The malaise of representative democracy in this country is not only a betrayal of American ideals and principles. It has real and negative effects on our economy, the health of our institutions, and our standing in the world. Why should we in philanthropy get involved?
Power, whether in an electoral system or a corporate boardroom, originates with the people who control the nomination of candidates -- not with those who "vote" after this process is complete. The more nominees voters can choose from, the more diverse the actual choices become.
In the end, redistribution from wealthy states to poor states is one of our greatest strengths. It makes us all better. But the politicians representing those who need the most help are the very politicians fighting to cut important programs and keeping the federal government shutdown.
In an age when mobile technology use is only expected to increase drastically, it's past time for legislators to embrace this new mode of communication. Citizens deserve to know they're being listened to.
We can fix the Voting Rights Act, we can pass the Same-Day Registration Act and other important election reforms, and we can finish the march that Congressman Lewis and so many other brave men and women started in Selma all those years ago.
In framing the U.S. Constitution, the Founding Fathers underscored the importance of America's voting system, which they believed to be critical to a strong democracy. Today, we still have work to do to make the most out of our nation's voting system.
I had the pleasure to speak and participate at the March On Washington this year. We cheered, we cried, we remembered, we chanted, we commemorated and we marched, in the same spirit of those who fought for us in times past.
It is mind-boggling that winning candidates regularly assume office with mandates that are hardly representative of the diverse makeup of the city's population. Leaders cannot govern effectively with the support of such a paltry slice of the electorate.