Making government more open, responsive to, and reflective of ordinary citizens.
Narrow special interests disproportionately influence elections, public debate, and the government’s decision-making process, often drowning out the voice, subverting the will, and harming the interest of the general public. VPIRG is working for a more participatory and inclusive democracy: in favor of government transparency and integrity, against big money politics, and for more fair and accessible elections.
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Latest Democracy News
On March 24, the Vermont Senate gave its final approval by a vote of 22-8 to legislation (S.51) that would make important changes to state campaign finance law. Most significantly under S.51, only individuals, political committees, and political parties would be allowed make political contributions to candidates. The bill would increase transparency in campaign finance as well, by requiring political committees (a.k.a. PACs) to include the name ...Read More
The Vermont Senate gave initial approval today in a voice vote to legislation that will make permanent the policy that was put in place as an emergency measure in 2020 to mail all active registered voters a ballot for the general election. In addition to making universally-mailed ballots permanent for all general elections, the bill (S.15) ...Read More
On Wednesday, March 10th, the Senate Government Operations Committee advanced legislation (S.51) that would effectively ban corporate campaign contributions directly to candidates. If enacted, S.51 would be a meaningful step towards getting big money out of politics. Currently, Vermont’s campaign finance law allows corporations to contribute the same amount as individuals. The idea here is simple: corporations are not people and they shouldn’t have the same ...Read More
On Town Meeting Day, Burlington voted resoundingly in favor of a better ballot. Ballot Question 4, a charter change to adopt ranked choice voting for city council elections passed decisively with 64 percent of the vote, and with nearly 4,000 more ‘yes’ votes than ‘no’ votes. Once approved by the legislature, the measure will take effect in 2022. The Better Ballot Burlington campaign and Honorary Co-Chairs Councilor Zoraya Hightower ...Read More
According to a new poll released Tuesday, Vermont voters are overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the practice of mailing a ballot to every voter, a policy that was put in place by state leaders on a temporary basis last year. The poll, conducted by the independent firm Lincoln Park Strategies on behalf of the nonprofit organizations ...Read More
This past week, VPIRG’s own Kate Lapp joined former Gov. Howard Dean, Councilor Zoraya Hightower, Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s, Rob Richie of FairVote, and Anna Kellar of the Maine League of Women Voters for a fun, informative virtual event on ranked choice voting. Catch this replay of the event! Featured are remarks from expert ...Read More
At VPIRG, we’re not generally in the business of urging people not to demonstrate or protest peacefully. These are time-honored tactics by which we make our voices heard and show the breadth of support for our campaigns. In fact, the day after the election in November we co-sponsored a State House rally aimed at making ...Read More
We were horrified by the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. The images were shocking. Members of Congress sheltering in place, doors barricaded, and guns drawn by security personnel to keep the angry mob out. One person was shot and killed inside the Capitol during the assault and several others were apparently injured. And ...Read More