” said Victoria Gates, Denver’s local co-chapter leader for Represent.Us, in a statement. “We need to fix our broken political system and we know our government won’t do it for us: we have to fight corruption ourselves.”
Nick Troiano of the Centrist Project says there’s no “silver bullet” to fix the system. “It’s going to take a range of reforms to increase participation, competition, and accountability, and it will take a movement of citizens from across the political spectrum to enact them,” he said. “To that end, the goal of Unrig the System is to educate and empower a powerful constituency for good governance that transcends party or ideology.”
Among others speaking at the event will be former Colorado Sen. Ron Tupa on behalf of the group Fair Districts = Fair Elections, Neal McBurnett and Jennifer Bales of the League of Women Voters, and Eliza Fackler and Ryan Mironczuk, Wolf-Pac Colorado, which fights to get money out of elections.
The event begins at 1 p.m. at The Alliance Center located ar 1535 Wynkoop St. in Denver.