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If you like what Common Cause is doing to hold the government accountable, then you should consider a job with them after graduation.

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It always helps to have someone hold you accountable, whether it’s to keep you from cheating on a paper or cheating on a diet (those are links to this week’s relevant posts on iParadigms and Weight Watchers, respectively). But it’s not only individuals that need to be held accountable. What about our government? That’s what Democracy and a system of elections is all about, but we all know that it doesn’t quite work as planned. I think most would agree that our government is constantly doing things against our interests. Common Cause is a Washington, DC based non-profit (lobbying organization) that is “a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.” Defining “the public interest” can get a little hairy depending on your point of view, but there’s no doubt that our government can do a better job of serving it (whatever it is).

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Common Cause claims to be nonpartisan, but their Wikipedia page mentions that publications including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, TIME, and USA Today have identified the organization as liberal. In other words, they’re all about government accountability when it comes to a certain set of issues that align with their political goals. There’s nothing wrong with that, but they could probably be a little more intellectually honest when describing themselves. The issues that they focus on include:

  • Increase participation in the political process,
  • Advance campaign finance reforms that make people and ideas more important than money,
  • Make certain that government is open, ethical and accountable,
  • Remove barriers to voting and ensure that our voting systems are accurate and accessible,
  • Increase the diversity of voices and ownership in media, to make media more responsive to the needs of citizens in a democracy and to protect the editorial independence of public broadcasting, and to
  • Make certain that public policy on health care, defense spending, climate change and other issues reflects the needs and priorities of our citizens, not special interests.

Obviously, these are simplifications of their positions on each of these issues, so you should go here to get a more in-depth look at what they’re doing to hold the government more accountable. You’ll probably also want to check out Common Cause’s Action Items. If you like what you see, then it’s time to take a look at their Jobs page. Right now they’re looking for a Policy Advocate (Sacramento/Northern California) and a Policy/Advocacy Fellow (California). Both jobs look like good fits for new or recent grads, so give the job descriptions a good look.

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