Saving Democracy Costs Money. How Do We Pay for It?

Increasing Civic Participation Is Expensive, But a New Idea—Democratic Action Funds—Could Help Raise the Cash

In this time of rising polarization, authoritarian populism, and maddening big-money politics, leaders often say that it’s up to we the people to save democracy.

But democracy costs money. And democracy—unlike the governments and special interests that seek to control it—has no budget. So how are you and I supposed to pay for all that democracy-saving?

There’s a new and practical answer to that question—called “Democratic Action Funds.”

I first heard a proposal for these from Marjan Ehsassi, a non-resident future of democracy fellow with the Los Angeles-based Berggruen Institute, at a democracy …

Hawaii Isn’t So Beautiful at the Ballot Box

How Did the Aloha State End up Last in the Nation in Voter Participation?

During Hawaii’s early days as an American state, the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye would boast about its high voter participation rate.

But since that mid-20th-century high watermark, Hawaii has …