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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 08.22.18

Wednesday, August 22, 2018
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Our highlighted issues, actions, and events in the democracy movement this week—Please share widely.

JOIN FB LIVE ON STATE OF DEMOCRACY: FLINT, MI

The DI is part of a larger national effort called Declaration For American Democracy (DFAD). We’re helping to build a grassroots effort to highlight a package of democracy reforms solutions we need to fix our democracy.

On August 28 at 6pm ET, we’re supporting a Facebook live on the topic of gerrymandering, voting rights, and how the current state of democracy in Michigan has made it difficult to hold state legislators accountable for the Flint water crisis.

Here is the Facebook page for DFAD, where you will be able to join the Facebook live discussion. Please share this information with your members.

RESTORE YOUR VOTE

DI partner Campaign Legal Center has launched an exciting new tool, Restore Your Vote, to help those with past convictions reclaim their right to vote. The tool will be updated with information from all 50 states, so someone can walk through what their past convictions were, and see if they're eligible to vote now. We expect 17 million people—if they know about the tool and can see they are eligible—would be able to register to vote right now. As many as 6 million will be able to see that their crime disqualified them to vote, but it will direct them on how to restore their vote in their state, if possible. Share this tool widely as we approach these critical midterm elections. Disenfranchisement affects everybody.

HAVE YOU SIGNED THE PETITION?

With fewer than 80 days until the election, and new challenges to our voting rights, it’s crucial that we send a message: “Don’t Mess With Our Vote!”
Please sign and distribute the petition with your members. Our petition engagement guide can be found here. To get involved, contact Getachew at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org.


TAKE ACTION

SECOND CHANCES FLORIDA: AUGUST 25 DAY OF ACTION & ADOPT-A-DAY
DI ally Second Chances Florida has two opportunities for you to show your support this week:
August 25 Day of Action: This Saturday, August 25, from 1pm–4pm EST, will be the next day of national call parties to talk to Florida voters. We need you help gathering attendees and participants. Join one of 19 major call parties across the country and encourage people to make virtual calls if there's no party near them. Here's a sample recruitment email.

Adopt a day: We need to let Florida voters know why it's so important to vote YES on Amendment 4 this November. Boost Second Chances' phone banking program by adopting one day, once a month, to be your organization's day for remote phone banking to voters. You'll be responsible for filling up the phones on day Mon–Thurs, 5:30pm–8:30pm EST—with the goal of recruiting at least 20 callers for your shift (which means getting 40 to sign up, so that 20 show up). You can do this virtually with your membership or host a call party with your staff. If each partner takes one day we can keep the calls rolling out. Fill out this form to adopt days in the coming month.
CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY HALL OF SHAME

Fill out the ballot for this year's Corporate Accountability Hall of Shame is live, and the competition is fierce.
Nayyirah Shariff, director of DI ally Flint Rising, has put out a call to vote for Nestlé and Veolia due to their privatization and commodification of water at the height of the Flint lead crisis.
Vote now for the companies you love to hate.
UNITE FOR JUSTICE DAY OF ACTION | #STOPKAVANAUGH

DI partner Every Voice and coalition partners are participating in a national day of action this Sunday, August 26, to stop Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.  

We can stop Kavanaugh’s nomination and protect our democracy from big money spending and rolling back of voting rights. Find an event near you and stand up together.

SAVE THE DATE: BLUEPRINT FOR A GREAT DEMOCRACY

The Democracy Initiative is proud to collaborate with Common Cause on their annual Blueprint conference. Click the image to learn more.

NEWS FROM PARTNERS

NC NAACP FILES SUIT AGAINST TOP LEGISLATORS OVER VOTING RIGHTS ATTACK
Voting rights and environmental protections are under attack in North Carolina. Clean Air Carolina and North Carolina NAACP, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, just filed suit Monday, August 21 against the NC Speaker of the House, Senate Pro Tempore, and State Board of Elections due to their efforts to place dangerous initiatives on the November ballot. The coalition objects to the NC General Assembly’s power grab, which designed to secure their own incumbency, disenfranchise voters, and prevent the state from supporting programs that advocate for the poor, communities of color, and the environment.
 

Read more.

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COUNTY ELECTION OFFICIALS IN GEORGIA ATTEMPT TO CLOSE MAJORITY OF PRECINCTS
Election officials from Randolph County, Georgia, have proposed to close seven of the nine polling precincts for the November election. The county election board claims that the precincts fail to satisfy the requirements outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act, but the county election board’s consultant attributed the plan to “consolidation,” a process apparently supported by gubernatorial candidate and current Secretary of State Brian Kemp.          

Local groups and voting rights advocates rightly point out that the move will suppress voter turnout in the county.

In a Washington Post article, president and executive director for DI partner Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke was quoted:

"The more communities mobilize to turn out the vote, the harsher the voter suppression efforts undertaken by officials. We are prepared to use every tool in our arsenal to ensure that African American voters are able to have meaningful access to the polls this election cycle."


Add your name to Common Cause Georgia's petition to stop the attack on voter's rights. Read more on the story here.

Mobilization & Collaboration    

DI Communications Working Group—Next Meeting THURSDAY, August 23rd at 1pm.

The communications working group is our collaborative space for message refinement and development for our current field work. We need your skills. 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 apohl@democracyinitiative.org.