How bringing money into politics can drive money out of politics

From city halls to the halls of Congress, big money dominates American politics. Despite widespread support for reform, even basic attempts to address the problem have been defeated. As a result, American politics has gotten stuck, with even popular reforms like raising the minimum wage, mitigating climate change, and preventing gun violence seeming impossible.

A bold new plan being piloted right now could provide a way forward. The idea is simple: The government gives everyone “democracy vouchers” that they can donate to candidates of their choice. If candidates opt-in, they can accept and redeem vouchers for public money to fund their campaign. In Democracy Vouchers, Tom Latkowski shares everything you need to know to start championing this transformative campaign finance system in your city and state.

Praise for Democracy Vouchers

“Conventional wisdom in the United States is that big money will always rule politics — that the public will has no chance. But conventional wisdom doesn’t know about democracy vouchers... In his hopeful and pragmatic book, Tom Latkowski tells the story of this innovation and documents the immense promise.”

-Alan Durning, Executive Director of the Sightline Institute

“Voters overwhelmingly agree that our current campaign finance system is broken… We need a competing system that allows candidates to run viable campaigns with small contributions from ordinary citizens. The time is now to read about this important solution and organize to pass these transformative policies in your community.”

-Olivia Zink, Executive Director of the Coalition for Open Democracy

“The electoral system was made for the wealthy (or the wealthy adjacent)... This book walks readers through how we got here and what we can do to change it so the system can do what was originally intended — create a free and fair democracy.”

-Martín Diego Garcia, Vice President of The Campaign Workshop

About Tom Latkowski

Tom Latkowski is an expert on state and local campaign finance. As a policy organizer at the Democracy Policy Network, Latkowski authored a policy kit on city and state democracy voucher programs. An advocate for public financing, Latkowski is the cofounder of Los Angeles For Democracy Vouchers, an organization working to end mass exclusion from the campaign finance system in Los Angeles.

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New Book: Democracy Vouchers — Tom Latkowski

About the Democracy Policy Network

This book is a project of the Democracy Policy Network's Open Government workshop. The Democracy Policy Network (DPN) is an interstate network that organizes policy support for the next generation of state leaders working to deepen democracy in statehouses across America. By organizing people to gather, package, organize, and amplify a transformative, deep-dive policy agenda spanning every state issue, we provide bold state leaders with the policy support they need to deepen democracy. DPN's Open Government workshop works to raise up policies related to opening up our government — out legislatures, elections, courts, and agencies — to more people in more ways. To learn more, visit

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