With one of the most partisan presidential races underway, political parties within the country have become increasingly more polarized. In response, local grassroots campaigns have erupted in an attempt to bridge the partisan gap. One, called "Represent.Us.", is a national campaign that is local to Florence, Massachusetts. The organization aims to shed light upon an issue that American citizens oftentimes tend to overlook and dismiss as a problem so embedded within the current political system that it is unfixable.
The campaign focuses on passing rigid anti-corruption laws across the country in order to end the legalized corruption that plagues modern politics. "Represent.us." is primarily concerned with the influence of money on politicians, their campaigns and the subsequent policies that pass through Congress. The grassroots organization is working towards a more egalitarian system in which all voices are heard, independent of wealth. The organization uses a satirical presidential campaign, promoting the candidacy of "Honest Gil", who is intended t0 highlight the corruption and bribery within real presidential campaigns and candidates that many tend to look past.
In a 2014 interview with The Daily Hampshire Gazette, Josh Silver, the co-founder and director of "Represent.Us", spoke about the campaign. In the interview, Silver stressed that he and the organization, "[hope] to gain enough support to enlist 1 million citizen cosponsors of the “American Anti-Corruption Act,” recruit and mobilize activists in 100 House districts across the U.S. in 2014 to get every public official on record as for or against reform, help shift the reform debate toward corruption and away from other terms [and] pass a statewide Anti-Corruption Act ballot initiative (in Montana)."
CBS Sunday Morning interviewed the grassroots organization in January of this year. Already, the once small and little known campaign has begun to gain traction and has spread nationally. Dan Krassner, the political director of the campaign, told CBS that just in the past few months, "Represent.Us' backed reforms passed in Maine, Seattle and San Francisco. And there are plans for more ballot initiatives this year."