Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 09.20.18

Thursday, September 20, 2018
Our highlighted issues, actions, and events in the democracy movement this week—Please share widely.

SCOTUS: INVESTIGATE NOW—MEN DON'T GET TO DECIDE

Democracy Initiative Executive Director Wendy Fields on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's accusations against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh:

The Democracy Initiative stands with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and applauds her incredible courage to come forward to speak her truth. We also want to echo Sen. Hirono's challenge:


In light of what's at stake in this #MeToo moment, the DI is providing a few resources for people who want to get involved in the fight against Kavanaugh:

  1. Women's March is planning a nonviolent, direct action in Washington DC on Monday, September 24 to show the Senate #WeBelieveChristine and demand that they #CancelKavanaugh and vote no on his confirmation. Click here.
  2. DI partner Friends of the Earth asks you to tell your senator to stop the vote on Kavanaugh. Sign the petition.
  3. Read President and Executive Director of DI partner Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Kristen Clarke's op-ed with former US District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin on the the ugly double standard over Kavanaugh's so-called youth, discussing the gendered and racial implications of arguments defending Kavanaugh.
  4. Sign DI partner Common Cause's petition to put the brakes on Kavanaugh's appointment.

In Solidarity,
The DI Team

FB LIVE: MOBILIZING FOR LABOR AND VOTING RIGHTS

DI Executive Director Wendy Fields and the AFL-CIO Civil, Human, and Women's Rights Director Nakisha Lewis will join a FB live discussion—hosted by the Declaration For American Democracy coalition—TODAY, Thursday, September 20, at 6pm. They will discuss threats to voting rights, how protecting and improving access to the ballot connects to AFL-CIO’s key issues, and provide key resources for people to get involved.

To watch and join the discussion, visit https://www.facebook.com/DeclarationforAmericanDemocracy/ at 6pm tonight.

NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY TOOLKIT


National Voter Registration Day is less than a week away! Here are some tools to help you organize and spread the word:

SHOW OUR COLLECTIVE POWER: SIGN THE VOTING RIGHTS PETITION!
This November, 26 million young people, women, and people of color who voted in 2016 are predicted to not turn out to vote. We need these 26 million voices to be heard. We need ALL of our voices to be heard. Let’s prove them wrong. In the 21st century, we should have a democracy that is built on the basic principle of maximum participation.

On National Voter Registration Day, we want you to sign and distribute the petition with your members, and join us to stand up for our voting rights and a stronger democracy. Our petition engagement guide can be found here. To get involved, contact Getachew at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org.

To tweet a link to our petition on NVRD, click here!

VOTER REGISTRATION DAY TOOLSRESTORATION OF RIGHTS MAKES A DIFFERENCE
17 million people with former felony convictions are eligible register to vote right now, but many do not know their rights. DI partner Campaign Legal Center has developed Restore Your Vote to provide information and resources to help those with past convictions reclaim their right to vote. The tool will be updated with information from all 50 states. Share this tool widely to ensure everyone who is eligible can vote. Disenfranchisement affects everybody.

DI PARTNER CORNER

SIGN UP FOR ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE'S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
Democracy Initiative is proud to join DI partner Arab American Institute (AAI) for their upcoming Fall 2018 National Leadership Summit, Our America: Harness Power, Change Policy. The summit will bring together passionate advocates for civil rights and civil liberties from every community to address policy issues that impact the Arab American and allied communities.
AAI hosts two gatherings: one in Dearborn, Michigan on Saturday, September 22 at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and the second in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday, September 24 at The Carter Center. Democracy Initiative’s Executive Director Wendy Fields will be in Atlanta discussing gerrymandering and its toll on democracy. Sign up here!

VERIZON LEAVES ALEC AFTER COLLECTIVE ACTION
On September 15, Verizon announced that it will be leaving the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, in response to scrutiny generated by a letter from DI partners and allies that denounced ALEC and its association with David Horowitz, famous for bigotry and his platforming of white nationalists.

The letter successfully put Verizon on notice: “Make no mistake, your continued financial support of ALEC is an endorsement of this dangerous vision for our country.” Verizon’s departure from ALEC marks a major victory against special interests, and shows us what we’re capable of when we stand together to pressure the powerful into listening to the people.

Read more here.

DARK MONEY GROUPS NOW MUST DISCLOSE DONORS
The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday, September 18 to let stand a lower court ruling compelling political nonprofits to disclose the names of donors who’ve contributed over $200 to groups advocating for politicians. The temporary action likely comes in order to stall while the Supreme Court can reach a final resolution on the case, which is under appeal. But for now, the ruling is a major victory for transparency and accountability.

Read more here.

DI LEADERS ON THE MOVE

ANNIE LEONARD VIDEO INTERVIEW ON CLIMATE AND DEMOCRACY
DI Board Member and Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard was recently in an interview with The Real News Network’s Dharna Noor talking about the crisis facing our climate and our democracy.
“We need to be building power and we need to be getting corporate money out of our political system, because our democracy should be the best tool that we have to advance solutions, and we just can’t use it because it’s been hijacked by special interests.”
—Annie Leonard

You can watch the full interview here.

KNOW A DEMOCRACY CHAMPION? NOMINATE ONE

As we begin planning our Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 28, we’d like you to be involved. The DI Annual Meeting is an opportunity for us to gather as partners, look back on our successes and challenges in 2018, and develop strategic campaign plans for 2019.
Last year, as part of the Annual Meeting, the DI honored two organizations and one individual with our first ever Democracy Champion awards, given to those who have gone above and beyond in the fight to strengthen our democracy.
This year, we want you to hear from you! Who is a Democracy Champion in your community or organization? Please use this link to nominate an organization or an individual for a Democracy Champion Leadership Award. Include a few sentences in support of your nominee. The deadline to submit nominations is September 21, 2018.
If you have any questions, please contact Elsie Guerrero at 202-567-6101, or eguerrero@democracyinitiative.org

SAVE THE DATE: DI ANNUAL MEETING 2018