Today, Issue One is celebrating 10 years of strengthening democracy. Since its founding a decade ago, Issue One has been uniting Republicans, Democrats, and independents in the movement to fix our broken political system and build an inclusive democracy that works for everyone.
As we reflect on our important successes, we also know there’s more work to do to continue bolstering U.S. elections, strengthening ethics and accountability, increasing government transparency, and reducing the corrosive influence of big money in politics.
Since our founding in 2012, Issue One has had an outsized impact. We’ve brought together more than 300 former members of Congress, civic leaders, and election workers from across the political spectrum to protect our democracy and build a future in which every voice is heard. Our ReFormers Caucus, made up of nearly 200 former members of Congress, is the largest bipartisan coalition of its kind ever assembled to advocate for sweeping reforms to fix our broken political system. Our National Council on Election Integrity is the leading bipartisan voice on protecting elections and combating efforts to undermine our democratic process. In 2020, we raised $15 million for our Count Every Vote campaign to protect our elections and push back against attempts to undermine faith in our democratic process. And our Faces of Democracy initiative, which launched earlier this year, is powered by election workers who are using their voices to help win regular, predictable election funding and increased protections for election workers and their families.
“Issue One was founded with the goal of reducing the influence of money out of politics. While that goal remains, other significant threats to our democracy have emerged in the last decade – namely, assaults on our elections, unchecked disinformation, the defiance of democratic norms and standards, and paralyzing levels of polarization on Capitol Hill,” said Issue One Founder and CEO Nick Penniman. “Issue One has adapted accordingly, and responded with innovative and audacious initiatives that are expressive of our values, and capable of garnering the bipartisan support necessary to bank victories. I’m incredibly proud of the work my amazing teammates have done over the years. Together, we are entering the next 10 years of our journey with hopeful hearts, strong sea legs, and clear eyes. Onward we go!”
These efforts have propelled Issue One to become the leading crosspartisan political reform group in Washington, D.C. Both inside the halls of Congress and across the country, we have advanced commonsense solutions that have improved government and its responsiveness to “we the people.”
With a mission that is more critical than ever, Issue One’s resolve remains strong and unwavering. Our democratic republic is under greater stress than it has been in generations, and democracies all over the world are looking to us for strength and leadership. Anti-democratic forces within our borders are seeking to undermine our elections and the rule of law, gerrymandering continues to distort and warp our representative system of government, and our broken campaign finance system gives undue influence to lobbyists, special interests, and the wealthiest Americans, while the vast majority of ordinary citizens lack a seat at the table.
The work to form a more perfect union cannot be done alone, and Issue One is fortunate to be among a growing network of partners and democracy defenders united in common purpose. With their support and a growing donor community that has invested in the cause of democracy through a multitude of convenings, partnerships, and initiatives, we will continue to bring Republicans, Democrats, and independents together to build a brighter tomorrow where democracy worldwide can flourish.