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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 9.29.2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

And the winner is... Low Turnout

Our elected leaders should be a reflection of people. When a small, unrepresentative group gets to decide who represents all of us, that’s not democracy. The GOP held a primary runoff to select their candidate for U.S. Senate to replace Jeff Sessions, who is now the U.S. Attorney General. Only 14% of registered voters participated in the election.

Now that the Republican and Democratic candidates are set, the real question is how many people will come out in December to vote? Every day is an opportunity to remind members, neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family that democracy is more than elections – it’s about holding our leaders accountable to advance the issues that matter most for our communities, our workplaces, and our planet.

This is Our Democracy!

The president's sham election integrity commission has one goal: shrink the power of everyday Americans. We're seeing that with the millions of voters purged: In Ohio, 1.2 million voters have been purged and in Georgia 400,000 voters have been removed since the 2016 election.

When less people participate in democracy, it's easier for elected leaders and wealthy special interests to roll back the hard fought gains we've made on climate justice, civil rights, criminal justice reform, and workers' rights. Our right to vote is the most powerful tool we have to hold leaders accountable and boot elected officials that aren't paying attention to the kitchen table issues that matter to so many of us.

Share the pledge with your members to show the solidarity of our movement and that we mean business. Email David (dsanchez@democracyinitiative.org) for a personalized link to the pledge so you can track your members who take action.


Daring Democracy Features Coalition


Small Planet Institute (new DI partner) has released Daring Democracy by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen. The book celebrates the accomplishments of our democracy movement and includes interviews and quotes from Wendy Fields, Sierra Club and other democracy partners.

SAVE THE DATE: The Democracy Initiative will host Frances Moore Lappé on October 24 at Busboys & Poets (5th Street). Books will be available for sale at the event.

Email Elana at eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org for more information or to RSVP.


Toxic Democracy: CEH Urges Congress to #DumPDourson

Michael Dourson is Trump’s nominee to head chemical safety at the EPA. He has worked with the tobacco and chemical industries to downplay the dangers of secondhand smoke, Teflon, and dozens of other toxic substances. Dourson’s nomination hearing is Wednesday, October 4 at 10 AM.

Can you join Center for Environmental Health in opposing Doruson?

Here’s how you can help #DumpDourson

  1. Add your group to the Organizational Sign On Letter.
  2. Block Dourson’s nomination by sending this petition to your members. Sample email language available online.
  3. Show up to the hearing to line the halls with signs about Dourson demonstrating that we’re watching. If you can’t be at the hearing, join a watch party and contribute to the conversation at #DumpDourson.

Action: Tell Gov. Malloy To Protect Citizen’s Election Program In Connecticut; Veto Budget


Governor Malloy needs to hear from you! Connecticut is a success story in our democracy movement. A recent budget passed by Connecticut targets the Citizen’s Election Program (CEP) which – for over a decade – has encouraged more diverse candidates to run and shifts the power away from corporations and moneyed interests to everyday people.

Let's stop big money. It’s time for everyday people to rise up to protect the CEP from this targeted attack that is coming from Koch-funded special interest groups. These groups want to shrink the power of everyday people and rollback progress on environmental policies, workers’ rights, and criminal justice reforms.

Our action page includes a sample email and graphics to share online.

(Click to Tweet)

Great Turnout for Fair Elections forum in Prince George's County

Fair Elections Maryland sponsored a the first public forum on fair election in Prince George’s County.  The forums featured County Councilmember Mary Lehman and former Congresswoman Donna Edwards.

Councilwoman Lehman pledged to introduce legislation for fair elections. Prince George’s could become the third county in Maryland to adopt public financing. Montgomery County was the first and Howard County pass the Citizens Election Program last year. Candidates for several local offices in Montgomery County are using the new program for the first time this year, with 31 candidates filing to run through public financing so far.


Add Your Story: Why We Fight for Democracy!

National Voter Registration Day (September 26) is an opportunity for our organizations and members to share why it is so important that every eligible voter be on the rolls. Beyond just registering members, we need to lift up why our vote is a powerful tool that collectively holds elected leaders accountable everyday Americans and the issues that matter most.

Share your story! Invite members to add their story about why fighting for democracy matters to them.

When we stand together, we can hold our leaders accountable. It is time to make sure we preserve our right to vote so we can stand up for our health, our neighbors, and the environment. Mobilize your members to share a short quote on why voting matters to them and connecting the dots to core issues such as the environment, criminal justice, and healthcare. Email Michelle Whittaker, mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org.

Mobilizing & Collaboration

Bi-Monthly Mobilizing Meeting


October 4 at 3pm EST / 12pm PST

RSVP to gkassa@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org.

Our bi-monthly meetings to make decisions on field strategy and move actions  both at the national and state level so we can collaborate and move democracy reforms effectively. All DI Members are welcome.

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We're using a new online tool, Mobilize, to engage with our partners. You may have received an email in your inbox. You don't need to sign-up to get updates on activities. If you're not part of the hub, fill out this form to join.

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