Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 07.27.18

Friday, July 27, 2018

Take ACtion


We need a fair, accurate Census in 2020- ACT NOW.

Our friends over at Common Cause need YOUR help to stop the Trump administration from adding an untested and unnecessary question on citizenship status to the 2020 Census.

Experts warn that this will cause countless Americans -- whether they’re citizens or not -- to refuse to fill out the Census survey. That means the Census data we use to draw legislative districts, make spending decisions, and more won’t accurately reflect our communities.

That’d play right into the Trump Administration’s hands -- skewing our government against communities with high non-citizen populations until 2030. Our Constitution requires the Census to count every person who lives here -- and getting that count right is hugely important for all of our futures.

The Census Bureau is accepting public comments on this dangerous, untested proposal -- can you submit yours today BEFORE August 4th to STOP the citizenship question?

Use your voice and submit your comment here.

SIGN ON LETTER: Tell the EPA to use sound practices in upcoming chemical safety assessment
In June, the EPA released its draft plan for how it will assess the safety of 10 chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The plan excludes analysis of legacy chemicals, and chemical exposures through air, water, and waste disposal -- the primary routes of exposure for most people. The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) developed an organizational sign-on letter calling on new Acting Administrator Wheeler to include legacy exposure of chemicals and aggregate exposures from air, soil, and water in its assessment, and to use the National Toxics Programs protocols for systematic review. Deadline for sign-on is July 30th.


Each August the civic organization Corporate Accountability launches its Corporate Hall of Shame - highlighting 10 corporations (ex. Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, etc.) and inviting people to submit votes to decide which organization is the most dishonorable. After the vote is held, Corporate Accountability partners with organizations and take action to reform these unrepresentative corporations. If you are interested in participating in this year’s Corporate Hall of Shame or Corporate Accountability, please reach out to Taylor Leake (  

Dark Money, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana — a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide — to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Through this gripping story, Dark Money uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold. The movie premieres in Baltimore today, and in Michigan on August 30th. Find your local screening and more info here.


Every Voice and allies will hold a “Fix Democracy Now” week of action from July 29 to August 4, in partnership with candidates across the country, to rally support for reducing the influence of big donors, upholding access to the ballot, and drawing fair district lines. Candidates running at every level of elected office are encouraged to campaign that week for a democracy that works for all of us and to #FixDemocracyNow. For more information including toolkits for organizations and candidates with social media guidance, sample email blasts, and more, check out or email Every Voice’s Communications Director Adam Smith at



One of our partners, the Brennan Center for Justice, a key ally in voting rights, has written a powerful report. The study, published on July 20, focuses on the growing anti-democratic practice of voter purging and its grave threat to our democracy. Areas of our country that are not covered by section 5 of the Voting Rights Act are targeted significantly more for purging. There is no differentiation between those who have committed misdemeanors and those who have committed felonies, disenfranchising millions more. The report points out the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County v. Holder ruling as a significant cause of voter purging’s increasing prevalence, because the decision ended the practice of federal pre-clearance, a practice designed to evaluate potential curtailing of voting rights. The report further details the growing number of aggressive and often illegal purges, along with recommendations for the protection and expansion of our fundamental right to vote. The report can be found here.


Free Speech For People and United for a Fair Economy co-released a new report " Blackout in Puerto Rico: How 120 years of corporate dominance and political inequality stifles self-determination today ."

This report discusses 120 years of political inequality and corporate dominance in Puerto Rico, and also analyzes how the current system of money in politics affect s Puerto Rico’s financial crisis and hurricane recovery efforts. In discussing the impacts of money in politics today, this report acknowledges other systems of oppression — in this case, the creation and continuation of political inequality, white supremacy, and colonization — and discusses how money in politics is a tool used to perpetuate these already existing inequalities.


Connecticut was the most recent of 12 jurisdictions to pass the National Popular Vote compact, a massive victory for supporters of democracy around the United States. Connecticut was the first state to join the compact since the 2016 election. If passed by enough states, each jurisdiction would pledge all electoral votes to the candidate who receives the highest vote total. This success in Connecticut was driven by the organization National Popular Vote - a testament to the effectiveness of grassroots mobilization. For more information about the effort and how to get involved in your state, visit National Popular Vote here.

SACRAMENTO – California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced that a total of 792,851 voter registration transactions were completed through the Department of Motor Vehicles in the first two and half months since the launch of  California Motor Voter . This activity includes new voter registrations, as well as re-registrations and updated address transactions.
This total includes:
- 259,294 new voter registrations,
- 393,020 re-registrations,
- 120,016 updates to voter registration address, and
- 20,521 online voter registrations routed from DMV website and paper voter registration cards mailed to the Secretary of State’s office.

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 Elsie ( ) if you have questions.

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 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

DI Communications Working Group-- Tomorrow, July 26th at 1 p.m.

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.

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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