A Healthy Democracy to Support Effective Policymaking

The Peterson Foundation works to bring Americans together to find and implement sensible, long-term solutions for our country’s fiscal and economic challenges. An underlying requirement for making progress on these policy goals is a healthy, functioning democracy.

To help strengthen and build trust in our democracy, and foster the conditions that support effective, constructive and forward-looking policymaking, the Peterson Foundation has made the following initial grants:

  • The Peterson Foundation has partnered with the Klarman Family Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to establish the Election Trust Initiative. This nonpartisan grant-making organization works to strengthen the field of election administration and is guided by the principle that America’s election systems must be secure, transparent, accurate, and convenient. The initiative supports the broad community of election administrators, researchers, policymakers, and organizations working to illuminate challenges, highlight successes, and bring evidence-based solutions to scale.
  • In 2022, the Peterson Foundation made grants to two nonpartisan organizations, Issue One and Protect Democracy, to support education on the importance of bipartisan reforms to the Electoral Count Act, the law that governs how Congress certifies presidential elections. The grants supported efforts to raise awareness among policymakers, media and other stakeholders on the need for bipartisan, targeted reforms to clarify and modernize the arcane law to ensure an orderly transfer of power. In December 2022, after significant bipartisan, bicameral cooperation, Congress passed a set of critical reforms to the Electoral Count Act as part of an omnibus appropriations package. President Biden signed the bipartisan legislation into law on December 29, 2022.
  • Driven by concerns about the media and information environment, including increasing disagreements about objective facts, a blurring of the line between fact and opinion and declining trust in media, the Foundation engaged media industry consultants from Magid to explore the drivers of the mis/disinformation problem and potential solutions. A shared understanding and appreciation of facts is necessary for our leaders and our society to successfully debate and address complex challenges and key for a functioning democracy. Read about the mis/disinformation problem here.

Expert Views: Fiscal Commission

We asked experts with diverse views from across the political spectrum to share their perspectives.

National Debt Clock

See the latest numbers and learn more about the causes of our high and rising debt.