There aren’t many issues that 2016 presidential candidates from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Clinton says Zuckerberg has 'authoritarian' views on misinformation Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee MORE to Bernie SandersBernie SandersKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters MORE to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE all agree are a problem.  But as the candidates jockey for attention and position themselves for the primaries, each has made it clear that our system of financing political campaigns that allows unlimited corporate and special interest spending is utterly broken.   

It's projected that the 2016 presidential election alone could cost $5 billion, the most expensive in history. Americans overwhelming agree the influence of money in politics is out of control. A recent poll from the New York Times and CBS News found more than 85 percent of respondents want to see an overhaul of the way our country funds campaigns. And Americans want candidates with a focus on real, comprehensive solutions – not candidates who are paying the problem lip service. 


The need for voters to speak up directly to public officials and candidates is at the heart of a new campaign backed by a coalition of advocates for campaign finance reform – led by Say No to Big Money and People For the American Way – that will give anyone with internet access and a camera the ability to provide their own unique opinion on why this problem matters, and an audience for that creativity.  The $64,000 Democracy For All Video Challenge mobilizes people all over the country to create short videos advocating for one such solution to our money in politics crisis: a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United and get big money out of politics.  

The campaign launched in August, and early videos offer a sampling of the creativity that can’t be expressed in polling data – from a guitarist singing an original song on a beach to a spoken rap focused on political donations from chemical manufacturers. While participants’ messages and styles will certainly differ, the call for action to pass the Democracy For All amendment is always the same. It’s a clear, concise and direct solution. Participants in the contest can also win thousands of dollars – with weekly winners for the next three months, multiple category winners, and a $25,000 grand prize. 

The Democracy For All amendment being considered by Congress would overturn deeply flawed Supreme Court decisions and allow lawmakers to set reasonable limits on money in elections.  It’s an idea whose time has come. In the five years sincethe Citizens United decision, local organizing has led 16 states and 650 cities and towns to support a constitutional amendment on campaign finance and more than 5 million Americans have signed supportive petitions. The breadth of support for reform is evident – now it’s time for our creativity to demand real and lasting changes.

Baker is the executive vice president for Policy and Program at People For the American Way and Haggin is the president of Say No to Big Money.