Dear MoveOn member,
Last week, New Florida Majority and its partners turned in over 127,000 petitions in Miami-Dade County calling for an initiative on the ballot this November to reduce the power of big-money interests and give ordinary people a stronger voice in our elections.1 While this fight is local, its success could strengthen the movement to get big money out of politics across the country.
Right now, blatant inaction by the mayor and county commission is standing in the way of the will of the people and threatens to keep the initiative off the ballot. Will you add your name so we can deliver it tomorrow to Carlos A. Gimenez, Miami-Dade County mayor, and all Miami-Dade County commissioners demanding they take action to ensure that this issue is on the ballot in November?
Wealthy special interests have too big a say in who gets to run for office and what laws get passed. Political donations have a large amount of influence over the political process, and the vibrant diversity of communities around the country, such as Miami-Dade County, isn't represented in the donor class.
For example, Black people make up one-fifth of Miami-Dade County's population, but only two percent of donors to mayoral candidates.2 The donor pool for county commission candidates includes more Black donors but is still not representative.3
The ballot initiative in Miami-Dade County, which successfully gained over 127,000 petition signatures, would encourage a more diverse donor pool and empower the county's Black population, and it could pave the way for similar legislation around the country. The initiative would:
- lower contribution limits,
- prohibit contributions from big county contractors and their lobbyists, and
- strengthen enforcement and update the county's public financing program to replace the large donations from wealthy special interests with small donations from ordinary people.
The people of Miami-Dade County have spoken, and they want this initiative on the November ballot. Will you stand with them and make sure their voices are heard?
All the rules regarding petition circulation and delivery were followed in Miami-Dade County, and now it is time for the Elections Department to fulfill its duty to count and verify the petitions in time for the 2016 election. Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the county commissioners cannot ignore the voices of over 127,000 people and deny the right to free and fair elections to Miami-Dade's residents.
—Jodeen Olguín-Tayler, Demos
1. "Carlos Gimenez, County Commission Won't Let Miami Vote on Campaign-Finance Reform," Miami New Times, August 15, 2016
2. "Miami-Dade's donor class: Black political participation in Miami-Dade," Demos, July 6, 2016
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