Wyoming Promise initiative gains support in Lander

(Lander, WY) – Lander Mayor Monte Richardson signed Resolution 1201 on April 13 in support of the efforts by a nonpartisan, Wyoming citizen-led organization called Wyoming Promise.

Their initiative is to limit the influence of money from corporations, unions, and special interest groups in politics in order to have free and fair elections.

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Local Wyoming Promise board member Margie Farias presented this resolution to the Lander City Council in October of 2020, and it was passed, approved and adopted in April.

The Wyoming Promise mission states: “We’re advocating for an amendment to the United States Constitution to overturn the 2010 United States Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC, and thereby create space for national and state-level campaign finance reform. Our elected officials at every level of government should work for Wyoming, and not for their wealthy donors.”

Locally, this effort began in the spring of 2017 when Margie and a small group of volunteers hit the pavement gathering signatures to give Wyoming citizens the opportunity to vote on whether or not the state should support this amendment.

Getting an item added to the ballot in Wyoming is nearly impossible with a required number of signatures equal to 15 percent of the total ballots cast in the previous general election, Margie explained.

According to Ballotpedia, this “is the highest signature requirement of any state.”

The signature total came close to the number needed for it to be added to the Wyoming ballot and well over 20,000, however, the 15 percent was not met, she continued.

“It was a hard-fought thing; we didn’t make the goal, but we got the attention of folks.”

Pivoting in 2019, Wyoming Promise worked to get a bill into the legislative session and it made it to the House. It lost by one vote in the Senate.

The bill did not make it back into the 2020 legislature due to the budget sessions. It surfaced again in 2021 but was dropped early on in the House.

Wyoming Promise is now looking for more community support to bring to the 2022 Wyoming Legislature.

Prior to the local resolution being signed by Mayor Richardson, Cheyenne City Council also passed a resolution in support, Margie noted. She was also recommended to approach the Wyoming Association of Municipalities to garner even more support.

“I would like to thank the people in Fremont County who did sign the petition and I want to assure them that even though that effort has failed, we haven’t given up.”

Click here to read Resolution 1201 signed by Lander Mayor Monte Richardson.

Those interested in learning more about Wyoming Promise can visit their website here.

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