Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 03.28.18

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The democracy movement continues to expand! We are excited to welcome our newest partners:

 


MARCH FOR OUR LIVES: WHAT DO WE DO? STAND UP! FIGHT BACK!

Fixing our gun violence problem will require fixing our democracy. Together, ordinary people can take on big money interests like the gun lobby and win. This past Saturday, thousands of people took to the streets in Washington, DC and in 800+ sister marches to demand common sense gun control. The march is just the beginning as these young leaders plan to bring their demands to the midterm elections and local legislatures. Hip Hop Caucus trained hundreds of volunteers to register voters prior to the march, and registered more than 4,500 new voters. That’s building power to hold elected official accountable on the kitchen table issues impacting our families and communities.

Voting is our most powerful tool, yet it is under attack at the state and local level through policies that limit when and where you can vote, and big money flooding election and government systems to benefit corporate interests. Together, people can create a demand for democracy reforms that give more people the freedom to participate and advocate for common sense gun control and hold their elected officials accountable.

To win on the issues that matter most we must shift our approach to a year-round governance strategy – Democracy365. For the grassroots to be heard, it’s time to make sure every voter can participate, every vote is counted, and that everyone has fair representation no matter where you live or how much money you make.

YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE NOW – MOBILIZE TO SAVE EARLY VOTING IN NEW YORK!

The people demanded it and now it's time for Governor Cuomo and the General Assembly to listen to us – Fund Early Voting Now! No one should have to choose between their job, their personal responsibilities and their vote.

Go to https://letnyvote.org/call to make the call.

Reforms like Early Voting are key to advancing the issues that impact our communities every day. To win on the issues that matter – a living wage, clean water and air, criminal justice reform and more – we need more grassroots participation and engagement.

It’s time for New York to join the 37 states that allow Early Voting. Our grassroots engagement moved Governor Cuomo & the Assembly to put $7 million in their budgets to implement Early Voting but now, because of closed door negotiations with the State Senate, Early Voting is in jeopardy. Go to https://letnyvote.org/call to make the call.

Together we can deliver on the promise of a 21st century democracy in New York. Check out our messaging packet with additional information. If you have any questions feel free to contact Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitative.org or Susan Lerner at slerner@commoncause.org.

VICTORY! MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY PASSES AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION

Automatic voter registration removes barriers to participation for all eligible voters. The Secure and Accessible Registration Act (SARA) passed the General Assembly and now heads to Governor Hogan's desk for signature. The bill streamlines voter registration and supports technology upgrades to make registration faster, more secure, and easier than ever for millions of eligible voters in Maryland.

Congratulations Everyone Votes Maryland coalition for advancing a 21st century democracy for all!

VICTORY! U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE ORDERS VOTE RESTORATION PROCESS IN FLORIDA AND SAYS “NO MORE” TO DISCRIMINATION

U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Walker ordered Florida’s Clemency Board to establish a new voter-restoration process that will apply fairly to all returning citizens. In February, Judge Walker ruled Florida's arbitrary scheme for restoring voting rights to ex-felons unconstitutional. The right to vote is the cornerstone of civic participation in democracy. Judge Walker called Florida's process a clear violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

This is an important victory in the fight to protect and expand voting in Florida and across the United States. More than 1.5 million people with a past felony conviction in Florida are denied the freedom to exercise civic participation even after they have served their sentence. This hurts not only returning citizens, but their families and their communities on the issues that matter most – from housing, to jobs, to public safety, and the environment.

Mobilize your members to build a 21st century democracy in Florida! We do not have to wait for the courts to act, we can demand that all voters have the ability to vote. Contact Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org to get involved in the Second Chances campaign to return the ability to vote to Floridians who have done their time and paid their debts..

CLICK TO TWEET

CLEAN MISSOURI SIGNATURE GATHERING BLITZ ON MUNICIPAL ELECTION DAY – APRIL 3, 2018

Next Tuesday, April 3rd we have a unique chance to help get CLEAN Missouri onto the ballot to stop the big money, lobbyist, and partisan games. This week is the perfect opportunity to send out an email blast for the final volunteer signature-gathering push on Municipal Election Day, April 3.The Campaign has prepared the toolkit attached here to help with recruiting. It's one statewide form; organizers will direct volunteers to appropriate venues.

Please let Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org know ASAP if you plan to send out: we can get you dedicated links to track your signups.

The CLEAN Missouri campaign is one of our priority campaigns under the Democracy 365 umbrella to achieve increased access and participation in democracy across the United States. The ballot Initiative campaign is working to put people above big money, lobbyists, and special interests. In addition, the Raise UP Missouri (minimum wage ballot initiative) is moving a vital economic justice reform that gives more people the chance to thrive.

A just economy demands a just democracy. The minimum wage for hardworking Missourians has not increased to help families and individuals provide for themselves. At the same time, politicians have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars for lobbyists to advance issues that benefit big money and corporate interests. It’s time for change.

WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND FAIR MAPS IN MICHIGAN: NATIONAL BALLOT INITIATIVE WEBINAR APRIL 4TH AT 3PM ET

Hundreds of volunteers are gathering signatures to ensure fair representation for all Michigan residents. No longer will we allow politicians to leave millions of people on the sidelines of democracy when it comes to having a voice and advocating for kitchen table issues. Michiganders have the opportunity to deliver a one-two punch to the anti-democracy movement this fall by improving voting rights and achieving fair maps for redistricting. Winning both Promote the Vote and Voters not Politicians ballot initiatives can take two giant strides towards restoring our democracy, so that governance can serve the interests of the people, not the wealthy few. These ballot measures will expand the voting rolls, support increased participation and civic engagement while ensuring fair representation to all regardless of race, gender, class, or where they live.

Join our information and mobilization session on Wednesday, April 4 at 3pm ET.

RSVP to Getachew Kassa (gkassa@democracyinitaitive.org) for more details and call-in information.

MORE THAN 100 STATE AND LOCAL LEADERS GATHER IN MISSOURI TO BUILD AN INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY

In an inclusive democracy, we would all have an equal voice in politics and an equal chance in our economy. Last week DI partners organized a money in politics convening in St. Louis, Missouri with state and local groups. In collaboration with Demos’ Inclusive Democracy Project, Demos, ReThink Media, Every Voice, Common Cause, and the Center for Popular Democracy are building capacity and momentum to remove the influence of money. DI staffer, Getachew Kassa participated in the convening to develop a political agenda that engages our base in money in politics fights to dismantle the influence of organized money on our policymaking, politics, and economic structures. Participants walked away with the importance of engaging the base, understanding policy, building collaborative democracy coalitions, telling a connecting power story, and best practices from ongoing fights on the ground.

THINK 100%, COOLEST SHOW ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Check out “Think 100%, Coolest Show on Climate Change”, a new radio show and podcast from our friends at Hip Hop Caucus. This ground-breaking weekly show focuses on building a diverse and empowered movement to fight climate change, environmental injustices, and propel the transition to 100% clean energy for all. The new platform will provide the climate movement with the ability to break down silos, reach and empower new audiences, mobilize supporters, and position frontline communities for bold action.

More at Think100.info

STATE OF THE DREAM: NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK 2018 CONVENTION APRIL 18-21, 2018

Register for the National Action Network’s biggest convention ever! Marking 50 years since the assassination of MLK, we will measure up the state of the Dream and where the movement is going from here. Don't miss out on the biggest civil rights convention in the nation. It is guaranteed to truly be historic.

Register Online: http://bit.ly/NAN2018

Registration is free. Please refer back to NAN's website for updates on the schedule, speakers and panelists.
www.nationalactionnetwork.net

AMERICAN PROMISE HOSTS NATIONAL CITIZEN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE AND LOBBY DAY: JUNE 22 - 25, 2018

Imagine a government run by people, not money. Our American democracy and republic are in crisis, and no small measures will do. In every state, Americans are working together to win a Constitutional amendment to stop the big money corruption from super PACs and special interests in our political system so that we the people are back in charge. We need you in the game, and at the National Citizen Leadership Conference, June 22-25, 2018.

After a weekend of inspiration, organizing and citizen training, join a team to meet with our Members of Congress on Capitol Hill to build cross-partisan support for our Constitutional amendment to stop big money corruption of our political system! Lobby Day is included in your low, early bird Conference fee of $125.

Learn more and register at https://www.citizenleaders.us.

 

JOB: DEMOCRACY NATIONAL “META PACKAGE” CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR (PUBLIC CITIZEN)

Public Citizen seeks a proactive, strategic Campaign Director who can help seize the opportunity inherent in such a democracy crisis or changed Congressional environment and win far-reaching democratic reforms at this “change moment.” The Director will work closely with allies to orchestrate meetings and convening’s to create momentum for the work. They will develop content, guide the outreach to widen the circle of engaged organizations (state, local and national), and coordinate Hill outreach, as well as benchmark our overall progress.

For more information and to apply, visit our website.

Mobilization & Collaboration

 

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

We are maintaining a DI campaign calendar that will include information on upcoming events and activities. Visit our website to access the calendar.

Contact Michelle (mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org) or Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) if you have questions.

2018 Calendar for Mobilizing Working Group Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST
RSVP to gkassa@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Our bi-monthly meetings focus on field strategy with groups working both at the national and state level so we can collaborate and move democracy reforms effectively. All DI Members are welcome. Email gkassa@democracyinitiative.org with any questions!

Next Meetings: April 3 and 18

DI Communications Working Group

Monthly on 4th Thursday of every month at 1pm

The communications working group is a collaborative space for message refinement using feedback from organizations working on the ground. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition.

RSVP to mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meetings: April 26 and May 24

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy or a conference? Email Michelle (mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org) to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

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