About Us

Issue One is putting the American people back in control of our democracy by reducing the power of money in politics and policymaking.

What we believe

Everything we do at Issue One is rooted in these core beliefs:

  1. This is a problem we must fix. Money in politics has become a crisis for our country. Political spending by well-financed interests has drowned out our voices and made it impossible for our elected officials to govern effectively. We have to rein in the power and influence of money, so we can solve the challenges we face.
  2. This is a problem we can fix. We are making progress. Many cities and states have already implemented solutions to ensure that elected officials hear all of our voices. We have broad bipartisan support across the country, and if enough people make money in politics a priority, we can take solutions to the federal level.

How we will win

To win, we have to think differently about what is possible:

  1. Our cause isn’t left or right—it’s all-American. Making sure that our elected officials can actually spend time governing, based on the needs of their constituents, is in everyone’s interest. This is not a liberal or conservative issue: We all pay the price for our broken system.
  2. This is not a backburner issue—it’s our first priority. We must demand solutions for this problem, and elected officials must know that their careers depend on following through for the people they serve.
  3. This is not a lost cause—we will win this fight. Many people assume that it’s just too hard to fix the system, but we’ve seen that it’s possible at the state and local level. When we make it clear that our support for current lawmakers and candidates depends on their plan to get our government working again, change will happen.

What winning looks like

At Issue One, success looks like:

  1. Wins in Congress. Congress will pass groundbreaking legislation that changes incentives for lawmakers and supercharges the impact of small donors. We will win changes that make elections more transparent and lawmakers and lobbyists more accountable.
  2. Wins at the state and local levels. We will strengthen existing clean elections systems and win similar improvements in states across the country. Issue One has already funded initiatives from Iowa to New Hampshire to New Mexico that have put the people back in control of their state and local governments.
  3. Changes in the courts. Judges who understand the threat posed to our country from the power of money in politics will begin handing down pro-democracy decisions.

“Issue One is connecting the dots between money in politics and a lack of progress on the issues Americans care about most. We are generating a bigger, bolder movement for reform by recruiting new constituencies to the fight and repositioning money in politics as the core civic issue of our time.”

 

Nick Penniman, Executive Director
meet our advisory board