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Public Campaign

"We need to incorporate communities of color into our electoral process, one which currently favors those with wealth over average citizens. A shift to a Clean Elections system such as in Arizona would ensure that all voters are an integral part of elections."
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva


In 1998, Public Campaign released its groundbreaking 1998 report, Color of Money, an in-depth research project that examines federal campaign contributions made to candidates and political committees in the context of US Census data, with a focus on race and ethnicity. Public Campaign researchers, using 1990 census data and 1996 Federal Election Commission filings, established that an overwhelming majority of the money contributed to finance elections came from wealthy and largely white communities and how this disparity has the potential to skew government policy decisions.

We are now relaunching the Color of Money, fueled with a wealth of new information from the most recent decennial census (the U.S. 2000 census) and campaign finance data from several elections. New web technology, unavailable in 1998, allows viewers to conduct their own searches on the campaign contributions, racial and ethnic makeup, and income in their own neighborhoods.

We will periodically update the Color of Money website with new analyses on how campaign contributions affect communities of color. We will show how our current campaign finance system has direct consequences that affect people's lives, from the wages we earn and the taxes we pay, to the quality of the schools our children attend and the air we breathe.

Keep up to date on Color of Money news. Sign up to receive alerts about new additions to the Color of Money project. Click here for more information.


Design by Sandra Oei, SoVisual
Web programming by Tom Ferguson

Thanks to the Ford Foundation and the Joyce Foundation for their generous support, without which this project would not be possible.

Public Campaign

Public Campaign (www.publicampaign .org) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics. Public Campaign is laying the foundation for reform by working with a broad range of organizations, including community groups around the country that are fighting for change in their states and national organizations whose members are not fairly represented under the current system. Together we are building a network of national and state-based efforts to create a powerful national force for federal reform.

To contact us: [email protected]

Public Campaign
Attn: Color of Money Project
1320 19th Street, NW
Suite M-1
Washington, DC 20036

The Fannie Lou Hamer Project

Founded in 1999, The Fannie Lou Hamer Project (www.flhp.org) is a national education and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening our democracy through bringing justice and equity to the campaign finance system. The Fannie Lou Hamer Project recognizes that any system of privately financed election campaigns, if only because private wealth is so unequally and unjustly distributed, guarantees grossly unequal political opportunity. As such, it makes impossible full and equal access to the political process that is of all our people’s birthright.

Committed to building an intergenerational, multicultural constituency, the Project is guided by perspectives and interests of people of color, youth and disenfranchised communities around the world. The Project advocates for an authentically democratic campaign finance system that ensures political power and voice to everyone.

Through issue education, constituency training and power public policy advocacy, the Fannie Lou Hamer Project is raising the consciousness of the electorate, galvanizing a grassroots movement for a transformation in the way we finance our elections. Together, these efforts bring the people's perspective and human dignity to the electoral process in the United States.

Fannie Lou Hamer Project
729 Academy Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

The William C. Velasquez Institute

The William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) (www.wcvi.org) is a tax-exempt, non-profit, non-partisan organization chartered in 1985. The purpose of WCVI is to conduct research aimed at improving the level of political and economic participation in Latino and other underrepresented communities. WCVI holds a unique position among national Latino organizations. In its tradition of working with grassroots organizations, academic institutions and local elected officials, WCVI fills the gap between intellectual think tanks and community groups. WCVI conducts research in selected areas of concentration and follows up the implementation stages: WCVI translates ideas into research, research into education, education into policy advocacy and policy advocacy into action. WCVI was created:

• To provide information to Latino leaders relevant to the needs of their constituents
• To inform the Latino leadership and public about the impact of public and international policies on Latinos
• To inform the Latino leadership and public about political opinions and behavior of Latinos

William C. Velasquez Institute
2914 N. Main Street
1st floor
Los Angeles, CA 90031

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