This is a radical suggestion . . . but we need radical change. Athenian democracy was based largely on rule by citizens chosen by lot . . . to avoid control by the powerful and wealthy. Some 90% of "employees" were chosen by lot . . . and they did the heavy lifting.
Citizen Deliberative Councils give citizens a paid shorter term job to input meaningfully into the democracy. A number of ways citizens could serve are here. They include ensuring sober public evaluation of controversial legislation, reviewing candidates for office, making recommendations and much more. The more weight they're given the more useful they become.
Politicians are also good people but their role is a little like a priest's: they often render those served relatively powerless and disaffected.