Empire State Indivisible Testimony For Public Financing Commission
My name is Danielle Brecker and I am a co-lead organizer of Empire StateIndivisible. Last year, we joined with other grassroots activists to canvass and get out the vote across New York state. I personally canvassed in all five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, and the Hudson Valley speaking to thousands of people.
When we started, I was worried people would not be receptive and turn us away but the opposite happened. People invited us in; listened to what we had to say; promised to vote; and most miraculous to me, thanked us for talking to them because no one else had bothered. Implicit in this thank you,that we heard again and again across the state, is the feeling of New Yorkersthat they no longer have a voice or power in our democracy because the power has totally shifted to big monied donors.
With much effort we proved that people still can make a difference in an election but we need to make this the norm not the celebrated exception. We need public funded New York state elections with at least a 6-to-1 match on small donations for both primary and general elections; lower contribution limits; and an independent enforcement unit!
I am a resident of Long Island City, Queens. Everyday I see the effects of big money in politics. The overdevelopment of luxury real estate, crumbling infrastructure from the sewers to transit, and limited funding for NYCHA,homelessness, and schools. The best way for us to solve these and all issues we face is to support candidates who are truly of the people, who speak for the people, and who are donated to by the people. Small donor matched public funded New York state elections are needed for our democracy and our communities across the state.