Over 30 candidates and supporters came together this past weekend to focus on the upcoming November 2017 elections at a workshop about how citizens can regain control of government by challenging candidates to actively engage in transparent campaign financing. Held at the NYSUT headquarters in Kingston, the workshop was organized by Citizen Action, a statewide grassroots organization focused on government reform and progressive policy. Jessica Wisniewski of Citizen Action provided an overview of current campaign finance law and how policy changes would shrink campaign funding away from big money interests.
Trailblazers PAC, whose motto is “Front Porch Politics,” provided the campaign finance workshop on how candidates can successfully fundraise by opting into better transparency than law currently requires. The nonpartisan PAC educates and invests in candidates running for local office in New York and Pennsylvania who demonstrably work toward more honest government.
Former State Senator Terry Gipson moderated the workshop and provided opening and closing remarks that described his experience as a candidate and officeholder, and why groups like Trailblazers PAC are critical for reconnecting local government with voters. “Trailblazers PAC understands that we can build a stronger democracy by relying on each other and paying more attention to the politics in our own backyard,” Gipson said.
“We believe in moving politics out of the back room onto the front porch, because fixing our broken government begins locally,” said Leslie Danks Burke, who founded Trailblazers PAC and presented at the workshop. “Our new model trains candidates to engage voters instead of outside interests. We’ve seen how our Front Porch Politics makes candidates more successful, and means we have more accountable officeholders for our future.”
To qualify for support from Trailblazers PAC, candidates must raise a portion of their campaign money in small amounts from the voters they are running to represent, which minimizes the influence of outside interest groups and builds a stronger connection between voters and elected officials. Trailblazers PAC is currently accepting applications for endorsement from any candidate running in a 2017 race at the county level or below in New York or Pennsylvania, at www.TrailblazersPAC.com.