We’re excited to announce that the Rootstrikers/ACS Campaign Finance Policy Team (CFPT) has lined up an awesome project for this semester. We’re going to be working with a group called Represent Boston, which is drafting legislation to implement a publicly-funded election model in Cambridge. They’ve asked us to help research feasible models and draft parts of the proposed legislation.

If you are interested in working with CFPT this semester, please email us at rootstrikers@mail.law.harvard.edu. Once we have our team put together, we’ll be in touch  with a meeting date and specific tasks and assignments. What follows is some background information about Represent Boston and the work they’ve done so far on this initiative.

Represent Boston – Background Information:
In the spring of 2014, the all-volunteer, non-partisan group Represent Boston was founded. Represent Boston is a collection of citizens within the Greater Boston area concerned about the role of money in politics and working under the banner and guidance of the national, non-partisan, grassroots campaign Represent.Us. The purpose of this campaign is to pass legislation, initially locally and then eventually nationally, modeled after the American Anti-Corruption Act (AACA). Our local group’s goal for 2015 is to pass municipal legislation modeled after the AACA in Cambridge.

We began working with City Councillor Nadeem Mazen last year, who put forth a policy order in May 2014 (along with Councillor Carlone) ordering:

“That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Law Department, the Election Commission, and the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance to determine the feasibility of publicly funded elections for Cambridge, taking into account models for implementation from other municipalities as well as the exploration of new publicly funded models.” 

Although initially rejected by Council, Represent Boston organized a powerful response from the local community to demand a reconsideration. After a successful email campaign and large community showing at the reconsideration meeting, the policy order passed. The response came back in October, and the City Manager subsequently scheduled a Government Operations, Rule and Claims Committee (GORCC) meeting in January 2015.

The Represent Boston team is now working to organize and engage the Cambridge community around this issue, and working with the City and local and outside experts to develop Cambridge-appropriate legislation.

We look forward to working with you!