Issue One’s Legislative Director Elise Wirkus has been recognized as one of the top grassroots lobbyists in Washington, D.C., by The Hill in its annual list of individuals who “leveraged their expertise and connections to make a difference in the nation’s capital this year.”
Throughout 2022, Wirkus and Issue One have been at the forefront of a number of high-profile issues, including accountability efforts stemming from the Jan. 6 attack on our democracy and the subsequent bipartisan congressional investigation, as well as the vital need to update the Electoral Count Act (ECA) to ensure a peaceful transfer of presidential power and protect against a constitutional crisis following future presidential elections.
The effort to reform the ECA has resulted in a strong Senate proposal led by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and with the broad support of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The House passed similar bipartisan legislation earlier this year to clarify the outdated and ambiguous law, spearheaded by Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).
At the Bipartisan Policy Center’s 2022 Elections Summit held earlier this week, Wirkus reiterated that a full and complete update to the ECA is necessary this year to discourage anti-democratic efforts to undermine the rule of law and to reaffirm that elections are decided by the voters — not rogue partisan actors, vice presidents, or state legislatures.
Wirkus has also been a leading voice in the movement to make Congress a more functional and representative institution by advancing important bipartisan reforms endorsed by the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, including the implementation of an increase to the base salary for House staffers. She has also argued for a ban on individual members of Congress and their families from trading stocks while in office.
Through our work with Faces of Democracy, the bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity, and ReFormers Caucus, Wirkus and Issue One have continued to defend the legitimacy of U.S. elections and advocate for greater funding for elections and stronger protections for election officials and poll workers across the country to ensure these guardians of democracy have the tools and resources they need to carry out free and fair elections.