Democracy Vouchers: The Book!

The first book from DPN Books has launched: on how bringing money into politics can drive money out of politics

Democracy Vouchers: The Book!

Today, DPN launches its first book: Democracy Vouchers: How bringing money into politics can drive money out of politics by DPN policy organizer Tom Latkowski (with a foreword by Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig).

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From city halls to the halls of Congress, big money dominates American politics. Despite widespread support for reform, even basic attempts to address the problem have been defeated. As a result, American politics has gotten stuck, with even popular reforms like raising the minimum wage, mitigating climate change, and preventing gun violence seeming impossible.

A bold new plan being piloted right now in Seattle could provide a way forward. The idea is simple: The government gives everyone “democracy vouchers” that they can donate to candidates of their choice. If candidates opt-in, they can accept and redeem vouchers for public money to fund their campaign. In Democracy Vouchers, Tom shares everything you need to know to start championing this transformative campaign finance system in your city and state.

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We are so excited to launch this first book from Democracy Policy Network Books. It is a prime exemplar of our model of gathering, packaging, organizing, and amplifying promising policy ideas for deepening democracy in the states. When Seattle’s democracy vouchers program was so successful, we knew we had to make a policy kit about it. Last year, Tom organized one (which you can view here). But we saw there was more that needed to be done, because there had yet to be a book written about this transformative idea. And so over the past year, Tom expanded his policy kit into a full book, adding context, history, case studies, and FAQs—and an inspiring foreword from an original popularizer of the democracy vouchers model, Lawrence Lessig. The product is a wonderful little book that places democracy vouchers within the story of campaign finance reform and lays out a path forward for how they could spread to more cities and states across America. We hope you can check it out — and use it to fight for democracy vouchers in your city and state.

Learn more

  • If you missed Statehouse Futures, our annual summit of policy and strategy for deepening democracy in the states, all of our videos and resources are here.
  • If you want to support DPN’s mission of raising up state policy ideas for deepening democracy, support us on Patreon.
  • Follow along with DPN on our twitter, instagram, and podcast.
  • Join up with DPN — as a policy volunteer, staffer, or legislator — here.
  • Have an idea for DPN? You can get in touch at:

Onward to a deeper democracy,