There are many important provisions in the For the People Act, from protecting and expanding voting rights to ending partisan gerrymandering, but perhaps none has the power to transform who can run for Congress more than the creation of a small donor campaign finance system for congressional races. To help build support for this critical provision of S.1, as well as the bill more generally, several members of People For’s Young Elected Officials network have been profiled in an going video series titled “Small Donor Revolutionaries,” produced in partnership with Democracy 21 and the Declaration for American Democracy, which tells the story of women of color who have run and won state and local office using small donor campaign financing.
YEOs have been featured in three of the videos that have been released so far, which have been widely viewed online. The first tells the story of Arizona State Representative Athena Salman, whose parents are first and second generation immigrants and who was raised in a Mexican, Palestinian and German multicultural melting pot household that defines much of the American experience. Since running and getting elected in 2016, she has become a major proponent of small donor campaign financing.
State Senator Chloe Maxmin from Maine was the next YEO to be featured in the series. She relishes the close connection that small donor campaign financing creates between a candidate and their constituents, and has also emerged as a champion in support of expanding opportunities for people of more diverse backgrounds to run for office.
The third YEO featured in the series so far is D.C. Councilmember Janeese Lewis George, who is a Washington, D.C. native who decided to run for office in order to better serve her community. She too is a champion of expanding participation in our democracy, and believes that small donor campaign financing programs are key to creating a more equitable and representative government.
More videos featuring YEOs are planned to be released later this summer, as part of our broader efforts to support the For the People Act, and ensure that the critical small donor campaign finance provisions remain front and center.