The commitments –– totaling over $5M –– are the first being made by the Unite America Fund, a philanthropic venture fund committed to fostering the leadership and incentives necessary to achieve a more representative and functional government.
The campaigns include:
Alaskans For Better Elections, a ballot initiative that seeks to implement a first of its kind top-four nonpartisan primary and Ranked Choice Voting general election for all state and federal elections in Alaska, in addition to requiring immediate disclosure of all political contributions over $2,000 and calling for a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution to regulate money in U.S. elections.
Voter Choice Massachusetts, the organization leading the charge for Ranked Choice Voting in Massachusetts. With the support of more than 90 lawmakers, the group is now working to qualify a ballot measure for the 2020 ballot that would implement Ranked Choice Voting for all county, state, and federal primaries and general elections.
Pennsylvanians Against Gerrymandering, the organization advocating for an independent citizens commission to draw federal district lines in Pennsylvania following the 2020 census. If adopted, the proposed legislative framework would establish an independent citizens commission, prohibit elected officials from serving on the commission, impose a supermajority requirement to adopt maps, and introduce standards for public transparency during the map drawing process.
- Rank the Vote, the ballot campaign encouraging New Yorkers to vote yes on a change to the city’s charter initiating Ranked Choice Voting for all primary and special elections on the November 2019 ballot.
“A strong democracy is the foundation for progress on every issue that we care about,” said Kathryn Murdoch, co-chair of Unite America. “Through the Unite America Fund, I am thrilled to support these campaigns alongside a growing community of philanthropists who are stepping forward to help accelerate the democracy reform movement.”
“In order to tackle our toughest challenges –– from the climate crisis, to gun violence, to our growing national debt –– we must first change the rules in our political system which too often reward political division and dysfunction,” said Charlie Wheelan, co-chair of Unite America. “ These investments are just the beginning of Unite America’s efforts to improve governing incentives at a state and federal level.”
The Unite America Fund also plans to invest in electing pragmatic and pro-reform candidates from both political parties in primary elections, as well as in shared infrastructure to build capacity in the democracy reform movement.