Our highlighted issues, actions, and events in the democracy movement this week—please share widely.
Proposal 2, run by Voters Not Politicians, urged residents to vote yes to establish an independent redistricting commission. The Voters Not Politicians solution has a set of strict criteria; including that districts be geographically compact, contiguous, and take communities of interest into account. This set of criteria ensures that the Commission does not manipulate election map lines with partisan bias.
We've collected a few resources from the campaigns to highlight some of their effective democracy messaging.
- Canvassing literature in support of Promote the Vote MI's campaign Yes on 3, courtesy of DI partner Clean Water Action
- Clean Water Action published Endorsement Letter of Voters Not Politicians' campaign Yes on 2.
- Promote the Vote MI's FAQ on their website, under the section "Why is it needed?"
Excerpt from Promote the Vote MI's FAQ on automatically registering citizens to vote at the Secretary of State's Office unless the citizen declines:
Automatic voter registration is a small, common sense change that will make registering to vote at the Secretary of State more efficient. By registering more voters at the Secretary of State, local communities will avoid having to process costly paper voter registrations each year, increase the accuracy of the voting rolls by reducing data entry errors and bring Michigan in line with nine other states that have adopted this common sense reform. Even with automatic voter registration, voters always have the right to decline to be registered.
League of Women Voters
Chief Executive Officer: Virginia Kase
The League of Women Voters is a membership-based advocacy organization that focuses on empowering women through voting and shaping public policy since the 1920's. Although the League is a nonpartisan organization, they encourage members to be political themselves and lobby for government and social reform legislation that benefits women. More recently the League has concentrated its efforts towards reforms that restrict access to voting, which particularly affect minorities, elderly, students and rural voters. They have also focused on campaign finance and redistricting measures across the country.
“The League of Women Voters of the US is proud to join the Democracy Initiative at this critical tipping point in the fight for our democracy and to ensure all citizens are able to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The League is committed to working with our partners to champion policies that will reflect a democracy that represents all of the American people, not just those with money and influence. We are eager to add value to the Democracy Initiative’s campaigns by bringing to the table our powerful network of more than 750 state and local affiliates.” — Virginia Kase, LWV Chief Executive Officer
Take On Wall Street
The Take On Wall Street campaign was founded in spring of 2016 to go beyond the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and build a financial system that works for most Americans, not against them. Take on Wall Street is a campaign supported by a coalition of over 50 national organizations—including community-based organizations, labor unions, consumer advocates, faith groups, and more—organized around moving a financial reform agenda to address the predatory economic power of Wall Street banks and billionaires and build a financial system for working families, white, Black, and brown.
"We are thrilled to join the Democracy Initiative. Taking on Wall Street will never be a fair fight as long as the big banks show up with pockets full of cash, and members of Congress feel they have to ration their votes for black, brown and white communities against the financial industry in order to get re-elected." — Porter McConnell, Take On Wall Street Campaign Manager
* * *
President: Mark Magaña
GreenLatinos is a network based non-profit organization that is made up of a broad coalition of Latino leaders committed to addressing national, regional and local environmental, natural resources and conservation issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latino community in the United States. The group develops and advocates for policies and programs that advance the overall mission of empowering the Latino community through policies addressing intersectional issues.
"GreenLatinos is proud to join Democracy Initiative and be part of a coalition pushing for reforming and improving our democratic process. GreenLatinos is a network of Latino environmental and conservation advocates committed to addressing national and local environmental and conservation issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latino community. The continued effort by moneyed interests to effectively silence the voice and needs of our communities means that now, more than ever, it is imperative that we come together to overcome structural barriers and ensure that no community is excluded from equitably engaging in our democratic processes." — Mark Magaña, GreenLatinos President
* * *
Founder, President, and CEO: Kathleen Unger, Esq.
VoteRiders is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization providing free information, help and services to voters to make sure they have the right kind of ID to vote in their state. They are one of the leading organizations focused exclusively on voter ID services across the country. The groups programs and services focus on three main areas, individual voter assistance, voter ID education and on-the-ground partnerships.
* * *
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) ran out of authorization Oct. 1, 2018, although funding for its many critical programs continues. However, VAWA’s future is precarious, subject to the whims of government shutdowns and continuing resolutions. VAWA has had a profound impact on survivors’ lives by providing funding for programs and services to support close to 50,000 survivors and provide over a million victim services between 2014 and 2016 alone.
It’s been seven months since VAWA ran out of authorization, and seven months since vulnerable Americans have gone without crucial support programs. Americans are demanding a Senate that can pass meaningful, well-supported legislation on the issues we care about. We need to break through Senate gridlock and obstruction to build a better democracy for us all.
ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOUNDATION HOSTS 21st ANNUAL KAHLIL GIBRAN GALA
Please RSVP to Ana Horn at email@example.com or 202-429-9210 by Friday, April 5. Gala attire is black tie, and the reception begins at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and the program following promptly at 6:30 p.m.
TRAINING AND MOVEMENT BUILDING COORDINATOR
The Democracy Initiative is a unique, broad and diverse coalition of 70 organizations committed to strengthening U.S. democracy by growing the grassroots activist base. We are seeking a high-energy, creative, experienced leader committed to bottom-up organizing to coordinate our democracy training, leadership development, and movement-building activities.
DI partners are encouraged to recommend qualified, diverse candidates!
* * *