In the News
April 23, 2023

Is the House "the body of the people?"

Danielle Allen

The house was designed to be “the great body of the people,” said James Madison. But with each House member representing an average of 762,000 constituents, representatives may not accurately reflect the people they were elected to represent.

Danielle Allen, Academy member and cochair of the Academy's Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship, spoke with Ali Velshi on MSNBC's Velshi about expanding the House of Representatives.

“If we could shrink the size of districts, again, bringing representatives closer to their constituents, you'll get more responsiveness,” Allen said. “It will mean that it's easier to hold elected officers accountable. Money will have less influence than it currently does in our politics.”

The first recommendation of the Our Common Purpose report calls for enlarging the House of Representatives. The Academy convened a working group to develop a report elaborating on this recommendation, and Lee Drutman, one of the report's authors, testified before the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress in August. Today, a growing body of experts and policymakers, inspired by Our Common Purpose, are working to advance this reform.

View full story: MSNBC



Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship

Danielle Allen, Stephen B. Heintz, and Eric P. Liu