Rewriting the Rules: Reforming Our Political Process

By Daniel Biss

The wealthy and well-connected have built a system that keeps them in charge while the rest of us fall further and further behind. From the way we fund our campaigns to how the district maps get drawn to the basic way you get on the ballot, the system is designed to push us out.

That’s why I’m introducing Rewriting the Rules: six proposals to build a political system that serves the interests of everyday people. Watch the announcement video:

1. Grassroots Selection of Party Chair

If we want a Democratic Party that’s accountable to Democratic voters, we can’t rely on a closed door coronation. To bring in new faces and new ideas, we need a new process for electing party leaders that starts with local activists.

2. Small donor matching

With a system of public financing through matching small donations, grassroots candidates can run for office based on their ideas, not their bank accounts.

3. Ballot access

Measures to expand access to the ballot will create more competitive elections and ensure that political machines can’t limit third party access or throw ordinary people off the ballot based on technicalities.

4. Fair Maps

Illinois needs an independent redistricting commission to draw fair maps while protecting the voting rights and representation of diverse communities in the General Assembly—because voters should pick their elected officials, not the other way around.

5. Ranked-Choice Voting System

Implementing ranked-choice voting will give voters more opportunities to select independent and third party candidates who share their values and ensure that the candidate who gets elected is the candidate with the most support.

6. Leadership Term Limits

Rather than allowing the Senate President, Speaker of the House, and minority party leaders to consolidate power over years and even decades, we must implement term limits to encourage the flow of new ideas and restore power to rank-and-file legislators.

Insiders will tell us it’s too complicated and that we should let them make all the decisions. Really, it’s quite simple: the system is rigged against us and it’s time to rewrite the rules.

If you believe that it’s time we for an electoral system that serves our interests instead of the billionaires, add your name in support of Rewriting the Rules.