Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 06.07.18

Thursday, June 7, 2018


2018 Expanded Mobilizing Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST

Beginning next week, on June 13th, DI’s bi-weekly Mobilizing Committee Meetings (at 3 p.m. every other Wednesday), will for the first time shift their focus to state coordination of priority campaigns, beginning with the Promote the Vote and Voters not Politicians ballot initiatives in Michigan.

For more information, contact Getachew Kassa at

over 118,000 voters purged from Los Angeles voter rolls

"There is a serious problem when 35% of a county's precincts purge voters from the rolls and keep them from having their voices heard. We need 21st century voting reforms that ensure that every vote is counted."

-Wendy Fields, Executive Director, Democracy Initiative Due to a printing error, thousands of Angelenos were left wondering if their votes  would be counted during Tuesday's California primary. Click here or on the image above to read more.

the American Promise National Citizenship Leadership Conference

DI Executive Director Wendy Fields will be participating on the panel "Working Together: Effective Collaboration Between Groups" on 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 24th, at the American Promise National Leadership Conference. For more information and to register for the conference, which runs June 22 through June 25th, click here.

Democracy Mission Statement


While the focus of Democracy Initiative remains on the field, supporting local and state campaigns, we also see the value of and need for reform on the federal level. We’ve joined in coalition with a variety of groups to gain broad agreement on a set of democracy principles for Congress. Click here to read the full "Democracy Mission Statement" that we've signed. If your organization has not yet endorsed the statement, please contact Myke Bybee at the DI to get involved, at




DI COngratulates UTAH allies and partners on passage of AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION

Three days ago, Utah passed H.B. 218, guaranteeing the right to Automatic Voter Registration. The bill enables eligible citizens to register to vote during licensing transactions, and streamlines recordkeeping; as a result, Utah voter rolls will be more accurate and the new process safeguards against interference. Utah’s new automatic voter registration secures an important victory for our democracy. Congratulations to the coalition members and DI allies in Utah on this achievement.

As Utah Senator Deidre Henderson writes:

“Essential to our democracy is the right to vote. While it’s the very thing that can make democracy so messy, it’s also the thing that makes it supreme. The vote empowers the people by offering protection—protection from being voiceless in our government and protection of democracy itself.”

Re-enfranchising voters in florida benefits economy and creates jobs for floridians


Another priority campaign for the DI is Second Chances Florida, which is fighting to overturn the lifetime ban on voting for those convicted of felonies. Nearly 1.4 million people in Florida are now permanently excluded from voting on the issues that matter most to them and their families.

A recent study conducted by the Washington Economics group found that Florida’s economy would receive an annual infusion of nearly $370 million by allowing felons to vote.

In addition, the study touts the addition of almost 4,000 jobs as well as an increase of $151 million dollars in annual household income for Floridians. The group aimed to calculate the potential outcomes of Amendment 4, or the Voting Restoration Amendment, which will be on the ballot in Florida come November. The Amendment enjoys wide support in Florida, with nearly three-quarters of voters expressing their support.

“Citizens who have their eligibility to vote restored will have increased chances at finding gainful employment and disposable income to give back to Florida’s economy. Amendment 4 would do more than just re-enfranchise people who have earned eligibility — it would also reintegrate them into society and Florida’s economy."

-Dick Batchelor, CEO of Dick Batchelor Management Group in Central Florida

This amendment is an important step towards preventing the disenfranchisement of voters not just in Florida, but across the country.

Click here to view the full study, and get involved in the the passage of Amendment 4, which would return the eligibility to vote to people only after they have completed their full sentences – including parole, probation, and restitution. The law specifically excludes those individuals who have committed murder or a felony sexual offense.



A recent report from DI partner Center for American Progress details the negative effects of the culture of corruption fostered by the Trump administration. This is further evidence of what the DI knows to be true: when big money has an outsized influence in politics, the American people and our democracy suffer.

“A political system focused on providing giveaways to donors is one that ignores issues that are of real concern to the majority of Americans.”

Click here to read the full report.


Center for Popular Democracy, Common Cause, Democracy Initiative, Every Voice, and Working Families are excited to sponsor a reception on Monday, June 18th, with Professor Nancy MacLean, author of “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.”

For additional details, and to RSVP: here.
The book discusses the strategic and historic underpinnings of the right-wing billionaire assault on our democracy. It is the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was listed as The Nation’s Most Valuable Book. Ms. MacLean is a professor of history and public policy at Duke University.




Join fellow activists to learn hard-hitting communications and smart strategies. Dig into the connections between the fight for democracy and today’s most pressing social issues—from environmental justice to the fight against racism and hate, from workers’ rights to issues within the LGBTQ community. We invite the Democracy Initiative’s 69 partner organizations to extend an invitation to all of your staff, members, and activists to participate. This is an opportunity for your members and activists in Michigan to become Democracy Champions, motivated and empowered to carry forward the pro-democracy fight in their communities.

Democracy Champions Training
Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
9 AM to 5 PM

United Auto Workers Regional Office
1940 West Atherton Road
Flint, Michigan 48507

Register for the training here.

This highly-interactive training, grounded in popular education principles, will make the connections between democracy, power, and the ability to win justice on the diverse issues that motivate our partners. Participants will learn about effective communication and have an opportunity to practice making the pro-democracy case. We ask that our partners send 2-3 participants to the training. At the conclusion of the training, every participant will be recognized and celebrated as a Democracy Champion, with opportunities for ongoing engagement. We are happy to welcome Nayyirah Shariff, director of Flint Rising, who will be presenting at the event.

Contact Getachew Kassa with any questions at


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 Aimée Pohl ( if you have questions.

DI Communications Working Group

Fourth Thursday of every month, at 1pm E.T.
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.

Next Meeting: Thursday, June 21st

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy, or let us know about a conference. Email Aimée ( to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

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