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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 08.29.19

Thursday, August 29, 2019
Our highlighted issues, actions, and events in the democracy movement this week—please share widely.

join us for the TOXIC TRIANGLE panel on sept. 4!

When: Wednesday, September 4th from 3:00 – 4:30 pm with a reception to follow
Where: Office of Common Cause at 805 15th St NW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20005

Join us for a wide-ranging and critical panel discussion led by leaders of our broad coalition, as they bring their expertise to bear on the intersection of finance, climate change, race, class, and the little known ways that Wall Street and the fossil fuels industry exploit communities of color.

There will also be a Q&A session and attendees are invited to join us for a cocktail reception on rooftop!

RSVP HERE

Click here to download a flyer.

BALTIMORE democracy champions TRAINING & FAIR ELECTIONS FUND HEARING

We are excited to announce that the Democracy Initiative will be partnering with Baltimore Fair Elections to hold a Democracy Champions Popular Education Training in Baltimore on September 28, 2019! Please spread the word and encourage your Baltimore staff and members to attend!

When: Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 9:30am – 2:00pm
Where: Function Coworking Community, 4709 Harford Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21214

RSVP to the Democracy Champions Training!

Last November, Baltimoreans overwhelmingly voted yes on Question H for a Fair Election Fund and to get outside, wealthy interests out of local politics. Now, Baltimore voters need everyone to come out to support making the Fair Election Fund a reality! The Judiciary Committee will be holding a public hearing Tuesday, September 17 at 10:00am on CB19-0403, a bill which finalizes the details of the fund. For more information and to RSVP, go here.

The Democracy Champions training is designed to create a cadre of pro-democracy leaders that understand that democracy is the key to winning on the issues that matter: living wage, healthcare, climate justice, to name a few. This popular education training is driven by the experiences of the participants and channels their energy into tangible actions that will build a strong foundation for the democracy movement.

Participants walk away with a 360 view of the way wealthy individuals and corporations use their money to dominate our political landscape. The solution is simple... It is in the leaders created by this training that will take the knowledge to advance democracy reform work in their backyards.

RSVP to the Democracy Champions Training!

di COMMUNICATIONS WORKING GROUP call: sEPT. 5

Join us on Thursday, September 5 at 4:00pm for the first of our DI Communications Working Group conference calls. Future calls will take place on the first Thursday of the month. We will be discussing messaging, polling, and actions around Democracy issues.

The Communications Working Group is our collaborative space for message refinement, discussion and development for our current field work. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition.

To RSVP or to submit items for discussion, please contact Christopher Honey at choney@democracyinitiative.org.

#SHOWUP4DC—H.R. 51 dc STATEHOOD HEARING

Join us and #ShowUp4DC by attending the September 19 hearing on D.C. Statehood!

At the core of our democracy is the simple principle: one person, one vote. Over 700,000 D.C. residents, in our nation’s Capital, are denied their voice by lacking representation in Congress. On September 19, the House Oversight and Reform Committee will hear testimony on H.R. 51, the Washington DC Admission Act.

We’re asking our partner organizations to #ShowUp4DC, by standing in solidarity with D.C. residents as they fight for full representation and equality and taking action with our partners at DCVote.

  • Participate in the September 5 National Statehood Table: DCVote is convening a critical table for engagement with the work, amplifying the coalition's efforts, and collectively participate in this historic campaign. Your organization can RSVP here.
  • Show up to the September 19 hearing: the hearing on DC Statehood is at Rayburn House Office Building, room 2154, at 10:00am. You can text HEARING to 52886 to receive updates to your phone. Encourage your DC members to attend as well!

PARTNER CORNER

RETHINK MEDIA AND NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR MONEY IN POLITICS WEBINAR

DI partner ReThink Media is teaming up with the National Institute on Money in Politics to host a September 5 webinar on FollowTheMoney.org, an incredible, go-to resource for campaign finance reform advocates, researchers, and journalists to explore state and local campaign donations and donors from all 50 states and the flow of money in state politics.

This is an opportunity to learn more about the website and how to use it, resources available, as well as ask questions specific to your work.

Register here.

COMMON CAUSE TEXAS LAUNCHES NEW CAMPAIGN TO EXPAND THE VOTE

DI partner Common Cause’s Texas state chapter recently announced a brand new campaign, Let Texas Vote, to combat voter suppression and ensure free, fair, and accessible elections for all Texans. The campaign has unveiled a sweeping host of democracy reform demands designed to increase turnout, secure elections, protect the vote, and expand access—in short, to bring Texas’ elections into the 21st Century.

DEMOCRACY IN THE NEW: STATE UPDATES

COLORADO—COURT UNTETHERS ELECTORS FROM STATE’S POPULAR VOTE

On Tuesday, August 20, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver Colorado ruled that electoral college electors are not required to cast their vote in accordance with the results of their state’s popular vote. In 2016, a Colorado Democratic so-called “faithless elector” Micheal Baca voted for John Kasich in contradiction with the popular vote, which overwhelmingly went for Hillary Clinton. The Secretary of State disregarded his vote and replaced him with another elector who voted for Clinton, in accordance with typical procedure.

Last Tuesday’s 2-1 decision, however, argues that this is unconstitutional, unduly increasing the power of electoral college over voters and opening the path for electors to sway close elections according to their own preferences. The 10th Circuit Court’s decision has immediate application to Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming, though time is left for a Supreme Court challenge should voting rights advocates appeal the decision in time for the 2020 elections.

Read more here.

ARIZONA—VOTER SUPPRESSION EXPECTED IN 2020

The fight in 2020 to ensure every eligible voter can exercise their right to vote will be fierce in Arizona, where anti-democracy lawmakers passed legislation designed to suppress the vote in the most recent legislative session. The first bill places voter ID requirements on some early voters, thus suppressing marginalized communities most likely to lack an up-to-date photo ID. A second bill affects voters unable to vote on Election Day due to unforeseen circumstances, requiring a sworn affidavit and identification.

In a state where turnout, especially turnout from communities of color, young voters, and women, is on the rise, voter suppression is increasingly the last gasp of an establishment dedicated to maintaining the status quo at the expense of voters. Sustained, community-oriented voter engagement and meeting people where they are will be required to ensure all Arizonans can use their voices in the democratic process.

Read more here.

SAVE THE DATE: DI 2019 ANNUAL MEETING

DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE JOB OPPORTUNITIES

PIPER FUND—PROGRAM OFFICER, RIGHT TO PROTEST

The Proteus Fund partners with foundations, advocates and individual donors to advance democracy, human rights and peace. Their current major initiatives work to address money in politics, protect judicial independence and freedom of assembly, and more.

The Program Officer for the Right to Protest facilitates Piper Fund’s and Piper Action Fund’s work to protect freedom of assembly. The Program Officer conducts rapid response grant making to state and local organizations, coordinates a network of national organizations, and engages with philanthropic partners to raise funds to support this program. This is a full time remote position.

See the full posting here.

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