Democracy Program

Corrupting corporate money pouring into our government. Assaults on the right to vote. Gridlock and obstruction in Washington. There’s no question -- our democracy is in trouble. To protect our environment, we must protect our democracy.

Teaming Up to Defend Democracy

We didn’t get here by accident -- it's the result of a systematic attack by a handful of big money campaign donors who benefit from a dysfunctional democracy.
In 2014, Chevron contributed over $3 million to win legislative seats in Richmond, California -- and failed.
By now, most Americans should know the significance of Selma, Alabama. Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., led hundreds of Americans on a planned march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. In the fight to secure voting rights for African Americans and other minorities across the country, the march was meant to be a peaceful representation of the outrage many felt in their fight to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of voting. Yet, they were met with violence at the hands of the local police force -- assaults themselves representing the oppression and brutality regularly present in communities of color across the country.

Stop Polluters From Putting Their Money Where Your Mouth Is

It's about time the Senate acted to save itself. That's why the Sierra Club is joining with dozens of organizations representing millions and millions of Americans to call on the Senate to approve a constitutional amendment proposed by Senators Tom Udall and Michael Bennet to stop big money campaign donors from putting their money where everyone else's mouth is.

Taking Back the Vote from Big Money and Billionaires

On June 3, 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to consider Senator Tom Udall’s proposed constitutional amendment to finally exclude big money from politics and return power in our democracy to the people.
To put it simply, if we don’t have a healthy democracy, we can’t expect to have a healthy environment. Any system that shuts out the voices of those who are on the front lines of the worst abuses by corporate polluters and the worst effects of the climate crisis is shutting out the voices of those who need to be heard the most in the effort to protect our air, water, and climate. Yet, for a few years, there has been a dangerous trend of legislation in states across the country that puts up new barriers to the right to vote that threaten to sideline low-income voters, communities of color, young people, and seniors. We’ve seen restrictive voter suppression bills pop up from Texas to Wisconsin to Florida. But, now, there is good news and some evidence that the tide may be turning.

Get Involved

To learn more about or to get involved with Sierra Club's work to build a better democracy, please contact your chapter, or email:

Polluting Our Democracy and Our Environment: Dirty Fuels Money In Politics

Compiled by the Sierra Club and Oil Change International, this report shows how our country’s most notorious polluters influence public policy, and highlights how environmental progress is being blocked by the big money politics of special interest polluters.