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"What we've seen in Seattle and the state is that there is no quick fix to Citizens United," writes Cindy Black. "Instead, a holistic approach is needed."

With democracy reform stalled on Capitol Hill, local and state solutions needed

Black is executive director of Seattle-based Fix Democracy First, which advocates for campaign finance, election access and voting rights reforms.

While important democratic reforms continue to stall in the Senate, activists in some states and municipalities are showing there's another way.

In Washington state, we've created a blueprint to rein in money in politics that can work elsewhere.

We've shown that a combination of public financing of elections, increasing access to the ballot, requiring nonprofits to disclose their top donors and coming up with creative ways to restrict the flow of corporate cash into politics can go a long way in returning government to the people.

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Fix Democracy First

Fix Democracy First is a non-profit in the state of Washington fighting to improve our Democratic processes. We have been running initiatives and projects in support of public financing of campaigns, fair elections, overturning Citizen's United, protecting voting rights and other similar efforts for almost two decades. We have recently merged with WAmend and continue to work very closely with allies, partners, and volunteers towards our common goal of getting money out of politics.

Represent Bay Area Presents: American Promise

Organizer: RepresentUs

Join us for a presentation by Laura Knipmeyer with American Promise and learn how we can work together to end Citizens United. At this presentation you will:

  • Meet anti-corruption organizers in your area.
  • Learn about what you can do to help unrig our system both locally and nationally.
  • Discuss the American Anti-Corruption Act and what we can do to support it.

If you are interested in making Bay Area work for everyday people want to learn how you can contribute, join the presentation and become a part of the movement!

Location: Berkeley Bowl West Community Room, 920 Heinz Ave., Berkeley, CA

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, campaigning in New Hampshire on Thursday, is the only candidate who is a clear "yes" on all 17 democracy reform proposals being tracked by The Fulcrum.

Where Democrats debating in New Hampshire stand on democracy reform

Seven Democrats have been invited on stage for Friday night's debate ahead of the New Hampshire primary, including three who have vowed that their first legislative priority as president would be enacting an ambitious clean government package.

Town hall meetings and candidate coffees in the first primary state have for months featured discussions about expanding voting rights, curbing money in politics and overhauling such bedrock government institutions as the Supreme Court, the Electoral College and the Senate filibuster. But the disagreements among the candidates have been subtle, and so there's no reason to believe the moderators will find new flashpoints or cleave new divisions on democracy reform topics at the debate, being conducted at Saint Anselm College in Manchester at 8 pm Eastern.

The table below shows where the seven candidates stand on 17 of the most prominent proposals for improving the way democracy works — in areas of campaign finance, access to the ballot box, election security, political ethics and revamping our governing systems.

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