We want to acknowledge an ugly truth: the American people’s trust in government is at an all time low.
After the last four years, it’s not hard to see why! Trump’s behavior while he was in office was excessively, cartoonishly, and so transparently corrupt that we need to make sure that this abuse of power can never happen again. So this week, we’re exploring one way we can start building back trust in our democracy: by curbing corruption with the For the People Act.
⚖️ Corruption Among Government Officials ⚖️
Remember “drain the swamp”? It was Donald Trump’s hollow campaign “promise” meant to make voters believe he would root out corruption. But once in office, he and his administration exploited ethical loopholes at every possible turn in order to enrich themselves and their allies — all at the expense of the American people.
For example, Trump never divested himself from his business holdings and he actively made money from his real estate ventures while in office. So did his adult children! He also never released his tax returns — concealing potentially shady business dealings from the American people and flouting norms of transparency.
But this isn’t just about Trump. It’s about the people in our government who are meant to represent us and keep the American people’s best interest at the center of their work. We’re talking lawmakers, Supreme Court Justices, even the presidential transition team. These are public jobs and they have a responsibility to be above reproach.
So, how do we get to where we need to be?
The For the People Act would tackle corruption by sealing off the ethical and legal loopholes that allow shady behavior to take place.
Specifically, the For the People Act would finally require presidents to release their tax returns and divest from financial holdings. It would also enact limits on donations from lobbyists, make Supreme Court Justices finally adhere to an ethical code of conduct, and tighten and refine our anti-corruption laws.
These are common sense reforms that can make sure elected officials and civil servants are working for the American people, not for themselves. And most importantly, we can start to restore our trust in government.
Your representative is voting on the For the People Act next week. The most important thing you can do before then is take action and make sure they know where you stand on this bill.
Next week is the final installment of our series! We’ll be talking about how the For the People Act expands access to the ballot box and helps protect the right to vote.