Important electoral reforms have been implemented by California voters over the last decade. Groups like California Forward are most often associated with those changes, like citizens' redistricting, the Top Two Primary, and term limits reform.
In addition to the organizational support that groups like CA Fwd bring to reform efforts, individual citizens are often essential contributors — helping to inspire, fund and champion efforts to improve governance in California.
Jim Heerwagen is an example of that type of Californian, one who, as he says on his LinkedIn page, “likes to work on policy change that makes democracy actually work for the people.” Heerwagen found succes as a software entrepreneur and decided to help reform how California politics work by serving as a board member of MapLight and also advancing a transparency measure called “Voters' Right to Know” in 2015.
Heerwagen’s goal is to tilt policy back to public, not special interests and help to continue to foster re-engagement of citizens in the political process.
We caught up with Heerwagen at CA Fwd's 50 State Solution event in San Francisco earlier this year where he discussed the reforms achieved in California thus far and the importance of improving the transparency of how political money in California is tracked and reported.