The Fair Elections Task Force


End pay-to-play in chicago

As we work to pass the Fair Elections Ordinance in the city of Chicago, our task force does research to connect the dots between the pay-to-play system in Chicago and the real life consequences for the people who reside here. We communicate these connections through talking to people at the doors, hosting political education workshops, and through this website. We work with partner organizations and supportive legislators to strategize around ending the corruption that results in economic, racial, and environmental injustice through strengthening campaign finance law.

Fair Elections Ordinance


Our campaign finance system is broken. It perpetuates the priorities of wealthy, mostly white and male donors while suppressing the rest of our voices.

Campaigns have become far too expensive: in the 2015 Chicago municipal election, more than $40 million was spent on the mayoral race alone. 79% of Chicago voters supported the 2015 ballot question calling for a small donor match campaign finance program.

The Fair Elections Ordinance was introduced on 1/13/2016 to answer voters’ demands for a match program. It has since been purposefully, cynically trapped in committee by aldermen looking to preserve the status quo. We need to convert those aldermen or vote them out.

Though most of our materials focus on the currently proposed Fair Elections Ordinance, which is a small donor match program, we also support vouchers as a way to amplify the voice of the people.


The Team



People doing great work to fight corruption in Chicago.


The People's Lobby

The People's Lobby is a fast-growing, membership-driven organization devoted to organizing widespread support for public policies and candidates - including people from our communities - that put the needs of people and the planet before the interest of big corporations and the very rich.


Reclaim Chicago

Reclaim Chicago recruits, trains and supports people from our communities who share our values and our analysis to run for office. We run in-depth training on the nuts and bolts of running for office, and we build power in between election cycles by organizing grassroots support for public policies for income, racial and gender equality.


National Nurses United

National Nurses United, with 6,000 Registered Nurses in Illinois and close to 185,000 members across the country, is the largest union and professional association of RNs in U.S. history.


Common Cause Illinois

Common Cause Illinois sides with no one but the people as we build a democracy that works for all of us. Every aspect of our elections and representative self-government must be fair, open, accessible, and set-up so we all have faith in the integrity of election outcomes and of those who serve us.


Bridgeport Alliance

Bridgeport Alliance is a grassroots organization of local residents and institutions committed to engage in the decision making that impacts our community utilizing education, advocacy, and collaborative action to promote responsive government and an improved quality of life for all residents.


Grace Taylor McDowell

Grace Taylor McDowell provides strategic communications and content to help small businesses, nonprofit organizations, political campaigns, and other progressive groups frame their messaging to engage and mobilize target audiences. Our combined expertise includes content and marketing strategy, political communications, customer experience management, business operations and infrastructure.

What we do is make framing explicit and intentional. We base our communications strategy on research into how people think, and our goal is to nudge people toward a more progressive understanding of the world through strategic communication and marketing. 



The CivicLab is a 501 c 3 tax-exempt nonprofit community-facing “do tank” dedicated to accelerating and deepening grassroots democracy, civic engagement and social justice efforts through collaboration, education and innovation.


Represent Chicago brings together folks from across the political spectrum to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections. We win by building power in communities to pass anti-corruption laws proven to work across the country.



SOUL is an independent grassroots, multissue, power organization that addresses community issues on Chicago’s South Side and South Suburbs.
We are dedicated to the belief that all people ought to have decent, affordable housing, access to healthy nutritious food, a clean environment, public transportation, a full employment economy, and living wages.


Dick Simpson

Dick Simpson is a professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and former Chicago alderman. An expert on Chicago politics and elections in general, he has written and co-authored a number of books and affected public policy. Simpson was an early proponent of civil rights (he joined his first demonstration in 1960) and has devoted much of his energy to advancing the cause of participatory politics. He resides in Chicago, where he continues to oppose the power of the political machine.


Jane Addams Seniors in Action

Our mission is to unite the power of seniors and our allies in an active grassroots organization, which works to build racial, social, and economic justice. Its activities include community organizing, coalition building, issue campaigns, referenda efforts, educating voters, direct lobbying, and candidate electoral endorsements.