Founded by John W. Gardner as a non-partisan organization “for those Americans who want to help in the rebuilding of the nation” Common Cause has been working to reform democracy for almost 50 years.
Gardner was a Republican working under a Democrat at the time, and his commitment to the greater good is an important reminder of what democracy in its truest form can look like.
In the years since its 1970 inception, Common Cause has made continuous efforts to use democracy to strengthen the voices of all Americans. Here's a selection of their many victories in citizens' advocacy:
1970-1974: Common Cause came out in strong opposition of the Vietnam War, lobbying Congress to cut funding.
1971: Common Cause helped pass the 26th Amendment, which lowered the national voting age to 18.
1974: FECA (Federal Election Campaign Act) which regulates political campaign spending and fundraising was passed after a great deal of lobbying from Common Cause.
1978: Congress passes the Ethics in Government Act, requiring government officials to disclose their finances.
1990: Reform group lobbying leads to the Americans With Disabilities Act being passed by congress.
1995: After an ethics probe spearheaded by Common Cause finds House Speaker Newt Gingrich to be in violation of house rules, Gingrich resigns.
2002: The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act is passed, cracking down on "soft money" contributions to political campaigns.
2007: Common Cause secured the passing of the biggest ethics-reform bill since Watergate, Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which ensures transparency and accountability in legislation.
2011: Common Cause blows the whistle on ALEC, he American Legislative Exchange Council, for using a charitable facade to usher in profit-driven state laws.
To learn more about Common Cause, click here to go to their website and please consider a small donation of $5 or more to support the future of America.
"Common Cause is an organization that works for everyday Americans to be heard and represented. They fight to take big money out of politics, promote equal rights, and create an honest government. It is so important now, possibly more than ever, to be knowledgeable of our government's actions. I encourage you all to look into the work of Common Cause and get involved!"
I'm Molly Egan, an illustrator based in Philadelphia. I love using bold colors in my work, though I'm rarely seen wearing a color more scandalous than navy. When I'm not drawing, I can be found narrowly avoiding bike accidents, perusing the internet for tacky knick knacks, and binging on chickpea curry.
Each day of December, we will spread awareness on a carefully chosen organization promoting a safe environment for all Americans. Each cause is lovingly illustrated by a different artist.
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