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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 11.15.2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


The President’s tax bill is a bad bill for everyday people. It gives corporations and the wealthy huge tax breaks while leaving families, seniors, children, and students with little or no savings. It’s time for elected leaders to work for everyday people, not corporations and wealthy interests.

Join Public Citizen and others on Thursday, November 16 at the National Building Museum for the people’s protest against the tax plan.

Publicly Financed Candidates Win in Albuquerque, New Mexico

On Tuesday, November 14 Tim Keller won Albuquerque’s runoff election to become the next mayor. Keller was the only publicly financed candidate running for mayor. The NM Political Report noted that “Keller’s victory comes at a time with a high crime rate, a struggling economy and discontent over the construction of a major public transit line through the city’s core.” Similarly, Cynthia Borrego won her seat for the City Council running as the only publicly financed candidate. Kudos to Common Cause New Mexico for their many years of work to educate and promote public financing through their “Democracy Dollars” campaign.


Thank you to all the member groups that participated in the November 11 day of action to collect signatures. Floridians for a Fair Democracy has collected more than 800,000 petitions with the goal to have 1.1 million by the end of December. The deadline to gather petitions by volunteers is December 15, 2017. There are weekly days of action and the next big day of action is on December 2, 2017. Folks can also send the petition out to their lists via email for people to print and send in.

  1. Here is the link for folks to print and send in the petition themselves (and print extra and share with friends). It’s also in Spanish if helpful.
  2. Here is a link to the campaign site where people can sign up to volunteer: https://secondchancesfl.org/
  3. There will be days of action on December 2 and 9. You can use this link to help recruit hosts and attendees and to track ongoing activity throughout the month.
  4. Finally, here are some campaign approved sample email blasts and I am attaching the messaging triangle for the campaign. You can email Jackie jlee@ffafd.org and Mila mila@floridarrc.org if you want someone to look over your message.

Florida has the most restrictive policies in the nation with respect to limiting the ability to vote for citizens who have completed felony sentences. It is one of only four states in the country whose constitution permanently disenfranchises all citizens with past felony convictions. Florida’s Voting Restoration Amendment would allow people who’ve paid their debt to society to earn back their right to vote.

Speak up for Fair Elections: Cook County Town hall, Wednesday Nov. 15

Please join Our Revolution Illinois/Chicago, Common Cause Illinois, the Democracy Initiative, and the 40th Ward Alliance at a public forum to learn more about small donor matching and discuss how it can help fix our broken campaign finance system.

Speakers include David Orr, Cook County Clerk, John Arena, Alderman 45th Ward, and Daniel Bliss, State Senator 9th District.

For more information, email info@ourrevolutionil.com.

Save the date: Dec. 7, 2017
Fair Elections Town Hall in Prince George's County, MD


Fair Elections Town Hall
December 7, 2017
Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Complex
7007 Bock Rd, Fort Washington, MD 20744
6pm-8 pm

Hosted by Councilmember Obi Patterson and Councilmember Mary Lehman.

To RSVP or for more information, contact David Sanchez at dsanchez@democracyinitiative.org) for more information.

It’s time to Stand up for DREAMers – Pass Clean DREAM Act


POTUS gave Congress six months to pass a DREAMAct before he would begin dissolving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program - a program put in place by former President Obama that was a short-term fix to safeguard DREAMers. The announcement by the current president was a devastating blow to DREAMers that rely on DACA to work and live without the fear of deportation.

Last week 1,500 DREAMer activists flooded the Senate Hart Building to demand Congress take action. Their mission was to show the grassroots demand for a Clean DREAM Act. The Senate action resulted in several arrests of DREAMers who risked deportation to bring media and legislative attention to this importance of passing a Clean DREAM Act.  

Several Democracy Initiative partners were in attendance to show their support for the DREAMers that traveled from across the country, walked out of school, and jobs to demand action from the Senate. Wendy Fields, Executive Director of the Democracy Initiative, was quoted “The DREAMers and allies that engulfed the Senate, was a great example of how Democracy is 365 days a year. The Democracy Initiative stands in support of the DREAMers and passing a Clean DREAM Act.”

Democracy 365: The Power of the People

The People for the American Way (PFAW) is one of the Democracy Initiative’s 63 diverse issue and democracy partners working collaboratively on democracy reforms. PFAW has been standing up for democracy in the courts and in the halls of power across our country to ensure that all Americans can freely exercise their right to vote and have that vote count.

Let’s stand together for our democracy! Take the pledge to make democracy an everyday activity so all Americans vote, all votes are counted, and leaders are held accountable to the people they represent - everyday Americans.

Annual Meeting: DECEMBER 14          

Join us for the December Annual Meeting on Thursday, December 14th, 2017 from 1:00pm-4:30pm & Reception 4:30-5:30pm.

6th Democracy Initiative Annual Meeting
Thursday, December 14th, 2017
AFL-CIO Headquarters - President’s Room
815 16th St NW
Washington, DC 20005

Following the meeting there will be a reception to honor and appreciate "Democracy Champions!"

Please contact David Sanchez (dsanchez@democracyinitiative.org) if you would like to highlight your democracy campaign.


Mobilizing & Collaboration


DI Communications Collaborative

Tuesday, November 21 at 4:15pm EST / 1:15 PST
RSVP to mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

This will be our second meeting focusing on messaging for our state campaigns in Illinois, Maryland, and DC. We also discuss analysis tools with Jess and Rob from Common Cause.  All members of your communications team (digital, press, messaging, etc.) are encouraged to attend.

Thank you to all the partners for coming out to the first meeting for our collaborative working group! We had great discussions with folks from Sierra Club, Common Cause, Center for Environmental Health, Clean Water Action, Daily Kos, SEIU, Communications Workers of America, Public Citizen, and Rethink Media.

Please email Michelle (mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org) for more information.


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