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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 6.21.18

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Our highlighted issues, actions, and events in the democracy movement this week--Please share widely.

Flint, Michigan: training & book launch

THREE DAYS AWAY IN FLINT, MI  

JUNE 23, 2018

Our Democracy Champions Training in Flint, Michigan is on Saturday! After the disappointing Supreme Court decision on Ohio’s voter purging, and recent gerrymandering cases dismissed back to district courts, it’s important to remember these temporary setbacks only affect one tactic in the fight for a representative, fair, and inclusive democracy. Organizing the people, giving them the strength and the resources to agitate for change, remains a crucially important part of the fight for democracy 365 days a year.

Democracy Champions Training
Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
9 AM to 5 PM

United Auto Workers Regional Office
1940 West Atherton Road
Flint, Michigan 48507

Register for the training here.

 


 


This highly-interactive training, grounded in popular education principles, will make the connections between democracy, power, and the ability to win justice on the diverse issues that motivate our partners. Participants will learn about effective communication and have an opportunity to practice making the pro-democracy case. We ask that our partners send 2-3 participants to the training. At the conclusion of the training, every participant will be recognized and celebrated as a Democracy Champion, with opportunities for ongoing engagement.  Contact Getachew Kassa with any questions at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org

 


The AFL-CIO is delighted to host Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Flint water crisis whistleblower, one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people, TEDMED speaker and “pediatrician turned detective,” as she releases her new book, What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.

Please RSVP here.
 

News and Action on the Border Crisis


WENDY FIELDS STATEMENT ON THE MIGRANT BORDER CRISIS

   "Once again, this administration has shown its inhumanity and displayed incompetence at governing our country. America had a reputation of being a beacon of hope, a north star for democracy in the world. Now we have a government, enabled by many in Congress, that is incapable of providing decent family living conditions and due process for those fleeing violence and seeking asylum. We are in the middle of an international human rights crisis; an international crisis that clearly this government and Congress do not understand and are not able to manage.

  This is a complete failure of government. Instead of going through the legal process and providing the most basic of humane services to migrants, they are building tent cities for children and possibly starting permanent separation of families. At the same time, this administration has pulled us out of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which was created to deal with just these kinds of human-made disasters as a global community. Over the past few days we have seen the American people lift their voices in non-partisan opposition to the separation of families. Now we must demand more, efficient, timely due process of refugees and humane treatment. In November we must be sure that we, everyday people express their values and ensure they are registered to vote and on the voting list, we must hold this administration and elected officials accountable and to a high standard of leadership."

TAKE ACTION: JOIN THE JUNE 30TH MOBILIZATION: Join the #FamiliesBelongTogether mobilization in Washington, D.C. on June 30th, or find one in your area. Thousands have already signed up to go to the White House on June 30th to tell Trump and Jeff Sessions to end their policies that break apart families. If you can't make it to DC, there will also be local events across the country. To learn more, click here.
WANT MORE INFORMATION?
Private prison companies are making millions from the detention of families at the southern border, and some have given generously to Trump and other national leaders. It is important to inform ourselves about how and why the connections between these events translate into real life tragedy. Read more about the prison lobby here, here, here, and here.

The NAACP on the Civil Rights Front Lines

Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the NAACP, says that there is a direct correlation between the racism emanating from the White House and the expansion of attacks on the humanity of persons of color. Read more here.

EVENT: Democracy Behind Bars, COMMON CAUSE

DI Partner organization Common Cause is releasing a new report on June 28th entitled Democracy Behind Bars. In prison, on probation, and on parole, 6.7 million people live under court-ordered supervision. The mass criminalization and incarceration of our communities, disenfranchises and disempowers millions of Americans, and undermines the legitimacy of our democracy. The Democracy Behind Bars report represents an effort to build on Common Cause’s longstanding commitment to serve as a watchdog on government, defend and strengthen voting rights, and ensure that the power of ideas rather than that of monied interests counts most in our democracy.
 

LEARN THE racist HISTORY OF "RIGHT TO wORK" surrounding janus v. afscme council 31

The Supreme Court decision on JANUS v. AFSCME Council 31 is expected soon, and could be a major attack on our ability to act and organize collectively. it’s important to acknowledge the insidious, racist roots of “Right to Work” laws. We cannot allow the anti-democracy forces that support these laws to cause a rift among working people along racial lines. Check out this excellent piece from Tamara Draut, Vice President of Policy and Research at our partner Demos, to learn more.
 

The Koch attack on our democracy continues

This past Monday, Democracy Initiative and our partners Common Cause, Center for Popular Democracy, Every Voice, and Working Families were delighted to host Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. In her discussion of her illuminating book, MacLean repeatedly identified the Koch brothers and their vast national infrastructure as one of the gravest threats to our democracy; the Koch brothers and their allies’ success arises from their secrecy in changing policy at the state level to benefit themselves and their business. Her book traces the Koch strategy from its ideological roots in little-known thinker James McGill Buchanan, all the way to their current goal of calling an Article V Constitutional Convention to permanently alter the Constitution of the United States. MacLean’s book is a welcome addition to the growing awareness of the threat the wealthy few pose to the integrity of our elections and our democracy.

DI Executive Director Wendy Fields with Democracy in Chains author Nancy MacLean

An example of the kind of behavior MacLean discusses was explored by the New York Times’ Hiroki Tabuchi, who released an article on Tuesday documenting the Koch brothers’ strategy to undermine public transit at the state and local level. One of the Koch apparatus’ principal fronts, Americans for Prosperity, infiltrated Nashville in an Astroturf campaign to convince local communities of the danger of increasing funding for public transit, contrary to the widely popular campaign waged by the people of Nashville. But a cadre of “activists” appeared with an expensive, Koch-built profiling system called i360 appeared and convinced locals to opt for continuing the use of cars and roads—industries in which the Koch’s have a great stake.

But the Nashville strategy is part of a nationwide effort; according to the article, “Americans for Prosperity has coordinated door-to-door anti-transit canvassing campaigns for at least seven local or state-level ballots,” spending $711,000 last year on lobbying and $4 million in the last seven. As MacLean pointed to in her book, in order to defend our democracy, we must be vigilant when the Koch’s and other moneyed interests infiltrate our communities and undermine our self-determination—it weakens our power as people and threatens our ability to realize our vision for reflective and representative democracy, 365 days a year.
 

GERRYMAndering Cases REmanded

 
SCOTUS once again failed to deliver a definitive ruling on the issue of gerrymandering by remanding both cases before it (Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone) back to lower courts. It is expected to pick up yet another gerrymandering case (Common Cause v. Rucho from North Carolina) soon.
Wendy Weiser and Thomas Wolf of DI partner the Brennen Center for Justice wrote about the significance of these cases in the L.A. Times, saying, “There are good reasons to be optimistic. The justices did not throw the cases out of court, or say partisan gerrymandering is legal. Either or both would have been easy options if the court didn’t ultimately want to tackle the big issue.” Read more here.
 

TAKE action: BAltimore Fair election fund

After recent successes regarding public financing for political campaigns in Maryland, it is now Baltimore's turn. A charter amendment that has been proposed to the city council requires both the council and the mayor to sign off before it can reach voters. Call the Baltimore City Council today and let them know you want big money out of politics! Read more here.
 

VICtory in KANSAS! And kobach gets schooled!

Congratulations to the ACLU for bringing this case and securing a significant and symbolic victory for voting rights and popular democracy!

On Monday, Federal District Judge Julie A. Robinson of Kansas struck down Kris Kobach’s restrictive voter ID law. Kobach infamously justified his repressive voting law by citing built his entire reputation on his false claims that voter fraud committed by immigrants threatens the country. Now the premier champion of voter suppression’s own law has been repealed.

Kobach also decided to represent himself, and after committing numerous of the most rudimentary procedural errors, Judge Robinson wrote he had "a duty to familiarize himself with the governing rules of procedure" requiring him to attend six hours of legal education.

Read more here.

Arab American Institute'S #YallaVote Hotline

DI partner the Arab American Institute has launched the #YallaVote Hotline for the 2018 election season.

The hotline is staffed by legal experts and both Arabic and English speakers who can answer questions and address concerns on voting day. These experts can also provide legal support to address voter suppression or disenfranchisement in your state.

Please spread information about the hotline widely, so that all voters are given the information and support needed to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The #YallaVote Hotline can be reached at 1-844-YALLA-US, or 1-844-925-5287.

Take action: support second chances florida

This Saturday, June 23, Second Chances FL are having calling parties all over the state and country to speak to Florida voters about why Amendment 4 should be passed to restore the eligibility to vote to 1.4 million Floridians. Voter Engagement Schedule Every week: Second Chances FL Phone Banking  
- Volunteer Calls: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (5:30-8:30pm ET); Saturdays (10am-1pm ET), Sundays (3-6pm ET). Here's a link to sign up .
- Adopt A Day Calendar Program: Sign-Up Here  


Every month: Days of Action
- First Week: Amendment 4 on the 4th (Digital Pledge)
- Second Week: Text Banking (Starting in July)
- Third Saturday: Super Saturday Volunteer Canvassing (Starting in July)
- Fourth Saturday: Second Chances Call Parties (Make sure to plan outreach to recruit attendees for parties on June 23)

With only 5 months left until the election, our allies supporting Second Chances Florida need our help to boost their calling program. To do that, they’re asking partners to pick a day every month for remote calling to Florida voters. You can sign up for a calling day here. Contact Jonah Minkoff-Zern at jzern@citizen.org for more ways to help; follow and amplify the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
 

American Promise National Citizenship Leadership Conference

DI Executive Director Wendy Fields will be on the panel "Working Together: Effective Collaboration Between Groups" on 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 24th, at the American Promise National Leadership Conference. For more information and to register for the conference, which runs June 22 through June 25th, click here.

 

MOBILIZATION & COLLABORATION

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

We are maintaining a DI campaign calendar that will include information on upcoming events and activities. Visit our website to access the calendar. Contact Elsie (eguerrero@democracyinitiative.org ) if you have questions.

2018 Expanded Mobilizing Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST

Beginning next week, on June 13th, DI’s bi-weekly Mobilizing Committee Meetings (at 3 p.m. every other Wednesday), will shift their focus to state coordination of priority campaigns, beginning with the Promote the Vote and Voters not Politicians ballot initiatives in Michigan. For more information, contact Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org

DI Communications Working Group

Fourth Wednesday of every month, at 1pm E.T.
The communications working group is a collaborative space for message refinement using feedback from organizations working on the ground. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition.
RSVP to apohl@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meeting: Thursday, June 28th

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy, or let us know about a conference. Email Aimée (apohl@democracyinitiative.org) to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

If you are not already a subscriber, click here to receive the DI Report in your inbox. And please be sure to follow us on Twitter (@Unite4Democracy), like us on Facebook, instagram (unite4democracy) and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 6.13.18

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

 

Arab American Institute'S #YallaVote Hotline

DI partner the Arab American Institute has launched the #YallaVote Hotline for the 2018 election season.

The hotline is staffed by legal experts and both Arabic and English speakers who can answer questions and address concerns on voting day. These experts can also provide legal support to address voter suppression or disenfranchisement in your state.

Please spread information about the hotline widely, so that all voters are given the information and support needed to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The #YallaVote Hotline can be reached at 1-844-YALLA-US, or 1-844-925-5287.

TAKE action: #Stophatestopfarr

On Wednesday, June 6, Civil Rights Leaders, Senators, Members of Congress, the NAACP, Demand Justice, Repairers of the Breach, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law, held a joint press conference and rally outside the U.S. Capitol to urge opposition to the Trump administration’s nomination of Thomas Farr as a Federal district judge. President and Director-Counsel of NAACP Legal Defense Fund Sherrilyn Ifill stated:

“That Farr would now be made a federal judge is offensive. It is offensive to African Americans in the Eastern District and all people who depend on independent and impartial courts. His legal career has been dedicated to opposing the rights of workers and denying African Americans full participation in our democracy. His record is repugnant and provides ample grounds to oppose his confirmation.”

Read about Thomas Farr's 30 year record of white supremacy here.

Color of Change has created a petition to the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose Farr’s nomination, which DI Partner NAACP has endorsed.

Sign the petition to block his nomination here. #FarrOut

SCOTUS Fails Ohio Voters

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision on behalf of Ohio, allowing its aggressive voting "purge" to continue. In Ohio, voters who abstain from voting or simply do not vote in a federal election are sent a mailed notice asking them to confirm their residence. If they fail to reply and do not vote for four more years, they are then purged from the Ohio voter rolls. People should have the right to be able to vote whenever they want, even if they have not voted in the past or have missed a few elections. In a country where voter turnout is already low, these kinds of practices simply make it more difficult for those who do want to participate in our democracy.

Read more about the Supreme Court's disappointing decision to allow for the continued purging of Ohio voters here.

Indiana Purging law blocked by courts

Congratulations to DI partners and allies on their victory in Indiana for voting rights. Common Cause Indiana, represented by the ACLU and DI partner Demos, secured an injunction on Friday, June 8 against use of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled that the danger of inaccurately purging voters from the roll surpasses the danger to Indiana election officials attempting to protect the voting process.

"The court agrees with Common Cause that the greater public interest is in allowing eligible voters to exercise their right to vote without being disenfranchised without notice,"

Pratt wrote in her 28-page ruling.

The Crosscheck program, championed by Kris Kobach, has demonstrated “inaccuracy and […] significant security holes” according to Demos Senior Counsel Stuart Naifeh. The injunction in Indiana secured by our partners and allies shows that we won’t allow our voting rights to be stripped away. Every reform and ruling we achieve brings us one step closer to a representative democracy for all.

Read more about the tireless efforts of coalition members Common Cause Indiana and the NAACP, as well as the problems posed by the Crosscheck system instituted by Kris Kobach, here.

Take action: support second chances florida

With only 5 months left until the election, our allies supporting Second Chances Florida need our help to boost their calling program. To do that, they’re asking partners to pick a day every month for remote calling to Florida voters. You can sign up for a calling day here. Contact Jonah Minkoff-Zern at jzern@citizen.org for more ways to help; follow and amplify the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

Blumenthal v. Trump: Foreign Emoluments Clause Violation?

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has been joined by nearly 200 Democrats in a lawsuit against President Trump. Click the image or here to read more.

American Promise National Citizenship Leadership Conference

DI Executive Director Wendy Fields will be on the panel "Working Together: Effective Collaboration Between Groups" on 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 24th, at the American Promise National Leadership Conference. For more information and to register for the conference, which runs June 22 through June 25th, click here.

Democracy Mission Statement

While the focus of Democracy Initiative remains on the field, supporting local and state campaigns, we also see the value of and need for reform on the federal level. We’ve joined in coalition with a variety of groups to gain broad agreement on a set of democracy principles for Congress. Click here to read the full "Democracy Mission Statement" that we've signed. If your organization has not yet endorsed the statement, please contact Myke Bybee at the DI to get involved, at mbybee@democracyinitiative.org.

SAVE THE DATE: MEET THE AUTHOR OF “DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS”

Center for Popular Democracy, Common Cause, Democracy Initiative, Equal Voice, and Working Families are excited to sponsor a reception on Monday, June 18th, with Professor Nancy MacLean, author of “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.”

For additional details, and to RSVP: here.
The book discusses the strategic and historic underpinnings of the right-wing billionaire assault on our democracy. It is the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was listed as The Nation’s Most Valuable Book. Ms. MacLean is a professor of history and public policy at Duke University.

 

DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING

SAVE THE DATE: MICHIGAN DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING IN FLINT - JUNE 23, 2018

Join fellow activists to learn hard-hitting communications and smart strategies. Dig into the connections between the fight for democracy and today’s most pressing social issues—from environmental justice to the fight against racism and hate, from workers’ rights to issues within the LGBTQ community. We invite the Democracy Initiative’s 69 partner organizations to extend an invitation to all of your staff, members, and activists to participate. This is an opportunity for your members and activists in Michigan to become Democracy Champions, motivated and empowered to carry forward the pro-democracy fight in their communities.

Democracy Champions Training
Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
9 AM to 5 PM

United Auto Workers Regional Office
1940 West Atherton Road
Flint, Michigan 48507

Register for the training here.

This highly-interactive training, grounded in popular education principles, will make the connections between democracy, power, and the ability to win justice on the diverse issues that motivate our partners. Participants will learn about effective communication and have an opportunity to practice making the pro-democracy case. We ask that our partners send 2-3 participants to the training. At the conclusion of the training, every participant will be recognized and celebrated as a Democracy Champion, with opportunities for ongoing engagement.  Contact Getachew Kassa with any questions at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org

MOBILIZATION & COLLABORATION

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

We are maintaining a DI campaign calendar that will include information on upcoming events and activities. Visit our website to access the calendar. Contact Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) if you have questions.

2018 Expanded Mobilizing Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST

Beginning next week, on June 13th, DI’s bi-weekly Mobilizing Committee Meetings (at 3 p.m. every other Wednesday), will shift their focus to state coordination of priority campaigns, beginning with the Promote the Vote and Voters not Politicians ballot initiatives in Michigan. For more information, contact Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org

DI Communications Working Group

Fourth Wednesday of every month, at 1pm E.T. Note new day!
The communications working group is a collaborative space for message refinement using feedback from organizations working on the ground. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition.
RSVP to apohl@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 27th

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy, or let us know about a conference. Email Aimée (apohl@democracyinitiative.org) to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

If you are not already a subscriber, click here to receive the DI Report in your inbox. And please be sure to follow us on Twitter (@Unite4Democracy), like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 6.07.18

Thursday, June 7, 2018

 

2018 Expanded Mobilizing Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST

Beginning next week, on June 13th, DI’s bi-weekly Mobilizing Committee Meetings (at 3 p.m. every other Wednesday), will for the first time shift their focus to state coordination of priority campaigns, beginning with the Promote the Vote and Voters not Politicians ballot initiatives in Michigan.

For more information, contact Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org

over 118,000 voters purged from Los Angeles voter rolls

"There is a serious problem when 35% of a county's precincts purge voters from the rolls and keep them from having their voices heard. We need 21st century voting reforms that ensure that every vote is counted."

-Wendy Fields, Executive Director, Democracy Initiative Due to a printing error, thousands of Angelenos were left wondering if their votes  would be counted during Tuesday's California primary. Click here or on the image above to read more.

the American Promise National Citizenship Leadership Conference

DI Executive Director Wendy Fields will be participating on the panel "Working Together: Effective Collaboration Between Groups" on 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 24th, at the American Promise National Leadership Conference. For more information and to register for the conference, which runs June 22 through June 25th, click here.

Democracy Mission Statement

 

While the focus of Democracy Initiative remains on the field, supporting local and state campaigns, we also see the value of and need for reform on the federal level. We’ve joined in coalition with a variety of groups to gain broad agreement on a set of democracy principles for Congress. Click here to read the full "Democracy Mission Statement" that we've signed. If your organization has not yet endorsed the statement, please contact Myke Bybee at the DI to get involved, at mbybee@democracyinitiative.org.

 

 

 

DI COngratulates UTAH allies and partners on passage of AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION


Three days ago, Utah passed H.B. 218, guaranteeing the right to Automatic Voter Registration. The bill enables eligible citizens to register to vote during licensing transactions, and streamlines recordkeeping; as a result, Utah voter rolls will be more accurate and the new process safeguards against interference. Utah’s new automatic voter registration secures an important victory for our democracy. Congratulations to the coalition members and DI allies in Utah on this achievement.

As Utah Senator Deidre Henderson writes:

“Essential to our democracy is the right to vote. While it’s the very thing that can make democracy so messy, it’s also the thing that makes it supreme. The vote empowers the people by offering protection—protection from being voiceless in our government and protection of democracy itself.”

Re-enfranchising voters in florida benefits economy and creates jobs for floridians

 

Another priority campaign for the DI is Second Chances Florida, which is fighting to overturn the lifetime ban on voting for those convicted of felonies. Nearly 1.4 million people in Florida are now permanently excluded from voting on the issues that matter most to them and their families.

A recent study conducted by the Washington Economics group found that Florida’s economy would receive an annual infusion of nearly $370 million by allowing felons to vote.

In addition, the study touts the addition of almost 4,000 jobs as well as an increase of $151 million dollars in annual household income for Floridians. The group aimed to calculate the potential outcomes of Amendment 4, or the Voting Restoration Amendment, which will be on the ballot in Florida come November. The Amendment enjoys wide support in Florida, with nearly three-quarters of voters expressing their support.

“Citizens who have their eligibility to vote restored will have increased chances at finding gainful employment and disposable income to give back to Florida’s economy. Amendment 4 would do more than just re-enfranchise people who have earned eligibility — it would also reintegrate them into society and Florida’s economy."

-Dick Batchelor, CEO of Dick Batchelor Management Group in Central Florida

This amendment is an important step towards preventing the disenfranchisement of voters not just in Florida, but across the country.

Click here to view the full study, and get involved in the the passage of Amendment 4, which would return the eligibility to vote to people only after they have completed their full sentences – including parole, probation, and restitution. The law specifically excludes those individuals who have committed murder or a felony sexual offense.

CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS RELEASES NEW REPORT Detailing Cost of Trump'S Corruption

 

A recent report from DI partner Center for American Progress details the negative effects of the culture of corruption fostered by the Trump administration. This is further evidence of what the DI knows to be true: when big money has an outsized influence in politics, the American people and our democracy suffer.

“A political system focused on providing giveaways to donors is one that ignores issues that are of real concern to the majority of Americans.”

Click here to read the full report.

SAVE THE DATE: MEET THE AUTHOR OF “DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS”

Center for Popular Democracy, Common Cause, Democracy Initiative, Every Voice, and Working Families are excited to sponsor a reception on Monday, June 18th, with Professor Nancy MacLean, author of “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.”

For additional details, and to RSVP: here.
The book discusses the strategic and historic underpinnings of the right-wing billionaire assault on our democracy. It is the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was listed as The Nation’s Most Valuable Book. Ms. MacLean is a professor of history and public policy at Duke University.

 

DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING

TIME TO REGISTER: MICHIGAN DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING IN FLINT - JUNE 23, 2018

Join fellow activists to learn hard-hitting communications and smart strategies. Dig into the connections between the fight for democracy and today’s most pressing social issues—from environmental justice to the fight against racism and hate, from workers’ rights to issues within the LGBTQ community. We invite the Democracy Initiative’s 69 partner organizations to extend an invitation to all of your staff, members, and activists to participate. This is an opportunity for your members and activists in Michigan to become Democracy Champions, motivated and empowered to carry forward the pro-democracy fight in their communities.

Democracy Champions Training
Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
9 AM to 5 PM

United Auto Workers Regional Office
1940 West Atherton Road
Flint, Michigan 48507

Register for the training here.

This highly-interactive training, grounded in popular education principles, will make the connections between democracy, power, and the ability to win justice on the diverse issues that motivate our partners. Participants will learn about effective communication and have an opportunity to practice making the pro-democracy case. We ask that our partners send 2-3 participants to the training. At the conclusion of the training, every participant will be recognized and celebrated as a Democracy Champion, with opportunities for ongoing engagement. We are happy to welcome Nayyirah Shariff, director of Flint Rising, who will be presenting at the event.

Contact Getachew Kassa with any questions at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org

MOBILIZATION & COLLABORATION

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

We are maintaining a DI campaign calendar that will include information on upcoming events and activities. Visit our website to access the calendar. Contact Aimée Pohl (apohl@democracyinitiative.org) if you have questions.

DI Communications Working Group

Fourth Thursday of every month, at 1pm E.T.
The communications working group is a collaborative space for message refinement using feedback from organizations working on the ground. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition.
RSVP to apohl@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meeting: Thursday, June 21st

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy, or let us know about a conference. Email Aimée (apohl@democracyinitiative.org) to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

If you are not already a subscriber, click here to receive the DI Report in your inbox. And please be sure to follow us on Twitter (@Unite4Democracy), like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 6.1.18

Friday, June 1, 2018

 

DI’s WENDY FIELDS ON A DINESH D’SOUZA PARDON

"The Dinesh D’Souza pardon tells big spenders that they can violate campaign contribution laws with impunity, and normalizes the political practices that allow moneyed interests to corrupt our democracy."

The Washington Post article is here.

"DARK MONEY" CONTRIBUTES TO FALL OF THE GOVERNOR OF MISSOURI, A Priority State for DI

One of DI’s priority campaigns is the Clean Missouri Initiative; an opportunity to create accountability, transparency and fairness so grassroots advocates can advance change on the issues impacting their communities - from raising the minimum wage to protecting our planet to addressing police brutality.

Together with our on-the-ground partners, we are fighting to reduce the power of lobbyists, to reduce the influence of big money in Missouri politics, and to increase access and participation in democracy for all Missourians. Read the full petition here.

Please support and endorse this initiative!

Also, Clean Missouri is hiring! Please spread the word about these positions:

On Tuesday, the extent of Missouri’s money in politics problem became national news when Republican Governor Eric Greitans resigned under a cloud of serious criminal charges and alleged ethical violations, including the use of “dark money” in his 2016 campaign, and while in office. Read more here.

PROFILE OF FLORIDA VOTING RIGHTS ACTIVIST, AUTHOR, AND RETURNING CITIZEN DEVIN COLEMAN

 

Another priority campaign for the DI is Second Chances Florida, which is fighting to overturn the lifetime ban on voting for those convicted of felonies. Nearly 1.4 million people in Florida are now permanently excluded from voting on the issues that matter most to them and their families.

Part one of a four-part series on the Second Chances Florida campaign on Courthousenews.com profiles Devin Coleman and his fight for the restoration of his voting rights.

Talking about his work to overturn the law that takes voting rights away for life from those convicted of a felony, Coleman says,

“It’s a people issue…These [former felons] are actually members of the community. They are married. They work. They coach football leagues. But there are pieces of their life missing, like not going to the ballot box.”

Read Devin’s full profile here.

And get involved in the the passage of Amendment 4, which would return the eligibility to vote to people only after they have completed their full sentences – including parole, probation, and restitution. The law specifically excludes those individuals who have committed murder or a felony sexual offense.

SAVE THE DATE: MEET THE AUTHOR OF “DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS”

 

Center for Popular Democracy, Common Cause, Democracy Initiative, Equal Voice, and Working Families are excited to sponsor a reception on Monday, June 18th, with Professor Nancy MacLean, author of “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.”

For additional details, and to RSVP: here.

The book discusses the strategic and historic underpinnings of the right-wing billionaire assault on our democracy. It is the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was listed as The Nation’s Most Valuable Book. Ms. MacLean is a professor of history and public policy at Duke University.  

 

 

DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING

 

SAVE THE DATE: MICHIGAN DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING IN FLINT - JUNE 23, 2018

Join fellow activists to learn hard-hitting communications and smart strategies. Dig into the connections between the fight for democracy and today’s most pressing social issues—from environmental justice to the fight against racism and hate, from workers’ rights to issues within the LGBTQ community. We invite the Democracy Initiative’s 69 partner organizations to extend an invitation to all of your staff, members, and activists to participate. This is an opportunity for your members and activists in Michigan to become Democracy Champions, motivated and empowered to carry forward the pro-democracy fight in their communities.

Democracy Champions Training
Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
9 AM to 5 PM

United Auto Workers Regional Office
1940 West Atherton Road
Flint, Michigan 48507

Register for the training here.

This highly-interactive training, grounded in popular education principles, will make the connections between democracy, power, and the ability to win justice on the diverse issues that motivate our partners. Participants will learn about effective communication and have an opportunity to practice making the pro-democracy case. We ask that our partners send 2-3 participants to the training. At the conclusion of the training, every participant will be recognized and celebrated as a Democracy Champion, with opportunities for ongoing engagement.  Contact Getachew Kassa with any questions at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org

New Report Refutes Republican Claims About Voter Fraud in New Hampshire

“Trump Crony Proves Widespread Voter Fraud Doesn’t Exist; An investigation in New Hampshire refutes Republicans’ wild claims about busing in out-of-state voters.”

Read the article here

MOBILIZATION & COLLABORATION

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

We are maintaining a DI campaign calendar that will include information on upcoming events and activities. Visit our website to access the calendar. Contact Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) if you have questions.

2018 Calendar for Mobilizing Working Group Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST
RSVP to gkassa@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Our bi-weekly meetings focus on field strategy with groups working both at the national and state level so we can collaborate and move democracy reforms effectively. All DI Members are welcome. Email gkassa@democracyinitiative.org with any questions!
Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 13th

DI Communications Working Group

Fourth Thursday of every month, at 1pm E.T.
The communications working group is a collaborative space for message refinement using feedback from organizations working on the ground. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition.
RSVP to apohl@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meeting: Thursday, June 21st

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy, or let us know about a conference. Email Aimée (apohl@democracyinitiative.org) to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

If you are not already a subscriber, click here to receive the DI Report in your inbox. And please be sure to follow us on Twitter (@Unite4Democracy), like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 5.23.18

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

#A BETTER DEAL FOR OUR DEMOCRACY

DI Executive Director Wendy Fields on “A Better Deal for Our Democracy;” Democracy Reforms Must Top House and Senate Dems’ Agenda

This Monday, House and Senate Democrats introduced a package of policies to fight legalized corruption in our democratic process, put voters’ needs first and keep wealthy special interests from rigging the rules of the game. Voters have long demanded voting rights, ethics, campaign finance reforms and limits on lobbyists’ as well as corporations’ financial influence in politics. Coverage can be found here. In response, Wendy Fields issued the following statement:

"The people are sending a strong message at the local level, and Democratic leaders are listening: Our communities want a government that works for them, and it’s time to stop wealthy special interests from cheating us out of active participation in our political process."

Read more here.

 

DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING

 

SAVE THE DATE: MICHIGAN DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING IN FLINT - JUNE 23, 2018

Join fellow activists to learn hard-hitting communications and smart strategies. Dig into the connections between the fight for democracy and today’s most pressing social issues—from environmental justice to the fight against racism and hate, from workers’ rights to issues within the LGBTQ community. We invite the Democracy Initiative’s 69 partner organizations to extend an invitation to all of your staff, members, and activists to participate. This is an opportunity for your members and activists in Michigan to become Democracy Champions, motivated and empowered to carry forward the pro-democracy fight in their communities.

Democracy Champions Training
Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
9 AM to 5 PM

United Auto Workers Regional Office
1940 West Atherton Road
Flint, Michigan 48507

Register for the training here.

This highly-interactive training, grounded in popular education principles, will make the   connections between democracy, power, and the ability to win justice on the diverse issues that motivate our partners. Participants will learn about effective communication and have an opportunity to practice making the pro-democracy case. We ask that our partners send 2-3 participants to the training. At the conclusion of the training, every participant will be recognized and celebrated as a Democracy Champion, with opportunities for ongoing engagement.  Contact Getachew Kassa with any questions at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org

 

DI PARTNER ACTION

 

Bob Levanthal, a national Common Cause office volunteer for over twenty years, had a Letter to the Editor on Montgomery County, Maryland’s public financing system published in the May 20th edition of The Washington Post.

Read it here. Thank you, Bob, for correcting the record, and spreading the word about public financing of elections!

DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE UPDATES--MEET AIMÉE POHL, NEW DI SENIOR DIGITAL CAMPAIGNER

 

Before coming to the Democracy Initiative Aimée was the Media Coordinator for RootsAction.org and the Institute for Public Accuracy, working on a diverse array of online campaigns including those for racial and economic justice, civil rights, whistleblower protections, democratic reforms, and peace.  

Learn more about Aimée here.

TAKE ACTION ON DEMOCRACY

SHOW SCOTUS AND ELECTED LEADERS UNIONS WON'T BACK DOWN

Any day now, the United States Supreme Court will issue its ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME.

This case is part of a national scheme by corporate CEOs and billionaires to weaken union power, rob public sector employees of the chance to freely assemble, and keep working people from speaking up about the basic conditions of their jobs.

We have no time to waste. Allies of working people from across the country are showing SCOTUS and our nation’s elected officials our power.

Join us to flood social media and policymakers’ offices with messages they can’t forget: that working people reject a rigged economy, and no Supreme Court ruling can take away our voice.

Use the Janus Vs. AFSCME toolkit for messaging and responses. For specifics on how to join the action, click here, or visit americaneedsunions.org. To get notified of when the decision hits, sign up here


APPLY NOW! GREENPEACE SEEKS DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGNER

Greenpeace is excited to announce an opening for a savvy, experienced Democracy Campaigner. As oil money buys ever bigger influence in government, the fight for clean air, clean water, and climate solutions has never been more urgent.

Join one of the planet’s most renowned campaigners to combat the corrupting influence of corporate money in government and defend our democratic spaces. To apply for the position, click here

MOBILIZATION & COLLABORATION

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

We are maintaining a DI campaign calendar that will include information on upcoming events and activities. Visit our website to access the calendar. Contact Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) if you have questions.

2018 Calendar for Mobilizing Working Group Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST
RSVP to gkassa@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Our bi-weekly meetings focus on field strategy with groups working both at the national and state level so we can collaborate and move democracy reforms effectively. All DI Members are welcome. Email gkassa@democracyinitiative.org with any questions!
Next Meeting: May 30

DI Communications Working Group

Monthly on 4th Thursday of every month at 1pm
The communications working group is a collaborative space for message refinement using feedback from organizations working on the ground. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition.
RSVP to apohl@democracyinitiative.org Next Meetings: Tomorrow, May 24 & Thursday, June 2

 

 

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy or let us know about a conference. Email Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

If you are not already a subscriber, click here to receive the DI Report in your inbox. And please be sure to follow us on Twitter (@Unite4Democracy), like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 05.18.18

Friday, May 18, 2018

 

Common Cause’s Karen Hobert Flynn: Transparency in Politics Long Overdue

Share with your networks: Karen Hobert Flynn, president of DI partner Common Cause, pens op-ed for NBC News. Read more to learn how outdated anti-corruption and transparency laws lead to shady backdoor deals in DC.

Democracy Initiative Updates - Get to know Myke Bybee, New di Campaign Director

 

The Democracy Initiative is thrilled to announce our new Campaign Director, Myke Bybee, an experienced strategist and campaigner who worked most recently at the Resources Legacy Fund.

Myke hails from Utah where he developed a passion for conservation and the environment. Beginning as a field organizer with the Sierra Club, Myke has worked on numerous political campaigns as well as issue-based mobilizations across the country.

He spent 5 years as a Program Officer at the Wyss Foundation, managing hard-hitting campaigns, strategic grantmaking, and overseeing a number of advocacy projects in the West.

Myke spent nearly a decade with the Sierra Club, forging coalitions with a wide range of organizations around climate change and environmental injustice.

He is looking forward to deepening his relationships with all the Democracy Initiative partners and working collaboratively to hone our strategic efforts to unite around the democracy reforms that are so critical to achieving all of our goals justice, equality and a sustainable planet. Read more about Myke here!

DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING

 

SAVE THE DATE: MICHIGAN DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING - JUNE 16, 2018

The DI is currently planning a series of high-energy, high-impact trainings for champions in the fight for our nation’s democracy. Join fellow activists to learn hard-hitting communications and smart strategy.

Dig into the connections between the fight for democracy and today’s most pressing social issues—from environmental justice to the fight against racism and hate, from workers’ rights to issues within the LGBTQIA community.

Keep an eye out for more information—including dates and a one-pager to share with your network.

The DI will host a training in Michigan on June 16! Register for the training here.

TAKE ACTION ON DEMOCRACY

SHOW SCOTUS AND ELECTED LEADERS UNIONS WON'T BACK DOWN

Any day now, the United States Supreme Court will issue its ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME.

This case part of a national scheme by corporate CEOs and billionaires to weaken union power, rob public sector employees of the chance to freely assemble, and keep working people from speaking up about the basic conditions of their jobs.

We have no time to waste. Allies of working people from across the country are showing SCOTUS and our nation’s elected officials our power.

Join us to flood social media and policymakers’ offices with messages they can’t forget: that working people reject a rigged economy, and no Supreme Court ruling can take away our voice.

Use the Janus Vs. AFSCME toolkit for messaging and responses. For specifics on how to join the action, click here, or visit americaneedsunions.org. To get notified of when the decision hits, sign up here


 

TELL THE FEC: NO MORE SECRETS IN POLITICAL ADS!

The U.S. cannot afford harmful meddling in our democratic process. Last fall, democracy advocates broke records by gathering 150,000 comments demanding the Federal Elections Committee develop rules on disclaimers and disclosure of internet political advertisement. We need your help to keep the pressure on!

The next round of comments is due on May 25. Join allied groups CREDO Action, Demand Progress, People for the American Way, Public Citizen and Common Cause to take action:

* Send out email blasts to your lists next week asking for sign-ons. Our friends at Public Citizen will have a sample comment and email blast ready next week.

* Pack the room on June 27, when the Commission holds its hearing with public testimony. Per the NPRM, “anyone wishing to testify at such a hearing must file timely written comments and must include in the written comments a request to testify.”

 

APPLY NOW! GREENPEACE SEEKS DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGNER

Greenpeace is excited to announce an opening for a savvy, experienced Democracy Campaigner. As oil money buys ever bigger influence in government, the fight for clean air, clean water, and climate solutions has never been more urgent.

Join one of the planet’s most renowned campaigners to combat the corrupting influence of corporate money in government and defend our democratic spaces. To apply for the position, click here

MOBILIZATION & COLLABORATION

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

We are maintaining a DI campaign calendar that will include information on upcoming events and activities. Visit our website to access the calendar. Contact Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) if you have questions.

2018 Calendar for Mobilizing Working Group Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST
RSVP to gkassa@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Our bi-weekly meetings focus on field strategy with groups working both at the national and state level so we can collaborate and move democracy reforms effectively. All DI Members are welcome. Email gkassa@democracyinitiative.org with any questions!
Next Meeting: May 30

DI Communications Working Group

Monthly on 4th Thursday of every month at 1pm
The communications working group is a collaborative space for message refinement using feedback from organizations working on the ground. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition.
RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org
Next Meetings: May 24 & June 28

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy or a conference? Email Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

If you are not already a subscriber, click here to receive the DI Report in your inbox. And please be sure to follow us on Twitter(@Unite4Democracy), like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel

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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 05.09.18

Thursday, May 10, 2018

 

The Democracy Initiative is thrilled to announce its new Board Co-Chair, Tefere Gebre. Mr. Gebre currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO, and joins current Co-Chair Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause. We’re honored to have these two fierce, fearless leaders help steer the DI’s efforts to mobilize communities in the fight for democracy and justice. For more about Mr. Gebre’s work championing civil, workers’ and immigrants’ rights, click here.

SOLIDARITY NOW! SHOW SCOTUS AND ELECTED LEADERS UNIONS WON’T BACK DOWN

Any day now, the United States Supreme Court will issue its ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME. This case part of a national scheme by corporate CEOs and billionaires to weaken union power, rob public sector employees of the chance to freely assemble. We have no time to waste. Join allies of working people from across the country as we show SCOTUS and our nation’s elected officials our power. Help us flood social media and policymakers’ offices with messages they can’t forget: that working people reject a rigged economy, and no Supreme Court ruling can take away our voice. Use the Janus Vs. AFSCME toolkit for messaging and responses. For specifics on how to join the action, click here, or visit americaneedsunions.org. To get notified of when the decision hits, sign up here.


Congratulations to the CLEAN MISSOURI COALITION For advancing democracy reforms

Congratulations to the DI partners and allies in the CLEAN Missouri Coalition. Last week, the coalition turned in 346,956 signatures to get on the ballot this fall! This is a tremendous accomplishment for the campaign and their volunteers all across Missouri.

We want to appreciate the local members from DI partners organization including, Jobs with Justice, Sierra Club, SEIU, UFCW, AFSCME, and others for collecting over 80,000 signatures.

The CLEAN Missouri campaign is one of our priority campaigns under the Democracy 365 umbrella to achieve increased access and participation in democracy across the United States. In March, the DI worked with our partners and the CLEAN Missouri campaign to coordinate a signature day of action in St. Louis and Kansas City.

Together we can increase integrity, transparency and accountability in government and raise the standard of living in Missouri -- but we can’t do it without your help! We need your members continue to spread the word through November 6, so we can make the Missouri state government more transparent, limit the power of big money in our legislature, and ensure we're able to hold legislators accountable when they fail to act in the public interest.

VIctory! Ohio Voters Won A Major Redistricting Reform

Congratulations to the DI partners and allies in Ohio including, the Ohio Fair Districts Coalition, Common Cause, League of Women Voters, and thousands of activists. Tuesday night, Ohio voters passed Issue 1, a bipartisan congressional redistricting reform initiative to make sure all Ohio residents can advocate for better schools, criminal justice reform, and economic justice.

When elections are determined by who draws the lines and not voters, that's not democracy. We need to pass common sense rules like the reform in Ohio to give every voter an opportunity to have elected representatives who represent their community!


don't forget: sign on with Democracy orgs to support meta reform pagkage

As part of our Democracy 365 umbrella to achieve increased access and participation in democracy, dozens of groups are working to advance a bold package of reforms to ensure everyone has access to a healthy planet, living wage, safe communities, and a fair justice system. Read here to learn more about the vision and policy demand framework, then email Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org to sign on!

 

As we work toward our goal to achieve a democracy that is 365 days a year and where every voice is heard, we are embracing a common mission: to fight for a democracy where "everyone participates, every vote is counted, voting rights are fully enforced, and everyone’s voice is heard.”

 

Stay tuned: Democracy Champions Training from the DI!

The DI is currently planning a series of high-energy, high-impact trainings for champions in the fight for our nation’s democracy. Join fellow activists to learn hard-hitting communications and smart strategy. Dig into the connections between the fight for democracy and today’s most pressing social issues—from environmental justice to the fight against racism and hate, from workers’ rights to issues within the LGBTQIA community. Keep an eye out for more information—including dates and a one-pager to share with your network.

Greenpeace SEEKS DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGNER

Greenpeace is excited to announce an opening for a savvy, experienced Democracy Campaigner. As oil money buys ever bigger influence in government, the fight for clean air, clean water, and climate solutions has never been more urgent. Join one of the planet’s most renowned campaigners to combat the corrupting influence of corporate money in government and defend our democratic spaces. To apply for the position, click here

Mobilization & Collaboration

 

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

We are maintaining a DI campaign calendar that will include information on upcoming events and activities. Visit our website to access the calendar. Contact Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) if you have questions.

2018 Calendar for Mobilizing Working Group Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST
RSVP to gkassa@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Our bi-weekly meetings focus on field strategy with groups working both at the national and state level so we can collaborate and move democracy reforms effectively. All DI Members are welcome. Email gkassa@democracyinitiative.org with any questions!
Next Meeting: May 23

DI Communications Working Group

Monthly on 4th Thursday of every month at 1pm
The communications working group is a collaborative space for message refinement using feedback from organizations working on the ground. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition.
RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org
Next Meetings: May 24 & June 28

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy or a conference? Email Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

If you are not already a subscriber, click here to receive the DI Report in your inbox. And please be sure to follow us on Twitter(@Unite4Democracy), like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 05.03.18

Thursday, May 3, 2018

 

Democracy Advocates’ Coalition Needs You! Sign-on to Support Meta Reform Package

Together with dozens of democracy groups, the DI is advancing a bold package of reforms to ensure everyone has access to healthy planet, living wage, safe communities, and a fair justice system. With the potential for dramatic shifts in Congress and our democracy in crisis, we must seize this “change moment”  if we want win far-reaching democratic reforms. We know the bigger our coalition, the stronger our voice. So we’re asking like-minded organizations to embrace a common mission: to fight for a democracy where "everyone participates, every vote is counted, voting rights are fully enforced, and everyone’s voice is heard.”
Read the coalition’s full mission statement here. To sign on, email Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org.

Clean Missouri coalition Calls for increased integrity, transparency and accountability

 

On Thursday, May 3, at 1pm, volunteers and leaders from the Clean Missouri coalition submitted more than 344,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to place a desperately needed legislative reform amendment on the November 2018 ballot.

The Clean Missouri initiative will:

o lower campaign contribution limits for state legislative candidates
o  eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts in the General Assembly
o  require politicians to wait two years before becoming lobbyists
o  require that legislative records be open to the public
o  ensure that neither political party is given an unfair advantage when new maps are drawn after the next census,

ADD YOUR SUPPORT – LET’S DEMAND A DEMOCRACY THAT WORKS FOR ALL IN MICHIGAN!

Michigan was once a leader when it came to voting. Michigan has fallen behind with some of the most restrictive processes for voting, and politicians have drawn maps to choose the voters and control government.

As a result, water is a major environmental and civil rights issue in Michigan. As residents in Flint continue to deal with the physical and financial costs of lead exposure, we also see families in lower income parts of Detroit facing water shutoffs despite earlier assurances that the city would not do this. When politicians set policies that negatively impact students, families, seniors and more, we need to demand a democracy that works for all where we can hold leaders accountable for their actions.

It’s time to change this. Michiganders have the opportunity this fall to both improve voting rights and achieve fair redistricting for all regardless of race, gender, class, or where they live.

If you have not yet been contacted by one of the DI team members to discuss supporting this campaign, please contact Elana Orbuch, at eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

ACTION: help florida advocates restore returning citizens’ right to vote!

This week, Florida marked the shameful 150th anniversary of its lifetime ban on voting for returning citizens. Florida is one of only three states — the others are Kentucky and Iowa —  that cheats people who’ve paid their debts to society out of their right to vote.

Connect with the campaign to get involved

o Recruit virtual phone bankers for the campaign – virtual phone banking is every Monday – Thursday from 6-8pm.

o  Sign up with the campaign now to host a calling party for neighbors and family.

o Contact Mila Al-Ayoubi (malayoubi@ffafd.org) to for additional opportunities to engage.

ACTION: FIVE days left to fight gerrymandering in ohio

Ohio is poised to score a critical win against gerrymandering, but they need your help! In just five days Ohio voters head to the polls for the May 8th primary, where they’ll decide on a ballot initiative to redraw the state’s Congressional districts. This would be an incredible victory, but the polls are very close. We need all the help we can get to make Issue 1 a success. Ask your members across the country to join a virtual phonebank to talk to Ohio voters! Please share the following social media and email messages broadly among your networks.
Social Media:

Can you curb gerrymandering in Ohio by calling voters across the state to encourage them to vote YES on Issue One? Join a Virtual Phonebank: https://www.openvpb.com/vpb_bycode/1B8652M-971681 #FairMaps #OHpol

Reminder: webinar, 5/8, shares latest research on voter attitudes and priorities

 

As you know, ballot initiatives are among our most powerful tools to build thriving communities and protect the rights of all members of American society. Join the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center on May 8 for a webinar on how top issues are faring among different voter demographics and how we can apply these findings to score progressive policy wins.

Since its launch in 2016, BISC has helped progressive advocates across the country learn how to leverage ballot initiatives to advance democracy and economic security. Over the past year, BISC’s Roadmap to 2020 effort has been using cutting edge research tools to dive deep into public sentiment among voters in priority states—and understand how these insights can help predict outcomes.

To register for the webinar, click here. For more details on BISC’s work, visit their website.

CHECK OUT NEW GREENPEACE REPORT ON CORPORATE MISUSE OF CONSTITUTION AND ATTACKS ON ENVIRONMENT

Emboldened by today’s anti-regulation climate, corporations are ramping up lawsuits to dodge consumer protections more than ever before. That’s why our friends at Free Speech for People and Greenpeace have released an important new report detailing big business’ campaign to exploit the Constitution and avoid playing by the rules.

Contaminating the Courts: The Corporate Campaign to Misuse the Constitution to Attack the Environment recounts the history of the corporate constitutional rights doctrine, surveys recent cases, and details the campaign to roll back hard-won environmental and consumer protections. Check out the report to learn how we got here, what corporations are up to, and learn practical tips for pushing back against this rising trend. For more on the report, check out the groups’ blog post here.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT HUMAN RIGHTS AWARDS CELEBRATION – JUNE 20, 2018

The annual Jobs with Justice Education Fund Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards Celebration honors those who follow Eleanor Roosevelt’s powerful example of championing workers’ rights as human rights.

This year, Jobs with Justice will be honoring:

Ullico President and CEO Ed Smith for his visionary leadership and unwavering dedication to working people and unions for more than three decades.

West Virginia Public School Teachers for waging and winning a powerful strike to sustain their families and improve public schools, while inspiring solidarity and activism for public educators nationwide.

Members of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) for their transformative campaign improving working and living conditions for retail janitors.

The evening will also feature the return of our highly-acclaimed silent auction.

Buy your tickets or become a sponsor today!

AMERICAN PROMISE HOSTS NATIONAL CITIZEN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE AND LOBBY DAY: JUNE 22 - 25, 2018

Imagine a government run by people, not money. Our American democracy and republic are in crisis, and no small measures will do. In every state, Americans are working together to win a Constitutional amendment to stop the big money corruption from super PACs and special interests in our political system so that we the people are back in charge. We need you in the game, and at the National Citizen Leadership Conference, June 22-25, 2018. Learn more and register at https://www.citizenleaders.us.

 

Democracy Job Opportunities

Democracy Initiative Job Opportunities

The Democracy Initiative is excited to seek applicants for two new positions that will strengthen our field campaign capacity and support our increasing shift to scaling up the democracy field in terms of organizing and mobilizing: Senior Digital Campaigner and Grassroots Campaigns Director.

These are critical roles within our umbrella campaign, Democracy365, where we’re boosting the grassroots power needed to pass democracy reforms at the local, state, and national levels. The DI is planning to score 20 wins by 2020, using strategic engagement and leveraging our partners’ power to educate voters on the issues that matter to them—from community concerns to issues of race, class and gender.

For overall job referrals and questions, please contact the DI at 202-567-6101; eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

DI Partner Organization Job Opportunities

STATE INNOVATION EXCHANGE (SIX) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) is a national resource and strategy center that supports state legislators in advancing and defending progressive policies across the country, including supporting and advancing the rights of workers and working families, protecting the environment, strengthening our democracy, and defending civil rights. With a long-term vision of building progressive power and infrastructure at the state level, SiX assists legislators who are working to move a progressive agenda forward in the states and it has built a network of more than 1,500 elected officials who represent all 50 states.

The Executive Director (ED) is the key management leader of the State Innovation Exchange. S/he is responsible for overseeing the administration, fundraising, programs, strategic plan and direction of the organization. Other key duties include overseeing marketing to new communities and expansion and support of SiX’s state legislator network. The position works closely with and reports directly to the Board of Directors.

View more details: http://www.democracyinitiative.org/jobs/six-executive-director

DEMOCRACY NATIONAL “META PACKAGE” CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR (PUBLIC CITIZEN)

Public Citizen seeks a proactive, strategic Campaign Director who can help seize the opportunity inherent in such a democracy crisis or changed Congressional environment and win far-reaching democratic reforms at this “change moment.” The Director will work closely with allies to orchestrate meetings and convenings to create momentum for the work. They will develop content, guide the outreach to widen the circle of engaged organizations (state, local and national), and coordinate Hill outreach, as well as benchmark our overall progress.

For more information and to apply, visit our website.

Mobilization & Collaboration

 

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

We are maintaining a DI campaign calendar that will include information on upcoming events and activities. Visit our website to access the calendar. Contact Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) if you have questions.

2018 Calendar for Mobilizing Working Group Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST
RSVP to gkassa@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Our bi-weekly meetings focus on field strategy with groups working both at the national and state level so we can collaborate and move democracy reforms effectively. All DI Members are welcome. Email gkassa@democracyinitiative.org with any questions!

Next Meetings: May 16

DI Communications Working Group

Monthly on 4th Thursday of every month at 1pm

The communications working group is a collaborative space for message refinement using feedback from organizations working on the ground. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition. RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meetings: May 24 and June 28

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy or a conference? Email Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

If you are not already a subscriber, click here to receive the DI Report in your inbox. And please be sure to follow us on Twitter(@Unite4Democracy), like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 04.26.18

Thursday, April 26, 2018

 

RALLY Yesterday: ADVOCATES TELL SUPREME COURT NO MUSLIM BANS EVER

Yesterday morning, faith communities and civil, human and workers’ rights groups gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court to demand an end to Muslim bans that violate the Constitution and people’s fundamental rights.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Hawaii vs. Trump: the latest in President Trump’s efforts to permanently ban nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States. Lower courts have already struck down previous attempts by the Trump administration to overreach his presidential authority and enshrine intolerance in federal law. In a powerful display of solidarity and activism, advocates gathered to show the Court and the American public that an attack on the Muslim community is an attack on all of us who treasure the American ideals of religious freedom.
For event details and photos, click here. To learn more about the case before the Supreme Court, click here.

ADD YOUR SUPPORT – LET’S DEMAND A DEMOCRACY THAT WORKS FOR ALL IN MICHIGAN!

 

Water is a major environmental and civil rights issue in Michigan. As residents in Flint continue to deal with the physical and financial costs of lead exposure, we also see families in lower income parts of Detroit facing water shutoffs despite earlier assurances that the city would not do this. When politicians set policies that negatively impact students, families, seniors and more, we need to demand a democracy that works for all where we can hold leaders accountable for their actions.

Michigan was once a leader when it came to voting. The state was a model for voter registration across the country and what we all know now as the “Motor Voter” law. After leading for many years in the 1970s, Michigan has fallen behind with some of the most restrictive processes for voting, and politicians have drawn maps to choose the voters and control government. It’s time to change that. Michiganders have the opportunity this fall to both improve voting rights and achieve fair redistricting for all regardless of race, gender, class, or where they live.

If you have not yet been contacted by one of the DI team members to discuss supporting this campaign, please contact Elana Orbuch, at eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

ACTION: FLORIDA’S SECOND CHANCES CAMPAIGN - APRIL 28 A DAY OF ACTION

This November, Floridians can cast a vote for fairness by restoring the right to vote to people with past convictions. Today, nearly 1.5 million people across the state are permanently excluded from making their voices heard at the ballot box, despite having served their time and paid their debts to society. With Amendment 4, state residents have a chance to change that—and strike a win for democracy.

On Saturday, April 28th, the Second Chances campaign will host a statewide day of action to educate voters about Amendment 4. The campaign offers volunteers all necessary training and support to join the effort and make the day a success. Sign up with the campaign now to host a calling party for neighbors and family. To learn more about the campaign and other ways you can get involved, click here.

Join a WEBINAR TO HEAR THE LATEST RESEARCH ON VOTER ATTITUDES AND PRIORITIES

This fall, voters will consider ballot initiatives on some of the most critical issues of the day: from funding K-12 education to providing earned sick time and raising the minimum wage. Join the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center to hear more about its in-depth research into voter attitudes and priorities ahead of the 2018 election cycle.

Since its launch in 2016, BISC has helped progressive advocates across the country learn how to leverage ballot initiatives to advance democracy and economic security. Over the past year, BISC’s Roadmap to 2020 effort has been using cutting edge research tools to dive deep into public sentiment among voters in priority states—and understand how these insights can help predict outcomes.

Ballot initiatives are among our most powerful tools to build thriving communities and protect the rights of all members of American society. Join BISC to learn more about their latest insights into important segments of the electorate, the similarities and contrasts among them, and how we can use what we know to notch essential wins for progressive policy across the US. To register for the webinar, click here. For more details on BISC’s work, visit their website.

CHECK OUT NEW GREENPEACE REPORT ON CORPORATE MISUSE OF CONSTITUTION AND ATTACKS ON ENVIRONMENT

Emboldened by today’s anti-regulation climate, corporations are ramping up lawsuits to dodge consumer protections more than ever before. That’s why our friends at Free Speech for People and Greenpeace have released an important new report detailing big business’ campaign to exploit the Constitution and avoid playing by the rules.

Contaminating the Courts: The Corporate Campaign to Misuse the Constitution to Attack the Environment recounts the history of the corporate constitutional rights doctrine, surveys recent cases, and details the campaign to roll back hard-won environmental and consumer protections. Check out the report to learn how we got here, what corporations are up to, and learn practical tips for pushing back against this rising trend. For more on the report, check out the groups’ blog post here.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT HUMAN RIGHTS AWARDS CELEBRATION – JUNE 20, 2018

The annual Jobs with Justice Education Fund Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards Celebration honors those who follow Eleanor Roosevelt’s powerful example of championing workers’ rights as human rights.

This year, Jobs with Justice will be honoring:

Ullico President and CEO Ed Smith for his visionary leadership and unwavering dedication to working people and unions for more than three decades.

West Virginia Public School Teachers for waging and winning a powerful strike to sustain their families and improve public schools, while inspiring solidarity and activism for public educators nationwide.

Members of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) for their transformative campaign improving working and living conditions for retail janitors.

The evening will also feature the return of our highly-acclaimed silent auction.

Buy your tickets or become a sponsor today!

AMERICAN PROMISE HOSTS NATIONAL CITIZEN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE AND LOBBY DAY: JUNE 22 - 25, 2018

Imagine a government run by people, not money. Our American democracy and republic are in crisis, and no small measures will do. In every state, Americans are working together to win a Constitutional amendment to stop the big money corruption from super PACs and special interests in our political system so that we the people are back in charge. We need you in the game, and at the National Citizen Leadership Conference, June 22-25, 2018.

After a weekend of inspiration, organizing and citizen training, join a team to meet with our members of Congress on Capitol Hill to build cross-partisan support for our Constitutional amendment to stop big money corruption of our political system! Lobby Day is included in your low, early bird Conference fee of $125.

Learn more and register at https://www.citizenleaders.us.

 

Democracy Job Opportunities

Democracy Initiative Job Opportunities

The Democracy Initiative is excited to seek applicants for two new positions that will strengthen our field campaign capacity and support our increasing shift to scaling up the democracy field in terms of organizing and mobilizing: Senior Digital Campaigner and Grassroots Campaigns Director.

As part of our umbrella campaign, Democracy365, we are mobilizing memberships in key states to pass reforms that will strengthen the power of the grassroots to advocate for kitchen table issues at the local, state, and national level. We are seeking to win 20 reforms by 2020 through strategic engagement in democracy reform campaigns where DI partners can leverage our capacity to educate more people about the need for reform as it connects to community issues along with race, class, and gender.

For overall job referrals and questions, please contact the DI at 202-567-6101; eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

DI Partner Organization Job Opportunities

STATE INNOVATION EXCHANGE (SIX) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) is a national resource and strategy center that supports state legislators in advancing and defending progressive policies across the country, including supporting and advancing the rights of workers and working families, protecting the environment, strengthening our democracy, and defending civil rights. With a long-term vision of building progressive power and infrastructure at the state level, SiX assists legislators who are working to move a progressive agenda forward in the states and it has built a network of more than 1,500 elected officials who represent all 50 states.

The Executive Director (ED) is the key management leader of the State Innovation Exchange. S/he is responsible for overseeing the administration, fundraising, programs, strategic plan and direction of the organization. Other key duties include overseeing marketing to new communities and expansion and support of SiX’s state legislator network. The position works closely with and reports directly to the Board of Directors.

View more details: http://www.democracyinitiative.org/jobs/six-executive-director

DEMOCRACY NATIONAL “META PACKAGE” CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR (PUBLIC CITIZEN)

Public Citizen seeks a proactive, strategic Campaign Director who can help seize the opportunity inherent in such a democracy crisis or changed Congressional environment and win far-reaching democratic reforms at this “change moment.” The Director will work closely with allies to orchestrate meetings and convenings to create momentum for the work. They will develop content, guide the outreach to widen the circle of engaged organizations (state, local and national), and coordinate Hill outreach, as well as benchmark our overall progress.

For more information and to apply, visit our website.

Mobilization & Collaboration

 

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

We are maintaining a DI campaign calendar that will include information on upcoming events and activities. Visit our website to access the calendar.

Contact Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) if you have questions.

2018 Calendar for Mobilizing Working Group Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST
RSVP to gkassa@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Our bi-weekly meetings focus on field strategy with groups working both at the national and state level so we can collaborate and move democracy reforms effectively. All DI Members are welcome. Email gkassa@democracyinitiative.org with any questions!

Next Meetings: May 2nd

DI Communications Working Group

Monthly on 4th Thursday of every month at 1pm

The communications working group is a collaborative space for message refinement using feedback from organizations working on the ground. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition.

RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meetings: April 26 and May 24

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy or a conference? Email Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

If you are not already a subscriber, click here to receive the DI Report in your inbox. And please be sure to follow us on Twitter(@Unite4Democracy), like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 04.12.18

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Maryland is the 11th state to adopt automatic voter registration (AVR) in the U.S. Now more Marylanders will have the opportunity to participate and have their voices heard in our democratic process. The Everyone Votes Maryland coalition has worked tirelessly to build bipartisan support for automatic voter registration by mobilizing members across the state to speak up about why this matters – it’s about creating a 21st century democracy that works for everyone.

In addition, the General Assembly passed Election Day registration (EDR), a constitutional amendment for the November ballot. EDR will allow Marylanders to register to vote at polling places on Election Day, as they do currently during the early voting period. As we make progress towards 20 reforms by 2020, we look forward to working with our partners to educate Marylanders on reforms that increase participation.

We must continue to demand proactive democracy reforms like AVR and EDR across the country. If more states adopted automatic voter registration, it would immediately enable 27 million eligible voters to participate in elections nationwide – that’s grassroots power to make our planet, our people, and our communities thrive.

Check out this video from DI partners MoveOn and Demos on how transformative it would be if all eligible voters could vote.

ADD YOUR Support – LET’S DEMAND A DEMOCRACY THAT WORKS FOR ALL IN MICHIGAN!

Water is a major environmental and civil rights issue in Michigan. As residents in Flint continue to deal with the physical and financial costs of lead exposure, we also see families in lower income parts of Detroit facing water shutoffs despite earlier assurances that the city would not do this. When politicians set policies that negatively impact students, families, seniors and more, we need to demand a democracy that works for all where we can hold leaders accountable for their actions.

Michigan was once a leader when it came to voting. The state was a model for voter registration across the country and what we all know now as the “Motor Voter” law. After leading for many years in the 1970s, Michigan has fallen behind with some of the most restrictive processes for voting, and politicians have drawn maps to choose the voters and control government. It’s time to change that. Michiganders have the opportunity this fall to both improve voting rights and achieve fair redistricting for all regardless of race, gender, class, or where they live.

If you have not yet been contacted by one of the DI team members to discuss supporting this campaign, please contact Elana Orbuch, at eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

ACTION: WE NEED EVERYONE TO COUNT – SIGN-ON LETTER FOR CENSUS – DEADLINE APRIL 12

Every 10 years, our constitution mandates, a national Census is conducted, counting every person living in the United States at the moment. The Census count determines political representation at the national, state and local level. Our electoral district lines are drawn using Census data. In addition, Census results are used by federal and local governments to distribute over $400 billion dollars every year in much-needed aid to local educational, employment, housing, health care and veteran services.

The Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship status question to the 2020 Census threatens to undermine the count and your representation. The question has received widespread objections from stakeholders, former Census Bureau directors, and career staff at the Census Bureau. We all agree that we need a fair and accurate Census. However, the addition of an untested citizenship question after years of careful, and costly, research, testing, and planning will compromise preparations for the 2020 Census. When we jeopardizing the accuracy of the count it impacts all communities for the next ten years.

SEIU, in partnership with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, has drafted coalition letters to the committees of jurisdiction (House OGR & Senate HSGAC) calling upon them to promptly hold oversight hearings with regards to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census.

You can view the OGR letter here and the HSGAC letter here. You can sign your organization to both letters by filling out the form located here. The deadline to sign on to the letters is April 12th, 2018 at 9 A.M. EST. The letters will be sent to the Committees shortly thereafter. If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Dwire at SEIU at ashley.dwire@seiu.org or Getachew Kassa at DI gkassa@democracyinitiative.org

 

Job Opportunities at the Democracy Initiative

The Democracy Initiative is excited to seek applicants for two new positions that will strengthen our field campaign capacity and support our increasing shift to scaling up the democracy field in terms of organizing and mobilizing: Senior Digital Campaigner and Grassroots Campaigns Director.

As part of our umbrella campaign, Democracy365, we are mobilizing memberships in key states to pass reforms that will strengthen the power of the grassroots to advocate for kitchen table issues at the local, state, and national level. We are seeking to win 20 reforms by 2020 through strategic engagement in democracy reform campaigns where DI partners can leverage our capacity to educate more people about the need for reform as it connects to community issues along with race, class, and gender.

For overall job referrals and questions, please contact Virginia Diamond at 202-567-6105; vdiamond@democracyinitiative.org

STATE OF THE DREAM: NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK 2018 CONVENTION APRIL 18-21, 2018

Register for the National Action Network’s biggest convention ever! Marking 50 years since the assassination of MLK, we will measure up the state of the Dream and where the movement is going from here. Don't miss out on the biggest civil rights convention in the nation. It is guaranteed to truly be historic.

Register Online: http://bit.ly/NAN2018

Registration is free. Please refer back to NAN's website for updates on the schedule, speakers and panelists.
www.nationalactionnetwork.net

 

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT HUMAN RIGHTS AWARDS CELEBRATION – JUNE 20, 2018

The annual Jobs with Justice Education Fund Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards Celebration honors those who follow Eleanor Roosevelt’s powerful example of championing workers’ rights as human rights.

This year, Jobs with Justice will be honoring:

Ullico President and CEO Ed Smith for his visionary leadership and unwavering dedication to working people and unions for more than three decades.

West Virginia Public School Teachers for waging and winning a powerful strike to sustain their families and improve public schools, while inspiring solidarity and activism for public educators nationwide.

Members of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) for their transformative campaign improving working and living conditions for retail janitors.

The evening will also feature the return of our highly-acclaimed silent auction.

Buy your tickets or become a sponsor today!

 

 

AMERICAN PROMISE HOSTS NATIONAL CITIZEN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE AND LOBBY DAY: JUNE 22 - 25, 2018

Imagine a government run by people, not money. Our American democracy and republic are in crisis, and no small measures will do. In every state, Americans are working together to win a Constitutional amendment to stop the big money corruption from super PACs and special interests in our political system so that we the people are back in charge. We need you in the game, and at the National Citizen Leadership Conference, June 22-25, 2018.

After a weekend of inspiration, organizing and citizen training, join a team to meet with our members of Congress on Capitol Hill to build cross-partisan support for our Constitutional amendment to stop big money corruption of our political system! Lobby Day is included in your low, early bird Conference fee of $125.

Learn more and register at https://www.citizenleaders.us.

 

JOB: STATE INNOVATION EXCHANGE (SiX) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) is a national resource and strategy center that supports state legislators in advancing and defending progressive policies across the country, including supporting and advancing the rights of workers and working families, protecting the environment, strengthening our democracy, and defending civil rights. With a long-term vision of building progressive power and infrastructure at the state level, SiX assists legislators who are working to move a progressive agenda forward in the states and it has built a network of more than 1,500 elected officials who represent all 50 states.

The Executive Director (ED) is the key management leader of the State Innovation Exchange. S/he is responsible for overseeing the administration, fundraising, programs, strategic plan and direction of the organization. Other key duties include overseeing marketing to new communities and expansion and support of SiX’s state legislator network. The position works closely with and reports directly to the Board of Directors.

View more details: http://www.democracyinitiative.org/jobs/six-executive-director

JOB: DEMOCRACY NATIONAL “META PACKAGE” CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR (PUBLIC CITIZEN)

Public Citizen seeks a proactive, strategic Campaign Director who can help seize the opportunity inherent in such a democracy crisis or changed Congressional environment and win far-reaching democratic reforms at this “change moment.” The Director will work closely with allies to orchestrate meetings and convenings to create momentum for the work. They will develop content, guide the outreach to widen the circle of engaged organizations (state, local and national), and coordinate Hill outreach, as well as benchmark our overall progress.

For more information and to apply, visit our website.

Farewell to Michelle Whittaker!

Michelle Whittaker, Director of Communications and Digital Media, is moving on from the DI to put public financing into practice with firsthand experience on how democracy reforms can transform local level government and empower everyday people to be advocates for the issues that matter in Montgomery County, MD. Over the last year, Michelle has been a great asset to the DI and we wish her all the best.

 

 

Mobilization & Collaboration

 

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

We are maintaining a DI campaign calendar that will include information on upcoming events and activities. Visit our website to access the calendar.

Contact Elana (eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org) if you have questions.

2018 Calendar for Mobilizing Working Group Meetings

Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays at 3pm EST / Noon PST
RSVP to gkassa@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Our bi-monthly meetings focus on field strategy with groups working both at the national and state level so we can collaborate and move democracy reforms effectively. All DI Members are welcome. Email gkassa@democracyinitiative.org with any questions!

Next Meetings: April 18

DI Communications Working Group

Monthly on 4th Thursday of every month at 1pm

The communications working group is a collaborative space for message refinement using feedback from organizations working on the ground. These monthly meetings also help to resource partner organizations for ongoing local and national campaigns and coordinate messaging and communications as a coalition.

RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meetings: April 26 and May 24

Stay Connected with DI Partners

We invite partners to share a victory, recruit for actions in the fight for democracy or a conference? Email Michelle (mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org) to add an action for the next Weekly Update!

If you are not already a subscriber, click here to receive the DI Report in your inbox. And please be sure to follow us on Twitter(@Unite4Democracy), like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel