RECENT PROGRESS and REASONS FOR OPTIMISM!
AB 2188, the Social Media DISCLOSE Act extends the nation-leading California DISCLOSE Act to cover political ads on social media sites and similar online platforms. It includes a requirement to label political ads with their top 3 big donors, and it requires ballot measure ads to show true funders even if they try to hide behind front groups. This is a huge victory because spending on social media political ads is skyrocketing ($600 million on Facebook alone in 2016) and may soon approach political spending on television and radio.
AB 249, the CA DISCLOSE Act, was signed into law in 2017! Assembly Bill 249 requires ballot measure ads and independent expenditure ads for or against candidates to clearly and prominently disclose the identity of their top three funders right on the ads themselves. It also includes first-in-the-nation follow-the-money rules to make ballot measure ads show their true funders; the funders will no longer be able to hide behind misleading names.
SB 1107,Public Financing of Election Campaigns in California passed in 2016. The new law allows all Californian jurisdictions to give their citizens a bigger voice in democracy by changing the way election campaigns are financed. SB 1107 amends California's antiquated ban on public financing of campaigns to allow local governments and the state to pass their own systems for citizen funding of election campaigns to magnify the voices of small donors and everyday voters.
Prop 59, the Overturn Citizens United measure passed in 2016 with true grassroots support! This measure sent a clear message to California’s Senators, Congress members and state legislators to propose and ratify a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United and saying that money isn't speech and corporations aren't people! At the end of 2017, four states have now passed ballot measures demanding a constitutional amendment, and 19 states have passed similar measures through their legislatures! We are half-way to the 38 states needed to ratify a constitutional amendment!
Inspiration for the Long Run!
Remember that the Women’s Suffrage amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878. It was finally ratified by the states in 1920, 42 years later. The women’s right to vote was won by the optimists who were willing to work for it, not by the pessimists who stayed home believing that great change was not possible.