Rather than try to dismantle one of the few tools we have to keep this problem from getting worse, this administration should take a more nuanced and comprehensive approach toward making our campuses more reflective of our society, particularly for the most diverse generation of students ever.
With only the wealthy funding and communicating with the campaigns of elected officials, politicians are incentivized to make policy decisions that align with their donors’ interests, not those of their broader constituency. But the elite donor class holds views that don’t align with the general public’s, as a 2016 Demos study detailed.
Studies have shown that policy most reflects the preferences of the most wealthy members of society and that those preferences do not reflect the greater public opinion on issues including the economy.
A 2013 survey by Demos, a public policy organization that combats inequality, showed that 10 percent of respondents who were unemployed had been informed that they would not be hired because of some facet of their credit history. The same survey indicated that 1 out of every 7 job applicants with “blemished credit histories” had been told they were not hired because of their credit history. [...]
For several years, Demos and our partners have been working to fulfill our Constitution’s democratic promise by forging a new legal order that is open to money-in-politics reforms, and marshalling the factual and legal arguments that could help the Court move in this direction.
There are specific reforms that could help black families. Standardizing same-day voter registration across states would benefit communities of color, which face disproportionate barriers to civic participation.
Simply put, black families in the District overall have less wealth and income than white families — and therefore have less ability to give to political candidates. This helps explain why black D.C. residents are underrepresented year after year in political donations.
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) has signed a law that will create publicly financed elections, reversing her previous opposition to a plan that advocates say will help curb money’s influence in District politics.
Bowser announced that she was throwing her support behind the Fair Elections Act, which was approved unanimously by the D.C. Council in February. The law, which will first affect elections in 2020, will steer millions annually toward the campaigns of local candidates and is aimed at reducing their reliance on deep-pocketed donors. [...]
The Black Census Project is intended to “give us a better sense of who black people are, where we are, and what we hope and dream for,” says Alicia Garza who also helped start the Black Lives Matter movement.
While no law prevents outside donors, for example, from investing in the campaign of a low-income person, the likelihood that they’ll do so is low. The problem is social capital: Low-income people lack it, and so their personal networks do not often contain millionaires with open pocketbooks.
In the midst of a Twitter feed alight with stories about police being used to shut black people out of places to eat, drink, exercise, and relax, comes a story about Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) using policy to do the same. The federal government is adding new and significant hurdles to communities of color — particularly black people — being able to access housing.
Chiraag Bains, Director of Legal Strategies for Demos
“Do you believe that the Constitution requires that we allow corporations and wealthy individuals the unfettered ability to translate their economic might into political power through campaign contributions and expenditures—even if it drowns out the voices of working-class Americans and erects barriers to candidates of color who lack access to big money and the mostly white donor class?”
The Trump administration’s latest attack on immigrants, a proposed rule that would punish families for accessing public benefits, has rightfully come under fire for its potential to threaten children’s health and impose financial hardship on households and communities.