Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 05.03.18

Thursday, May 3, 2018


Democracy Advocates’ Coalition Needs You! Sign-on to Support Meta Reform Package

Together with dozens of democracy groups, the DI is advancing a bold package of reforms to ensure everyone has access to healthy planet, living wage, safe communities, and a fair justice system. With the potential for dramatic shifts in Congress and our democracy in crisis, we must seize this “change moment”  if we want win far-reaching democratic reforms. We know the bigger our coalition, the stronger our voice. So we’re asking like-minded organizations to embrace a common mission: to fight for a democracy where "everyone participates, every vote is counted, voting rights are fully enforced, and everyone’s voice is heard.”
Read the coalition’s full mission statement here. To sign on, email Getachew Kassa at

Clean Missouri coalition Calls for increased integrity, transparency and accountability


On Thursday, May 3, at 1pm, volunteers and leaders from the Clean Missouri coalition submitted more than 344,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to place a desperately needed legislative reform amendment on the November 2018 ballot.

The Clean Missouri initiative will:

o lower campaign contribution limits for state legislative candidates
o  eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts in the General Assembly
o  require politicians to wait two years before becoming lobbyists
o  require that legislative records be open to the public
o  ensure that neither political party is given an unfair advantage when new maps are drawn after the next census,


Michigan was once a leader when it came to voting. Michigan has fallen behind with some of the most restrictive processes for voting, and politicians have drawn maps to choose the voters and control government.

As a result, water is a major environmental and civil rights issue in Michigan. As residents in Flint continue to deal with the physical and financial costs of lead exposure, we also see families in lower income parts of Detroit facing water shutoffs despite earlier assurances that the city would not do this. When politicians set policies that negatively impact students, families, seniors and more, we need to demand a democracy that works for all where we can hold leaders accountable for their actions.

It’s time to change this. Michiganders have the opportunity this fall to both improve voting rights and achieve fair redistricting for all regardless of race, gender, class, or where they live.

If you have not yet been contacted by one of the DI team members to discuss supporting this campaign, please contact Elana Orbuch, at

ACTION: help florida advocates restore returning citizens’ right to vote!

This week, Florida marked the shameful 150th anniversary of its lifetime ban on voting for returning citizens. Florida is one of only three states — the others are Kentucky and Iowa —  that cheats people who’ve paid their debts to society out of their right to vote.

Connect with the campaign to get involved

o Recruit virtual phone bankers for the campaign – virtual phone banking is every Monday – Thursday from 6-8pm.

o  Sign up with the campaign now to host a calling party for neighbors and family.

o Contact Mila Al-Ayoubi ( to for additional opportunities to engage.

ACTION: FIVE days left to fight gerrymandering in ohio

Ohio is poised to score a critical win against gerrymandering, but they need your help! In just five days Ohio voters head to the polls for the May 8th primary, where they’ll decide on a ballot initiative to redraw the state’s Congressional districts. This would be an incredible victory, but the polls are very close. We need all the help we can get to make Issue 1 a success. Ask your members across the country to join a virtual phonebank to talk to Ohio voters! Please share the following social media and email messages broadly among your networks.
Social Media:

Can you curb gerrymandering in Ohio by calling voters across the state to encourage them to vote YES on Issue One? Join a Virtual Phonebank: #FairMaps #OHpol

Reminder: webinar, 5/8, shares latest research on voter attitudes and priorities


As you know, ballot initiatives are among our most powerful tools to build thriving communities and protect the rights of all members of American society. Join the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center on May 8 for a webinar on how top issues are faring among different voter demographics and how we can apply these findings to score progressive policy wins.

Since its launch in 2016, BISC has helped progressive advocates across the country learn how to leverage ballot initiatives to advance democracy and economic security. Over the past year, BISC’s Roadmap to 2020 effort has been using cutting edge research tools to dive deep into public sentiment among voters in priority states—and understand how these insights can help predict outcomes.

To register for the webinar, click here. For more details on BISC’s work, visit their website.


Emboldened by today’s anti-regulation climate, corporations are ramping up lawsuits to dodge consumer protections more than ever before. That’s why our friends at Free Speech for People and Greenpeace have released an important new report detailing big business’ campaign to exploit the Constitution and avoid playing by the rules.

Contaminating the Courts: The Corporate Campaign to Misuse the Constitution to Attack the Environment recounts the history of the corporate constitutional rights doctrine, surveys recent cases, and details the campaign to roll back hard-won environmental and consumer protections. Check out the report to learn how we got here, what corporations are up to, and learn practical tips for pushing back against this rising trend. For more on the report, check out the groups’ blog post here.


The annual Jobs with Justice Education Fund Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards Celebration honors those who follow Eleanor Roosevelt’s powerful example of championing workers’ rights as human rights.

This year, Jobs with Justice will be honoring:

Ullico President and CEO Ed Smith for his visionary leadership and unwavering dedication to working people and unions for more than three decades.

West Virginia Public School Teachers for waging and winning a powerful strike to sustain their families and improve public schools, while inspiring solidarity and activism for public educators nationwide.

Members of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) for their transformative campaign improving working and living conditions for retail janitors.

The evening will also feature the return of our highly-acclaimed silent auction.

Buy your tickets or become a sponsor today!


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. Learn more and register at


Democracy Job Opportunities

Democracy Initiative Job Opportunities

The Democracy Initiative is excited to seek applicants for two new positions that will strengthen our field campaign capacity and support our increasing shift to scaling up the democracy field in terms of organizing and mobilizing: Senior Digital Campaigner and Grassroots Campaigns Director.

These are critical roles within our umbrella campaign, Democracy365, where we’re boosting the grassroots power needed to pass democracy reforms at the local, state, and national levels. The DI is planning to score 20 wins by 2020, using strategic engagement and leveraging our partners’ power to educate voters on the issues that matter to them—from community concerns to issues of race, class and gender.

For overall job referrals and questions, please contact the DI at 202-567-6101;

DI Partner Organization Job Opportunities


The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) is a national resource and strategy center that supports state legislators in advancing and defending progressive policies across the country, including supporting and advancing the rights of workers and working families, protecting the environment, strengthening our democracy, and defending civil rights. With a long-term vision of building progressive power and infrastructure at the state level, SiX assists legislators who are working to move a progressive agenda forward in the states and it has built a network of more than 1,500 elected officials who represent all 50 states.

The Executive Director (ED) is the key management leader of the State Innovation Exchange. S/he is responsible for overseeing the administration, fundraising, programs, strategic plan and direction of the organization. Other key duties include overseeing marketing to new communities and expansion and support of SiX’s state legislator network. The position works closely with and reports directly to the Board of Directors.

View more details:


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 convenings 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 Elana ( if you have questions.

2018 Calendar for Mobilizing Working Group Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST
RSVP to, cc:

Our bi-weekly 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 with any questions!

Next Meetings: May 16

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

Next Meetings: May 24 and June 28

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy or a conference? Email Elana ( to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

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