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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 3.28.2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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Women's History Month Fact: In the 220-year history of the U.S. Supreme Court, only four women justices have served.


Congratulations to Partners in Mississippi and California for Advancing Democracy Reforms

Mississippi Passes Bill to Prevent Politicians from Using Campaign Funds for Personal Use

Mississippi State House

A new ethics reform bill passed on March 23rd is headed to the governor for signature. The bill limits how campaign funds can be spent by politicians and elected officials to only campaign-related expenses and activities related to their office, according to the Daily Journal. Along with limiting how funds are used, it prevents retired politicians from transferring funds into a personal accounts.

Sacramento City Council Passes Measure to Increase Transparency and Accountability

The Sacramento City County has created a new ethics commissions to oversee the newly passed ethics code and sunshine ordinance. The commission has the power to investigate complaints and issue fines. The new ethics code requires city officials to use city email address for city business and public recording keeping.

Automatic Voter Registration Headed to the 2018 Ballot in Nevada

Voters in Nevada will have the chance to join six states plus D.C. in allowing eligible voters to be automatically registered through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed the initiative petition legislation last week moving it to the 2018 ballot.


Join us for our Bi-Weekly program call next Wednesday, April 5th at 3PM ET/12PM PT. RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org.

Agenda will include actions on Howard County (MD) and DC.


Mobilize Your Members to Protect Our Environment & Ensure Democracy for All!

The People's Climate March is Saturday April 29. Millions will mobilize in resistance against Trump’s agenda and for our climate, our jobs, and our justice. The "country-wide arc of action" led by The People's Climate Movement will have marches in DC, Miami, San Diego, and many more cities.

Sign up and share the link to join the march here!  

Mobilize your members with sample social media.

We Need Your Voice & Action in Howard County - April 19!

Every voter should have an equal voice! Howard County lawmakers are finalizing the Citizens’ Fair Election Fund and we need members to attend the hearing on April 19.

Democracy Initiative partners successfully worked together to pass the county charter amendment to create a citizens’ funded election program (53%-47%) last November.

Mobilize Your Members in Howard County!

  • View list of upcoming County Council hearings.
  • Share social media content.
  • Encourage members to write letters to the editor to local papers.

Join D.C. Fair Elections Campaign Kickoff on April 1

D.C. residents have the chance to hold their elected officials accountable and blunt the influence of special interests.

You're invited to the coalition’s big campaign kickoff event is this coming Saturday, April 1 from 10:30-12:30 at Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M St. NW, Washington DC  (Closest Metro stops are McPherson/Farragut North).

Please share details with your local DC Membership.

Tell the Senate: Gorsuch is Wrong for the Supreme Court

We heard powerful testimony from Democracy Initiative partners last week about why Judge Neil Gorsuch is wrong for the Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Judge Gorsuch's nomination on Monday, April 3.

Here is some of the testimony, please share with your members and network:

"Our concern regarding Judge Gorsuch's nomination is grave and simple: Working people cannot be assured a fair shake from a Justice Gorsuch."
Jody Calemine, CWA General Counsel

"What’s at stake today is the very shape and structure of our democracy: the way we make decisions about everything from who gets health care to whether a family with a full time worker will live in poverty; and whose voices are heard in that process.”
Heather C. McGhee, President, Demos

"The right to vote is too important and we must understand whether Judge Gorsuch is committed to interpreting and preserving what remains of the Voting Rights Act."
Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

"Judge Gorsuch has expressed a consistent willingness to close the courthouse doors to citizens and the public while holding them wide open for corporate and industrial interests.”
Pat Gallagher, Sierra Club, Environmental Law Program Director

Relevant hashtags: #StopGorsuch #WeObject #DonorsOrVoters

Protect Voting Rights in New Hampshire


Join the march on April 1 to protect voting rights in New Hampshire.There are several bills being considered by the legislature that would undercut same day registration and discourage voter participation in a state that had 72.5% voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election.

NH March for Voting Rights from Concord High School to the State House, Saturday, April 1st 1-3pm. Activist training will be held following the rally.



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