Restore Our Representative Democracy and the Public Trust!
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A message from the citizens, organizations, and local governments of the Space Coast (in Brevard County, Florida), to the Florida Constitution Revision Commission and our state and national public officials that are charged with representing our needs and interests in government:
It's no secret that citizens feel and, arguably, are removed from the "business" of government. Whether we call it corruption, legalized bribery, or a rigged system, we can all agree that public officials are more beholden to their big-money campaign contributors (often by way of lobbying firms) than the truth of the matter or the will of the people. Though it's a long-term, seemingly overwhelming problem set to fix, we ask those with the power to effect necessary change to please focus on the "top five" of our requests to restore public trust and confidence in our government:
1 - We demand a Clean Government, in which campaign finance reform effectively stops political bribery and the use of unlimited dark money to drown the voices and interests of the people and businesses of the constituency.
2 - Pending necessary campaign finance reform, we call for mitigating measures to help publicly fund elections such as tax credits to enable voting taxpayers to contribute to the candidate(s) of their choice.
3 - We recognize local governments as having the closest and most effective ability to represent the interests of their residents, visitors, and businesses. We call for the strengthening of home rule authority on all matters not specifically reserved by the US or Florida Constitutions.
4 - We look to the American Anti-Corruption Act and similar drafts of model provisions from which we can implement necessary, restorative measures to clarify public expectations, protect our rights to transparency, and ensure fair investigation and effective accountability of our public officials criminally beholden to special/self interests.
5 - We believe that public officials have a pre-existing duty of loyalty to the public, found in their oath of office, in effectively listening, publicly deliberating, and soundly advocating issues of collective interest. We call for a constitutional declaration of such a right to expect loyalty, and for general laws to implement such expectations, to include explanatory justifications to constituents on matters of perceived conflict of interest.
We, the undersigned, will vote and engage accordingly to support and bring about these five objectives in our cities, in our county, our state, and our nation. While we recognize there is much more to do to restore the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of government process, we are hereby partners in such an endeavor and will strive to share information and coordinate resources as possible to help maximize our community’s efforts.
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