Our Mission

Democracy Reform Oregon is a non-partisan, not-for-profit group working to increase accountability and opportunities for participation in politics and governmental decision-making. We have been working on democracy reform issues since 1999 and used to be known as the Money in Politics Research Action Project.

Why Democracy Reform?

We believe the concerns of every Oregonian deserve consideration – regardless of ability to donate to campaign coffers or to give gifts to public officials. Democracy Reform Oregon works to level the playing field and ensure more accessible politics and government accountability.

Tired of not feeling heard? Join us in supporting democracy reform.

What are Democracy Reforms?

In campaigns and elections, democracy reform means creating a more level playing field and reducing the role of big money as well as expanding voter choices and enhancing turnout. Oregonians need both campaign finance and election reforms to make politics more accessible.

After each election, attention turns to policy makers and the legislative process, highlighting the need for ethics reforms to increase the transparency of lobbying spending as well as legislative and government accountability.

What is “follow the money” research?

Democracy Reform Oregon analyzes political spending in Oregon – both contributions to candidate and ballot measure campaigns and dollars that groups spend to lobby our legislators in Salem. Our research helps the press and the public make connections between political spending and policy issues.

Democracy Reform Oregon’s accomplishments

  • Democracy Reform Oregon led the coalition working with City Hall allies to establish Voter-Owned Elections in Portland.
  • Democracy Reform Oregon is bird-dogging implementation of Voter-Owned Elections and on the alert against attacks by big money special interests.
  • Democracy Reform Oregon has led lobbying and ethics reform in Salem since 2003.
  • Democracy Reform Oregon drives efforts in Salem this legislative session working to ensure major ethics reform this legislative session.
  • Democracy Reform Oregon uncovers the links between campaign finance and media reform.
  • Democracy Reform Oregon filed a Federal Communications Commission challenge to the license renewal applications of Portland TV stations because they do not meet public interest obligations in coverage of politics in local news.

Board Members

  • Kappy Eaton
  • Kris Smock
  • Lewis Crews
  • Marshall Runkel
  • Barbara Willer

Our Staff

  • Janice Thompson – Executive Director
  • Sarah Wetherson – Research and Outreach Associate
  • Corinne Ball – Democracy Reform Organizer

Our Supporters

Thanks to the following organizations for their past and present financial support. We also appreciate individual donors who contribute to our work.

  • A Territory Resource
  • Alliance for Better Campaigns
  • Common Counsel Foundation
  • Deer Creek Foundation
  • McKenzie River Gathering
  • Penney Family Fund
  • Piper Fund
  • Public Campaign
  • Ralph Smith Foundation
  • Stern Family Fund