The DI Report

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

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 04.04.18

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated 50 years ago today for standing up for racial, economic, and social justice. Dr. King was a strong advocate for unions and economic justice. He traveled to Memphis on April 3, 1968 to stand in solidarity with sanitation workers after two workers were crushed to death on the job. The dream of a democracy for all is still alive and one that starts from the grassroots demanding and creating change to make sure all people have a voice, all voices count, and everyone has fair representation no matter where you live.

The labor movement continues to be under attack by anti-democracy forces attempting to shrink the power of the grassroots and limit the protections for workers and consumers. As Wendy Fields, Executive Director of the Democracy Initiative notes, “You cannot have a strong democracy without a strong labor movement.” Now more than ever this is our moment to take collective action to create a 21st century democracy.

Take the pledge to stand up for democracy every day of the year. Share the pledge with your members and network to build our grassroots democracy movement.

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

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 endorsing this campaign, please contact Elana Orbuch, at eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

ACTION: We need Everyone to Count – Sign-on Letter for Census

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 10th, 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

We Stand with Teachers

Jobs with Justice, a DI partner, is urging individuals and groups to stand in solidarity with teachers striking in Oklahoma:

When West Virginia teachers went on strike last month, they inspired educators across the nation with their unity and resolve. Since then, teachers in Oklahoma, as well as Arizona, Kentucky, and other states have started to come together to rise up. It's time to reverse the years-long trend of state legislators cutting taxes for big corporations while starving public schools of essential funding

Oklahoma schools have suffered from neglect and disinvestment by elected officials for far too long. That's why tens of thousands of teachers across the state walked off the job and converged on the state capitol on Monday morning, then again yesterday and again today. They’re taking a big risk to stand for high-quality public schools. Will you have their backs?

Add your name to the message and let the teachers in Oklahoma know you stand with them! If you have more questions, contact Jobs with Justice.

VICTORY! JUDGE ORDERS TEXAS TO MAKE SURE EVERY VOTE COUNTS

The Democracy Initiative celebrates the recent court victory by the Texas Civil Rights Project who challenged the Texas to make sure all voters can register and have their vote count. The Project sued the state for failing to comply with federal law. More than 1.5 million Texans who provided updated information to the state’s Department of Public Safety were not properly updated or registered to vote as required by the National Voter Registration Act (also known as the “Motor Voter” law). This forced thousands of voters to cast provisional ballots, which were not counted.

Voting is powerful and every eligible voter should have the opportunity to participate freely. Whether its laws that suppress the vote or policies that make it harder for all to access the polls, we must demand change.

THINK 100%, COOLEST SHOW ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Check out “Think 100%, Coolest Show on Climate Change”, a new radio show and podcast from our friends at Hip Hop Caucus. This ground-breaking weekly show focuses on building a diverse and empowered movement to fight climate change, environmental injustices, and propel the transition to 100% clean energy for all. The new platform will provide the climate movement with the ability to break down silos, reach and empower new audiences, mobilize supporters, and position frontline communities for bold action.

More at Think100.info

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

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: 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 convening’s
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 Michelle (mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org) or 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 mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, cc: 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

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 03.28.18

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The democracy movement continues to expand! We are excited to welcome our newest partners:

 


MARCH FOR OUR LIVES: WHAT DO WE DO? STAND UP! FIGHT BACK!

Fixing our gun violence problem will require fixing our democracy. Together, ordinary people can take on big money interests like the gun lobby and win. This past Saturday, thousands of people took to the streets in Washington, DC and in 800+ sister marches to demand common sense gun control. The march is just the beginning as these young leaders plan to bring their demands to the midterm elections and local legislatures. Hip Hop Caucus trained hundreds of volunteers to register voters prior to the march, and registered more than 4,500 new voters. That’s building power to hold elected official accountable on the kitchen table issues impacting our families and communities.

Voting is our most powerful tool, yet it is under attack at the state and local level through policies that limit when and where you can vote, and big money flooding election and government systems to benefit corporate interests. Together, people can create a demand for democracy reforms that give more people the freedom to participate and advocate for common sense gun control and hold their elected officials accountable.

To win on the issues that matter most we must shift our approach to a year-round governance strategy – Democracy365. For the grassroots to be heard, it’s time to make sure every voter can participate, every vote is counted, and that everyone has fair representation no matter where you live or how much money you make.

YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE NOW – MOBILIZE TO SAVE EARLY VOTING IN NEW YORK!

The people demanded it and now it's time for Governor Cuomo and the General Assembly to listen to us – Fund Early Voting Now! No one should have to choose between their job, their personal responsibilities and their vote.

Go to https://letnyvote.org/call to make the call.

Reforms like Early Voting are key to advancing the issues that impact our communities every day. To win on the issues that matter – a living wage, clean water and air, criminal justice reform and more – we need more grassroots participation and engagement.

It’s time for New York to join the 37 states that allow Early Voting. Our grassroots engagement moved Governor Cuomo & the Assembly to put $7 million in their budgets to implement Early Voting but now, because of closed door negotiations with the State Senate, Early Voting is in jeopardy. Go to https://letnyvote.org/call to make the call.

Together we can deliver on the promise of a 21st century democracy in New York. Check out our messaging packet with additional information. If you have any questions feel free to contact Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitative.org or Susan Lerner at slerner@commoncause.org.

VICTORY! MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY PASSES AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION

Automatic voter registration removes barriers to participation for all eligible voters. The Secure and Accessible Registration Act (SARA) passed the General Assembly and now heads to Governor Hogan's desk for signature. The bill streamlines voter registration and supports technology upgrades to make registration faster, more secure, and easier than ever for millions of eligible voters in Maryland.

Congratulations Everyone Votes Maryland coalition for advancing a 21st century democracy for all!

VICTORY! U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE ORDERS VOTE RESTORATION PROCESS IN FLORIDA AND SAYS “NO MORE” TO DISCRIMINATION

U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Walker ordered Florida’s Clemency Board to establish a new voter-restoration process that will apply fairly to all returning citizens. In February, Judge Walker ruled Florida's arbitrary scheme for restoring voting rights to ex-felons unconstitutional. The right to vote is the cornerstone of civic participation in democracy. Judge Walker called Florida's process a clear violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

This is an important victory in the fight to protect and expand voting in Florida and across the United States. More than 1.5 million people with a past felony conviction in Florida are denied the freedom to exercise civic participation even after they have served their sentence. This hurts not only returning citizens, but their families and their communities on the issues that matter most – from housing, to jobs, to public safety, and the environment.

Mobilize your members to build a 21st century democracy in Florida! We do not have to wait for the courts to act, we can demand that all voters have the ability to vote. Contact Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org to get involved in the Second Chances campaign to return the ability to vote to Floridians who have done their time and paid their debts..

CLICK TO TWEET

CLEAN MISSOURI SIGNATURE GATHERING BLITZ ON MUNICIPAL ELECTION DAY – APRIL 3, 2018

Next Tuesday, April 3rd we have a unique chance to help get CLEAN Missouri onto the ballot to stop the big money, lobbyist, and partisan games. This week is the perfect opportunity to send out an email blast for the final volunteer signature-gathering push on Municipal Election Day, April 3.The Campaign has prepared the toolkit attached here to help with recruiting. It's one statewide form; organizers will direct volunteers to appropriate venues.

Please let Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org know ASAP if you plan to send out: we can get you dedicated links to track your signups.

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. The ballot Initiative campaign is working to put people above big money, lobbyists, and special interests. In addition, the Raise UP Missouri (minimum wage ballot initiative) is moving a vital economic justice reform that gives more people the chance to thrive.

A just economy demands a just democracy. The minimum wage for hardworking Missourians has not increased to help families and individuals provide for themselves. At the same time, politicians have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars for lobbyists to advance issues that benefit big money and corporate interests. It’s time for change.

WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND FAIR MAPS IN MICHIGAN: NATIONAL BALLOT INITIATIVE WEBINAR APRIL 4TH AT 3PM ET

Hundreds of volunteers are gathering signatures to ensure fair representation for all Michigan residents. No longer will we allow politicians to leave millions of people on the sidelines of democracy when it comes to having a voice and advocating for kitchen table issues. Michiganders have the opportunity to deliver a one-two punch to the anti-democracy movement this fall by improving voting rights and achieving fair maps for redistricting. Winning both Promote the Vote and Voters not Politicians ballot initiatives can take two giant strides towards restoring our democracy, so that governance can serve the interests of the people, not the wealthy few. These ballot measures will expand the voting rolls, support increased participation and civic engagement while ensuring fair representation to all regardless of race, gender, class, or where they live.

Join our information and mobilization session on Wednesday, April 4 at 3pm ET.

RSVP to Getachew Kassa (gkassa@democracyinitaitive.org) for more details and call-in information.

MORE THAN 100 STATE AND LOCAL LEADERS GATHER IN MISSOURI TO BUILD AN INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY

In an inclusive democracy, we would all have an equal voice in politics and an equal chance in our economy. Last week DI partners organized a money in politics convening in St. Louis, Missouri with state and local groups. In collaboration with Demos’ Inclusive Democracy Project, Demos, ReThink Media, Every Voice, Common Cause, and the Center for Popular Democracy are building capacity and momentum to remove the influence of money. DI staffer, Getachew Kassa participated in the convening to develop a political agenda that engages our base in money in politics fights to dismantle the influence of organized money on our policymaking, politics, and economic structures. Participants walked away with the importance of engaging the base, understanding policy, building collaborative democracy coalitions, telling a connecting power story, and best practices from ongoing fights on the ground.

THINK 100%, COOLEST SHOW ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Check out “Think 100%, Coolest Show on Climate Change”, a new radio show and podcast from our friends at Hip Hop Caucus. This ground-breaking weekly show focuses on building a diverse and empowered movement to fight climate change, environmental injustices, and propel the transition to 100% clean energy for all. The new platform will provide the climate movement with the ability to break down silos, reach and empower new audiences, mobilize supporters, and position frontline communities for bold action.

More at Think100.info

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

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: 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 convening’s 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 Michelle (mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org) or 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 3 and 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 mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, cc: 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

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 03.21.18

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

VICTORY: GRASSROOTS DEMAND IN WASHINGTON STATE EXPANDS FREEDOM TO VOTED

The democracy movement is increasing participation, so more people can stand up and advocate for the issues in their community.

Amplify and create the demand for automatic voter registration across the country! Sample posts for social media (below).

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed the “Access to Democracy” bills, a series of pro-democracy voting reform measures that include automatic voter registration, same day voter registration, preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and the Washington Voter Rights Act. The diverse grassroots groups that make up the WA Voting Justice Coalition are leading the way and creating the demand for a democracy that gives everyday people the opportunity to fully participate and advocate for their kitchen table issues.

Sample Social Media

"We’re playing on offense." Let's follow the lead of states like WA working to make sure our voices our heard. Let's fight for the #freedomtovote. http://bit.ly/2u11aU9 #waleg

A new day is upon us. States are prioritizing the #freedomtovote. This is an important step toward a better country for all of us. http://bit.ly/2u11aU9

RSVP TO ATTEND DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS BOOK DISCUSSION ABOUT THE ANTI-DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: MARCH 22, 2018

Nancy MacLean is coming to George Washington University on Thursday, March 22 to discuss The Origins of Today’s Radical Right and the Crisis of American Democracy. The talk is drawn from MacLean's recent book, a finalist for the National Book Award, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

MacLean traces the history of the capitalist radical right’s thought in the United States, outlining how it informed campaigns to privatize everything from public education to Social Security. Her story begins in the 1950s, as the civil rights movement is fighting to desegregate public schools and follows the career of the Nobel Prize-winning political economist, James McGill Buchanan, as he connects with various wealthy libertarians, most particularly Charles Koch. It was Buchanan who taught Koch that for capitalism to thrive, democracy must be enchained. And it is the Koch network’s strategic application of Buchanan’s thinking that has produced today’s relentless efforts to eliminate unions, suppress voting, stop action on climate change, and alter the Constitution.

MacLean is the immediate past president of the Labor and Working Class History Association and award-winning author of Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan, and Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace.

RSVP ONLINE

MARCH FOR OUR LIVES – MARCH 24: A DEMOCRACY IN ACTION HISTORY MAKING EVENT

The March for Our Lives to end gun violence in America is being led by young people across the country in the wake of the Parkland, Florida tragedy. Sadly, this week another school shooting occurred in Maryland yesterday putting this issue front and center for our rural, suburban, and urban communities.

Encourage your members to participate and make the link to democracy. Use #democracy365 along with #MarchForOurLives to amplify how we must participate all year to hold leaders accountable and advocate for the issues impacting our community by also fighting for the right to vote and public financing to ensure success.

For more information on local marches go to https://marchforourlives.com/

WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND FAIR MAPS IN MICHIGAN: NATIONAL BRIEFING APRIL 4TH AT 3PM ET

Hundreds of volunteers gathered signatures to get on the ballot to ensure Michigan residents, no longer allow politicians to leave millions of people on the sidelines of democracy when it comes to fair representation and advocating for kitchen table issues. Michiganders can deliver a one-two punch to the anti-democracy movement this fall by improving voting rights and achieving fair maps for redistricting. Winning both Promote the Vote and Voters Not Politicians ballot initiatives, we can take two giant strides towards restoring our democracy, so that governance can serve the interests of the people, not the wealthy few. These two ballot measures will that expand the voting rolls, support increased participation and civic engagement awhile ensuring fair representation to all regardless of race, gender, class, or where they live.

Join our information and mobilization session on Wednesday, April 4 at 3pm ET.

RSVP to Getachew Kassa (gkassa@democracyinitaitive.org) for more details and call-in information.

LET NY VOTE RALLY, BRINGS HUNDREDS TO NEW YORK CITY WITH ONE MESSAGE: WE NEED EARLY VOTING

Taking the fight to the next level on Thursday March 22 & March 27, 2018: No one should have to choose between their job, their personal responsibilities and their vote. It’s time for New York to join the 27 states that allow Early Voting! Governor Cuomo & the Assembly put $7 million in their budgets for early voting but now we need to make sure the State Senate hears the demand of the people: New York needs Early Voting now!

Your members in New York can make sure our leaders get the message that we expect them to keep money for Early Voting in the budget! Here are some key dates and next steps to engage your members:

Thursday, March 22nd Early Voting Twitter Town Hall
Join Let NY Vote for a Twitter Town Hall to answer questions about Early Voting. Susan Lerner (@Slerner212), Executive Directions of Common Cause NY will answer your questions about why we need Early Voting, how we've come this far in the fight to fund it, where we are now, and what we can do to pass it into law NY this year.

Tweet your questions, your personal voting stories and your thoughts about Early Voting to @LetNYvote.

Tuesday, March 27th National Thunderclap
Join the coalition’s thunderclap to help amplify the need for 21st-century democracy in New York starts with funding for Early Voting.

Wednesday, March 28th Call in Day
Together we can deliver on the promise of a 21st-century democracy in New York. Check out our messaging packet with additional information. If you have any questions feel free to contact Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitative.org or Susan Lerner at slerner@commoncause.org.

THINK 100%, COOLEST SHOW ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Check out “Think 100%, Coolest Show on Climate Change”, a new radio show and podcast from our friends at Hip Hop Caucus. This ground-breaking weekly show focuses on building a diverse and empowered movement to fight climate change, environmental injustices, and propel the transition to 100% clean energy for all. The new platform will provide the climate movement with the ability to break down silos, reach and empower new audiences, mobilize supporters, and position frontline communities for bold action.

More at Think100.info

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

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.

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 Michelle (mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org) or 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: March 21

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 mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meetings: March 22

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

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 03.16.18

Friday, March 16, 2018

VICTORY: D.C. FAIR ELECTIONS BILL SIGNED BY MAYOR

Major victory for the D.C. Fair Elections coalition: Mayor Bowser has signed the Fair Elections Act of 2017, funding the program for the upcoming 2020 elections! The D.C. Council passed the Fair Elections Act unanimously in February.

Fair Elections in DC will give everyday residents to power to shape their local government and policies to reflect their needs, not wealthy and corporate donors. When signing the bill, Mayor Bowser noted that “residents have shown up to share their belief that the Fair Elections Act would strengthen our democracy. I have heard them and I have been moved by their passion.”

The D.C. metro region is standing out for its passion and support for fair elections. Montgomery County, Maryland passed public financing in 2014 followed by Howard County in 2016. Prince George’s County, MD is considering public financing legislation right now. In Montgomery County, 38 candidates are taking advantage of public financing in the first use of system.

“This victory is a testament to the power of grass roots organizing around the issue of democracy,” said Wendy Fields, DI executive director. “People all over the country are mobilizing to eliminate the corrupt influence of big money in politics, so we can have a government that addresses real problems affecting the environment, education, poverty, and injustice”

THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE - DI PARTNERS REGISTER VOTERS AT AFFORDABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP Workshop                

Thank you to SEIU, New Florida Majority, and Rock the Vote for supporting a critical voter registration drive in Miami! As part of our national Democracy 365 campaign, the Democracy Initiative is excited to partner and support the civic engagement work of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), which is focused on economic justice by building strong, healthy neighborhoods in urban and rural areas nationwide through affordable homeownership. In addition to making homeownership a reality for low income communities, NACA encourages the hundreds thousands of participants at their conventions to be civically engaged through voter registration and education efforts onsite. The DI connected NACA with DI partners in Miami to register and educate the more than 9,000 attendees during their four-day homeownership event. Building strong connections between economic justice and democracy empowers more people to have a voice in the issues that matter most to their families and communities.

GRASSROOTS VICTORY IN MARYLAND! STATE SENATE ADVANCES MODERNIZED AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION

The Maryland State Senate passed the Secure and Accessible Registration Act (SARA), a crucial step forward in modernizing voter registration in Maryland. Congratulations to the Everybody Votes MD coalition as they strive to make sure all Marylanders have the ability to participate in the democratic process. Earlier this month, DI staff along with DI partners testified on a Maryland Senate panel to urge the Senators full support for the Secure and Accessible Registration Act (SARA). In written testimony to the panel, DI Executive Director Wendy Fields said “For DI membership groups, being registered to vote is a critical part to how our members advocate successfully for core issues around climate, economic, and social justice. Our members are determined to hold elected leaders accountable on public policy, but to make that possible we need to vote.”

SARA now goes before the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee, followed by a full vote in the House where the bill is supported by more than 60 members. For more information on the campaign, contact Damon Effingham (deffingham@commoncause.org).

 
 

LET NY VOTE ACTIONS: RALLY IN NEW YORK CITY MARCH 18, 2018 AT 2PM; ACTIONS THRU MARCH 28

Thanks to the hard work of the Let NY Vote coalition, Governor Cuomo & the Assembly put $7 million in their budgets for early voting — like the people demanded. DI partners helped to amplify the need for early voting during the January day of action. Now the State Senate has to accept it, and the Governor has to fight to keep it in the budget. Join the Rally for Early Voting on Saturday March, 18 at 2pm to make sure our State Senators hear us loud & clear: New York needs Early Voting now!

With money for early voting included in the Governor’s and Assembly Budgets, we’ve never been closer to joining the 37 other states that have Early Voting. Now we need to convince our State Senators to accept the money and include Early Voting in the final State Budget. Negotiations happen throughout March behind closed doors in Albany, so they need to hear from us loud and clear!

We need every concerned New Yorker to come out and join us to be sure our leaders get the message that we expect them to keep money for Early Voting in the budget, and Let NY Vote!

To get involved in the rally visit https://letnyvote.org/early-voting-rally.

Here are some key dates and next steps to engage your members:

Sunday, March 18th Rally For Early Voting
Encourage your members to come out and join other New Yorkers to ensure elected officials get the message that we expect them to keep money for Early Voting in the Budget, and Let NY Vote. Location: Foley Square NYC, 2 to 4 PM.

Monday, March 19th Call-in day
Send an email blast to your members to call into the Governor’s office to ensuring funding for Early Voting in the final budget negations in April.

Tuesday, March 22nd Twitter Town Hall
Join the conversation on Twitter and continue to the drumbeat online.

Tuesday, March 27th National Thunderclap
Join the coalition’s thunderclap to help amplify the need for 21st-century democracy in New York starts with funding for Early Voting.

Wednesday, March 28th Call in Day

Together we can deliver on the promise of a 21st-century democracy in New York. Check out our messaging packet with additional information. If you have any questions feel free to contact Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitative.org or Susan Lerner at slerner@commoncause.org.

 

HIP HOP CAUCUS LAUNCHES THINK 100%, “COOLEST SHOW ON CLIMATE”

Hip Hop Caucus launched “Think 100%, Coolest Show on Climate Change”, a groundbreaking new radio show and podcast that will harness the power of culture to broaden the climate movement. The show aims to counter attacks on our environment and communities, and advance solutions to climate change that propel a just transition to 100% clean energy for all. The inaugural show aired on Tuesday, March 15 featuring a dynamic conversation with prominent environmental justice leaders including Congressman Donald McEachin (VA-04), the "Father of Environmental Justice" Dr. Robert Bullard, and Dr. Adrienne Hollis from WEACT for Environmental Justice. Check out the new Think100.info blog for more details.

 

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.

 

Mobilizing & 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 Michelle (mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org) or 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: March 21


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 mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meetings: March 22


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

Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 03.07.18

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

 

DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS - Are You Ready to Build Local Power?

We have a bold vision to create a grassroots army of Democracy Champions who will be inspired, motivated and empowered to take on strategically-targeted democracy campaigns across the country. The Democracy Initiative held a Democracy Champions train-the-trainer session for DI partner staff in Washington, D.C. Partners participating in this first training include American Postal Workers Union, Common Cause, Every Voice, LGBTQ Task Force, NAACP, and Working Families.

Our training program is an essential part of our priority campaigns to help build sustainable grassroots engagement on democracy. Is your organization ready to build local champions?  Email Getachew Kassa, gkassa@democracyinitiative.org to get started.

BUILDING A MOVEMENT FOR A FAIR & TRANSPARENT DEMOCRACY: DI PARTNERS IN ACTION IN MISSOURI 

It was a great day on Saturday, March 3 for local DI partner advocates who joined together with others across the social justice movement to collect signatures for the CLEAN Missouri and RaiseUp Missouri ballot initiatives to bring a fair and transparent democracy to the state legislature and raise the minimum wage. Local members from Jobs with Justice, Sierra Club, and NAACP were among the roughly 60 people out on the streets across three cities – Jefferson City, Kansas City, and St. Louis.

Over the past few years we’ve seen the state legislature - influenced by big donors and lobbyists – pass laws to make it harder for Missourians to sue for discrimination. We’ve seen legislators deny workers the ability to organize and fight for a living wage by passing right to work. And we’ve seen legislators attack the most powerful tool everyday people have (our vote) by passing voter ID laws that make it harder for low income, seniors, and communities of color to have a say. All of these attacks on our democracy have had a direct impact on the ability to fight for the issues that matter in our communities – from a living wage, to healthy rivers, to accountable policing.

Change can happen. The moment is right to have our members to demand state legislators deliver on the promise of democracy by getting big money out and creating fair district maps. The CLEAN Missouri and RaiseUp Missouri campaigns are critical opportunities to advance a democracy that is for all people, not just wealthy and corporate interests.

The next opportunity to engage with the campaign will be on Saturday, March 17. To get involved, email Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org.

THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE: Promote the Vote Advocates MOBILIZE IN MICHIGAN

Supporters for Promote the Vote hit the streets to gather signatures to make sure every eligible voter in Michigan has the chance to participate in democracy. More than 60 volunteers canvassed 12 sites on Saturday.

Here are the key ways DI Partners can help mobilize to win in Michigan:

  • Endorse the campaign. As issues groups, it's important to show why voting is key to moving the core issues we work on everyday. Once your organization endorses the campaign, we will follow up with you on your level of engagement.
  • Signature Gathering & Field Operations. The campaign is ramping up its outreach to communities across the state with 29 house parties (tonight) and signature collection Day of Action on March 3.  
  • Education Voters. We have the chance to engage with people on the ground and connect kitchen table issues with the ability to vote. Along with voter education, the DI will host Democracy Champions trainings to build a field of advocates for 2018 and beyond.
  • Participate in local meetings. For partners with state affiliates, the DI will coordinate in-state meetings to help build our movement for success and identify emerging leaders. The DI will align allies that can help support efforts on the ground and bring new people into the democracy movement.

To get involved, email Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org.

 

EVERYBODY VOTES MARYLAND - Participation is "central to delivering on the promises of democracy"

The Democracy Initiative’s Communications Director, Michelle Whittaker, joined Damon Effingham from Common Cause Maryland, Natalie Tennant from the Brennan Center for Justice, Emily Scarr from Maryland PIRG, and other local and state advocates to support the Secure and Accessible Registration Act (SARA). SARA expands the ability of eligible voters to register through certain state agencies and have their information transferred securely to the Board of Elections. DI Executive Director Wendy fields provided written testimony on the need for reform:

As Americans, we believe democracy is for all, yet it has been a slow and sometimes painful and bloody process to expand access to all eligible voters. Removing barriers to participation and allowing citizens the freedom to participate as they choose are central to delivering on the promises of democracy. To achieve a reflective democracy – where the needs of the people are reflected in our budgets, our policies, and our programs – all eligible Marylanders must have the ability to register to vote.

Read full testimony

The DI is supporting efforts on the ground in Maryland to expand voting access along with increasing participation through public financing in Prince George’s County. To get involved, email Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org.

 

Mobilizing & 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 Michelle (mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org) or 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: March 7 and March 21


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 mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meetings: March 22


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

Weekly Update 02.21.18

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

COALITION TO LAWMAKERS: DON’T BE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF DEMOCRACY

The Democracy Initiative (DI), a grassroots coalition of labor, environment, civil rights, and good government groups calls on our leaders from the White House to state houses to take immediate actions to protect the integrity of our elections. We demand common sense measures to regulate political ads, expand voting to more eligible Americans, and update our voting infrastructure to ensure that every vote counts and that everyday people have their voices heard.

Making our elections work for the American people should be the priority of every elected official. The indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for conducting a coordinated attack on the 2016 U.S. elections is a clarion moment for action. Now is the time to protect the security and integrity of our elections and create a 21st century democracy for all.   Read full statement

MOBILIZE YOUR MEMBERS TO PROMOTE THE VOTE IN MICHIGAN – Key WAYS TO ENGAGE

Thank you to all the partners that joined us for the national briefing on Promote the Vote, a grassroots initiative to win voting reforms to expand access to voting. We were grateful to have ACLU Michigan's Kary Moss and Sharon Dolente to discuss the campaign and opportunities for state and national partners to engage.

Michigan lags behind many states when it comes to voting access. Absentee ballots are only available to seniors over 60 years old and the deadline to register to vote is two months before the election.

The Democracy Initiative is proud to endorse the Promote the Vote campaign as one of our priority campaigns under the Democracy 365 umbrella to achieve increased access and participation in democracy across the United States. This campaign is a major opportunity to support communities in building power and ensure that every person has the ability to advocate for kitchen table issues in their community!  

Here are the key ways DI Partners can help mobilize to win in Michigan:

  • Endorse the campaign. As issues groups, it's important to show why voting is key to moving the core issues we work on everyday. Once your organization endorses the campaign, we will follow up with you on your level of engagement.
  • Signature Gathering & Field Operations. The campaign is ramping up its outreach to communities across the state with 29 house parties (tonight) and signature collection Day of Action on March 3.  
  • Education Voters. We have the chance to engage with people on the ground and connect kitchen table issues with the ability to vote. Along with voter education, the DI will host Democracy Champions trainings to build a field of advocates for 2018 and beyond.
  • Participate in local meetings. For partners with state affiliates, the DI will coordinate in-state meetings to help build our movement for success and identify emerging leaders. The DI will align allies that can help support efforts on the ground and bring new people into the democracy movement.

To get involved, email Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org.

 

STAND UP FOR STRONG UNIONS – JOIN SOLIDARITY ACTIONS FEBRUARY 24-26, 2018

A Call to Action for the Democracy Reform Community; Stand and be Counted at the Working People’s Day of Action – February 24, 2018

Winning the fight for a strong labor movement is critical to winning the fight for a healthy democracy.

On February 24, join thousands of working people and our allies and stand up for strong unions. Send a message to corporations that the right to organize and collectively bargain is a core democratic principle and right. It is a checks and balance on corporations in the quest for a good family wages, healthcare, quality schools, vibrant communities and a secure future for all of us. It is also a powerful voice in overcoming the influence of wealthy interests in our election system and voter suppression.

If you are in the fight to win reforms on money and politics, expand and protect voting rights, redistricting, and ethics reform join us on February 24 and demand an end to a system that’s rigged against working people.

Find a local event at http://www.itsaboutfreedom.org.

Download the toolkit for the day of action via Dropbox.

Solidarity Mobilization on Janus v. AFSCME – February 24-26, 2018

DI partners will be mobilizing to stand in solidarity with public sector unions that are under attack. Anti-democracy forces are attempting to curtail freedom of association and the right to organize for millions of hardworking people. When one of us is under attack, we are all under attack. This is our opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with the labor movement to ensure all Americans can freely organize and advocate for economic and social justice in the workplace and our communities.

To get your organization involved and to learn more about the Supreme Court case, contact Getachew Kassa gkassa@democracyinitiative.org. We will send out a special notice with the full toolkit and messaging material.

 

SIGN UP TO BECOME A DEMOCRACY CHAMPION TRAINER! MARCH 4 & 5 IN WASHINGTON, DC

We are excited to be launching the Democracy Champions program in 2018. The goal is both simple and audacious: to create a grassroots army of Democracy Champions who will be inspired, motivated and empowered to take on strategically-targeted democracy campaigns across the country.

Our first Democracy Champions Train the Trainer will be held on Sunday, March 4th to Monday, March 5th, 2018. The training will start Sunday evening and conclude by 2pm on Monday.

We still have space for additional trainers! Were you still thinking about sending someone from your organization to the training? Great! RSVP to join us for our Democracy Champions Train the Trainer here: http://bit.ly/DemocracyChampion.

Trainers do not need to be subject-matter experts. They do need to be good listeners, enthusiastic, committed, committed to 1:1 communication, and able to travel to trainings. Grassroots organizing experience is helpful. Since initial Democracy Champions trainings will be held in Michigan, Maryland, Missouri and Florida, trainers from those states are especially welcome.

Do you have questions about the training? Feel free to also email Getachew Kassa, gkassa@democracyinitiative.org with any additional questions.

LET NY VOTE: ACTION & CALL-IN DAY TO SENATE – FEBRUARY 27, 2018

Thanks to the efforts of the diverse grassroots coalition of unions, civil rights, and good government groups led by Let NY Vote, Governor Cuomo added funding for early voting in his 30-day budget amendments. Many national DI partners participated in actions to encourage support for funding through the state to ensure counties can implement early voting successfully.

Now the Senate and Assembly are finalizing their “One House Budgets” over the next week. State legislators need to hear from you! Here are two ways you can help:

  1. Engage 12 key Senate Republicans through engaging members in their district directly and through virtual phonebanking (see below for details).
  2. Participate in the call-in day next Tuesday, February 27 by asking your members to call their Senators. Use Let NY Vote sample email blasts and social media for you to share here.

Contact Jonah Minkoff-Zern (jzern@citizen.org) for more information.

WATCH: JOURNEY TO VICTORY IN ST. PETERSBURG – WE CAN STAND UP TO BIG MONEY IN POLITICS

Free Speech for People has released a short video celebrating the grassroots activists who organized to pass legislation to abolish super PACS and corporate money in local elections. The video includes interviews from organizers and activists who talk about the need to make sure the voices of everyday citizens are not drowned out by big money interests.

To win on our kitchen table issues, we must have a reflective government where elected leaders respond to the people, not big donors.

Kudos to all those who were part of this victor in St. Petersburg!

WATCH the video

Sample social media:

We can do this! In St. Petersburg, grassroots activists organized to get big money out of politics. See how they did it! @fsfp #fightbigmoney https://youtu.be/7x1w05_cu7A

“Government should be the product of the will of the people, not the few who have money.” Mayor @kriseman @fsfp #fightbigmoney https://youtu.be/7x1w05_cu7A

 

CAN YOUR ORGANIZATION HELP COORDINATING MOVIE SCREENINGS ON DEMOCRACY REFORMS?

The DI has received a number of requests from filmmakers to host and share movies. As we do not have the capacity to take on this coordination. We are looking for an organization to work with us on coordinating and assessing interest in groups hosting a film screening. As you know, movies about democracy can be great way to engage members or participants at a conference/convening.  If your organization can provide some support, please contact Elana Orbuch at eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org.

Mobilizing & Collaboration

Where Can Your Organization Lean In for 2018? Take Our Democracy Reform Survey!

Our engagement on priority democracy reforms in the states is ramping up. We need input from you on how your organization can lean into move reforms as the local and state level! Take a moment to fill out the engagement form to plug into 2018 campaigns and new opportunities. Your input will guide the resource and engagement decision-making process. Add You Input – Democracy Reform Survey

If you would like to fill out the survey with assistance, please contact Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org


 

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: March 7 and March 21


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 mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

Next Meetings: February 22 and March 22


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