Resetting the Balance in Our Election Systems

  • Lucas Welch, executive director of the Pluribus Project, speaks at the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival on money and political influence in America. (Image courtesy of The Aspen Institute.)
  • On the panel were Heather Smith of The Pluribus Project, John Pudner of Take Back our Republic, Heather McGee of Demos, and Ben Rattray of change.org, and moderator David Leonhardt of The New York Times. (Image courtesy of The Aspen Institute.)

The balance of political influence needs to be shifted from the few with money to the many, said Lucas Welch, executive director of the Pluribus Project, at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which was held in Aspen, Colorado from June 25 – July 4, 2015. Introducing a panel discussion about money in politics, Welch pointed to public frustration with elected government and the outsized influence of corporate political spending, and said restoring power to the people is a defining challenge of our time. Partnering with other leaders working in the democracy space, Pluribus is developing an innovative toolset for candidates to succeed by relying more on the human resources of everyday constituents than the financial resources of large donors and partisan ideologues. It also seeks to help amplify people’s own stories of civic empowerment.

The panel discussion, “Disrupting Political Campaigns: Shifting Influence from the Money to the Many,” included Heather Smith, of The Pluribus Project, John Pudner of Take Back our Republic, Heather McGee of Demos, and Ben Rattray of change.org, and was moderated by David Leonhardt, managing editor of The New York Times’ The Upshot.

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