Author: Ardian Shaholli

Prop A Is Long Overdue

Proposition A is Austin’s latest and most ambitious attempt at developing a robust mass transit system. If approved by voters, the $7.1 billion bond will expand the MetroRapid bus system as well as adding two light rail lines, a downtown tunnel and a second commuter rail line to the city’s public transit infrastructure. Despite requiring a 4 percent property tax increase, the plan is a necessary investment for a rapidly growing city. COST Smaller ballot initiatives that primarily called for the construction of a light rail system were rejected by Austin voters in 2000 and 2014 due to concerns over costs and infrequent ridership. Proposition A is more expensive than those...

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Democracy Vouchers Empower Voters, Lessen Big Donor Influence

Out of the 535 members of Congress, only 11 receive a majority of their campaign funds from small donors. Seattle’s 2017 Democracy Vouchers program reversed this trend, resulting in an election where 87 percent of all contributions were from small donors. Moving forward, democracy vouchers provide a promising template for future electoral reforms that look to increase voter participation and engagement across the country. MODERN HISTORY OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled in Buckley v. Valeo that money is speech. Using this logic, the court deemed campaign expenditure limits unconstitutional. Additionally, it struck down the provision...

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