Democracy Initiative Update 12.03.20

Thursday, December 3, 2020
Our highlighted issues and actions from the democracy movement in this moment of crisis—please share widely.

ANNOUNCING DI Leadership Transition; NATIONAL SEARCH FOR ED UNDERWAY

The Board of Directors of the Democracy Initiative (DI), a coalition of 75 labor, civil rights and environmental organizations representing more than 45 million people, announced on Monday, November 30 that current Deputy Director Jennifer Lamson will serve as interim executive director, effective December 1, 2020.

The organization will conduct a national search to replace outgoing Executive Director Wendy Fields, who is leaving the organization to pursue new personal and professional opportunities.

“We are grateful to Wendy for four years of dynamic, innovative leadership,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause and co–chair of the DI Board of Directors. “Wendy’s strategic vision built our capacity and grounded our work in the real needs and experiences of the millions of people who are members and constituents of DI affiliates. We could not be prouder of the role DI has played in the growing democracy movement, achieving a record turnout in 2020, the most diverse and inclusive election in U.S. history.”

“You don’t say ‘goodbye’ to someone like Wendy,” said Tefere Gebre, executive vice president of the AFL-CIO and also a co-chair of the DI. “She is my sister in the trade union movement and a true warrior for social justice. I know for certain that we will be marching together in the future, wherever there is a cutting-edge fight for our democracy, for the rights of workers, and to protect our planet.”

Lamson has served as DI’s Deputy Director since 2019, overseeing the organization’s field organizing and strategic communications activities. She is an experienced non-profit executive, with extensive background in grassroots organizing, strategic planning, communications, and program management.  

Lamson has previously served as a vice president of Common Cause, director of the International Boreal Conservation Campaign at the Pew Charitable Trusts, and as a strategic advisor to foundations, environmental and social service organizations.  

“We don’t have a minute to waste,” said Lamson. “DI partners share a deep commitment to realizing the promise of our democracy by lifting up the leadership of people of color, the working class, and front-line social justice organizations. Together, we can build on this historic election to create a governing agenda that confronts the urgent issues that affect our lives: racial justice, the right to vote, the corrupting role of big money in politics, climate change, and COVID-19 relief.”

Please circulate the Executive Director job description in your networks.

TAKE ACTION: GEORGIA RUN-OFF ELECTION

Nonpartisan Election Protection volunteers are voters’ first line of defense against restrictive election laws, coronavirus-related voting disruptions, or anything else that could silence their voices. The Election Protection coalition is currently recruiting for the follo

The deadline to register to vote in the Georgia Run-off Election is December 7 - only 4 days away, and we need your help to get us to the finish line. Your organization can make a huge difference in this pivotal January 5 run-off election—for not only the state of Georgia but our country in 2021 and beyond.

For a briefing on the 2020 General Election and the importance of Georgia’s January 5 election, check out this recording of New Georgia Project CEO Nse Ufot from our November 12 Urgent Action Meeting call.

Below you’ll find key info and resources for your Georgia members and supporters to make sure they can cast their votes in this decisive election.

KEY VOTING INFORMATION

  • The runoff election is Tuesday, January 5.
  • The voter registration deadline is Monday, December 7. If you are an eligible Georgian and you are not yet registered to vote, click here to register so you can vote in the runoff elections!
  • If you have any questions about registering to vote, call the Voter Protection Hotline at 888-730-5816. Remember, if you are otherwise eligible and you’ll turn 18 by January 5, 2021, you can register to vote, too!
  • Early voting will begin December 14 and ends January 1 (The Secretary of State’s office needs to confirm January 1 date, which is what they have listed, but is obviously a holiday).
  • Request your absentee ballot TODAY as ballots are already being mailed to eligible voters.
  • Request an absentee ballot for the January 5, 2021 Federal Runoff Election here.
  • If you apply for a vote-by-mail ballot, you can check your ballot status on the Georgia My Voter Page or by using the BallotTrax app.

FINDING HELP

  • Election Protection: Need help? Call the Georgia Voter Protection Hotline at 888-730-5816 for any voting questions.
    • Need assistance in another language?
      • Spanish/English: 888-VE-Y-VOTA
      • Arabic/English: 844-YALLA-US
      • Asian Languages/English: 888-API-VOTE
  • Displaced or evicted because of COVID-19? Call 888-730-5816 or contact your county elections office. Click here to get the email and phone number for your county.

VOLUNTEER

  • Election Protection Volunteers: New Georgia Project currently needs at minimum 200 Election Protection Poll Monitors to ensure every eligible voter can cast their ballots safely and have them counted. To volunteer, reach out to New Georgia Project Voting and Election Protection Director Kiddada Asmara Grey at kiddada@newgeorgiaproject.org.
  • To volunteer in one of New Georgia Project's many work groups, fill out this form.
  • If you’re interested in deploying folks in-person to Georgia from out of state to help with Voter Registration (before December 7, 2020) or Election Protection, please complete this questionnaire.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact DI National Field Manager Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org.

JOIN DI AT ROOTSCAMP 2020: MAKING A PLAN FOR 2021

The Democracy Initiative Education Fund is co-hosting RootsCamp 2020 along with Re:Power, New Media Mentors, GAIN POWER and Organizing 2.0 on December 11-12.

RootsCamp is an “unconference” where the content is organized by the attendees. This year's virtual event will bring together a coalition of progressive leaders to debrief the election and dissect what happened—with an eye toward moving forward together and strategizing for 2021 and beyond.

The event will offer workshops, trainings, panel discussions, networking opportunities, visionary speakers, an organization expo, and provocative debates about strategy and best practices.

Ready to get your tickets? Click here to reserve your spot.

This event is the collaborative effort of some great progressive organizations committed to building a progressive vision and moving our collective power.

The goal of Rootscamp is to provide an open, transparent space for conversation around what happened this election cycle and how we move forward in 2021, 2022, and beyond. Together, we'll build community with those who worked hard on campaigns and have a chance to learn from each other and strengthen our movement.

Want to submit a session for Rootscamp? Click here.

And don't forget to get your tickets for Rootscamp December 11 and 12; it's coming up soon! Click here to reserve your spot now.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE: HR1 ACTIVIST TRAINING TONIGHT AT 6PM EST

The Declaration for American Democracy Coalition is hosting the “Power to the People, How to Win Back Our Democracy” activist training TONIGHT, December 3 at 6:00PM EST.

To support the livestream, we’re asking partners and allies to share the live stream from our Facebook page onto their own organization's page.

The training will educate activists on the various components of the For the People Act and describe how its passage would transform our democracy. It will also train and inspire activists to take action to help pass the For the People Act.

We’ll be joined by U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, along with DFAD coalition members who will walk activists through the various ways they can take action, including how participate in our national call-in effort, LTE campaign, and how to organize an in-district meeting with their MOC.

The activist training will take place through Zoom and will be live-streamed on Facebook.

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