Would you like your organization to be a part of the Democracy Initiative? Fill out our form to get started!

Join Now

 

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 07.10.19

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Our highlighted issues, actions, and events in the democracy movement this week—please share widely.

TAKE ACTION IN THE STATES: MICHIGAN & FLORIDA

MICHIGAN—WEBINARS TO STRENGTHEN LOCAL ELECTIONS

Last November, Michiganders passed Proposal 3, a package of voting reforms and measures that returned the state to its place as a leader in the fight for accessible, fair, and expansive democracy. But the fight doesn’t end when the votes are tallied. Implementation is just as important, if not more, than the original ballot measure. It’s time to implement.

Join the ACLU of Michigan, Campus Vote Project, League of Women Voters of Michigan and Voters Not Politicians for an online training series designed to create empowered voters! In three webinars, we will discuss your voting rights and offer training to meet with your local clerks, to increase access to the ballot in your hometown.

Voting Rights Online Training

Join the ACLU of Michigan on Wednesday, July 10, 17, & 24 from 7 - 8 p.m. to learn how you can protect your voting rights and meet with your local clerk.

RSVP

The webinar dates are as follows:

  • July 10, Insider update about implementing Proposal 3: What has and has not been implemented, and what the May 2019 election trends show for 2020.
  • July 17, Clerk engagement: What are the roles, the power, common concerns, and ways to work together with your local clerk to increase access to the ballot.
  • July 24, Organizing your clerk engagement team: Identifying team members, delegating roles, and staying engaged.

Together, we can ensure Michigan's voting system works, just like you voted it to be.

Note: Each webinar has an individual RSVP.

FLORIDA—RETURNING CITIZENS FINES & FEES FUND

Right now, our allies at the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition need donations. The coalition has launched a new Amendment 4 Fines and Fees Campaign to provide mutual aid for returning citizens' court fines and fees. The campaign needs contributions. You can find a sample email from the coalition to send to your members here.

The coalition has also asked our partner organizations to direct their Florida members who are returning citizens to call 877-MYVOTE0 if they are affected by the new fee requirements. Partners can also direct affected members to www.wegotthevote.org.

DISCLOSE ACT CALL IN DAY: GET DARK MONEY OUT

Next Tuesday, July 16 is the call-in day for the DISCLOSE Act! We need at least 50 of your members to commit to calling their representatives and demanding their support for this bill! Tell your members to call their member of Congress at (202) 224-3121 and demand they support the DISCLOSE Act now!

After the landmark democracy legislation H.R. 1 passed in the House, redefining the limits of political possibility for democracy reform, we must be prepared to fight to pass each piece at the national level. As the current administration passes deregulation after deregulation, guts oversight provisions, and grants office appointments to lackeys in service to big industry, our elections are increasingly awash in special interest money. Disclosing sources of dark money is a necessary step to combating the corruption in Washington. We must pass the DISCLOSE Act.

There are still representatives who are NOT signed on as co-sponsors of the DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 2977) in the House, despite the fact that every single one of them should co-sponsor this common sense bill that would:

  • Expose large sources of secret money in our elections
  • Strengthen the foreign money ban
  • Create a “stand by your ad” provision so that groups who are running and funding a political advertisement must state that they “approve this message” and more.

DI partners and allies Daily Kos, May Day, PFAW, Public Citizen and others are planning to participate by driving calls to elected officials. We need you to join us!

PFAW has produced sample email and targeting materials, as well as sample social posts:

  • Sample Tweet: Sunshine is the best disinfectant! Voters deserve to know who’s spending money to try and influence their vote. Call your member of Congress and tell them to support the DISCLOSE Act now: (202) 224-3121
  • Sample Facebook Post: Americans deserve to know who is spending money to try and influence their vote. Big donors and special interests should be required to disclose their identities and let voters decide for themselves about whether they trust what they’re saying. Call your member of Congress and tell them to support the DISCLOSE Act now: (202) 224-3121

ONE WEEK OUT: 2ND ANNUAL #INTERNEDITION DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING

Our 2nd Annual Democracy Champions #InternEdition Training has reached capacity! 50 interns from over 25 partner organizations have signed up for this exciting event! Don't worry though, as we're maintaining a waiting list, so keep registering!

Our 2nd Annual Democracy Champions Training #InternsEdition is a week away. Attendees will leave the training equipped with a partner resource toolkit that will support their future work in advancing democracy reform in their schools and states.

Our guest speaker and Co-Facilitator is Joanne Antoine, Executive Director of Common Cause Maryland. She will be giving the group key lessons and insight into an ongoing democracy fight right in our backyard.

Make sure your interns are on time and ready to be challenged!

RSVP HERE

JULY 17 MOBILIZING MEETING AGENDA: EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES FOR REFORM IN 2020

Wednesday, July 17, 3PM EST / NOON PST

Join us on the next DI Mobilizing Call on Wednesday, July 17 at 3pm EST.

We have a special guest for next week’s Mobilizing Meeting: Sunila Chilukuri with State Innovation Exchange, to provide a roundup of state-level legislative democracy reform victories and roll backs this year, as well as lay out reform opportunities primed for 2020.

For more information and to RSVP, email Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org.

STATE UPDATES: DEMOCRACY IN THE NEWS

HAWAII BECOMES 4TH STATE TO IMPLEMENT ALL VOTE-BY-MAIL ELECTIONS

The DI recognizes Common Cause of Hawaii, the League of Women Voters of Hawaii and all coalition members who spent years fighting for this powerful reform. On June 26, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed into law legislation that makes the state the fourth to implement all vote-by-mail, joining Oregon, Washington State, and Colorado in providing citizens with mailed balloting. States that implement vote-by-mail tend see an increase in turnout ranging from 2% - 8%, and broadly makes elections more accessible.

Read more here.

IOWA AND NEVADA EXPAND ACCESSIBILITY FOR CAUCUSING

Democrats in Iowa and Nevada will now have the ability to cast caucus votes by phone, according to a new mandate from the Democratic National Committee. The decision to open up neighborhood caucuses to voters calling in provides greater accessibility to the disabled community and to workers with night shifts and child care, allowing more Americans to raise their voices for the issues they care about.  

Read more here.

DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE JOB OPPORTUNITIES

DI partner Take On Wall Street is seeking a highly motivated self-starter with a passion for economic, racial, and gender justice, and have a demonstrated ability to work well with a diverse team of colleagues and allies for their Education & Advocacy Coordinator position.

The Take On Wall Street campaign came together to build a financial system for white, black, and brown working families, not big Wall Street banks. In the spring of 2016, over 50 groups decided to work together to envision a better financial system, train activists, cultivate champions, and fight for policy change to address the predatory economic power of big Wall Street banks and billionaires, and build a financial system for all of us.

Read the full posting here.

* * *