Submitting her resignation letter over the weekend, Federal Election Commission member Ann Ravel cited dysfunction and gridlock at the political watchdog agency charged with regulating campaign finance as reasons for her departure.
Last month, CA Fwd had a chance to interview Ravel at the 50 State Solution event, which gathered political reformers from across the country. Ravel moderated a panel on the role of civic technology and data in reform work.
In the video above, Ravel talks about the problem of gridlock that's also apparent in Congress and how representatives on both sides of the aisle often prioritize re-election over the needs of their constituents.
Because of the situation at the federal level, reform advocates are looking to the state and local level for more action in improving elections and campaign finance disclosure, among other issues.
As trust in federal government continues to languish at historically low levels, there are better opportunities to make strides in reform in states and cities. In her New York Times op-ed, Ravel argues the price of unresponsive government and disengaged public puts the country at risk:
“When citizens feel that their voice doesn’t matter, that their vote cannot make a difference, and that they are powerless, our democracy is in danger. We should encourage efforts at the state and local level to enact campaign finance and other reforms that enable greater participation in the political life of the community.”
The goal of the 50 State Solution project is to link and enhance the work being done across the United States to innovate in in political reforms that could break gridlock and make a more meaningful connection between the people and the representatives elected by them.