Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

Democracy Fund

Reinvent Albany

A working group of technologists and campaign finance experts developed recommendations for how New York State could use technology to transform state election campaigns and make them cleaner, fairer, and more transparent.

Why We Invested

New York State has struggled to emerge from a long history of political scandals. In recent years, a number of the state’s most powerful elected officials have left office after indictments or convictions, as have numerous state legislators. The public’s unhappiness over the pervasive influence of money in state politics has led to a loud call for new legislation that would reform campaign finance and ethics laws. But the state legislature has resisted. Reinvent Albany and the Brennan Center for Justice convened a working group of public minded New Yorkers with experience in technology, elections, and transparency. The working group engaged in in-depth discussions with government regulators, campaign treasurers, experts from academia and watchdog groups, and major technology firms.

The working group produced a blueprint for an affordable, state-of-the-art campaign finance reporting system called the State Open Campaign System, which would become a state of the art website and database system that uses technology to transform state election campaigns, and make them cleaner, fairer and more transparent.

The working group’s recommendations to develop SOCS were presented to leaders in Albany, the NYC Campaign Finance Board, and New York’s Moreland Commission on Public Corruption.

How You Can Get Involved

To learn more read John Kaehny’s blog post on the Democracy Fund’s web site or visit the Reinvent Albany website.

Total Commitment

2014: Up to $50,000 over one year.