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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 11.02.2017

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Mobilize to Win in Missouri

CLEAN Missouri campaign manager Sean Nicholson presented at yesterday's expanded mobilizing meeting to engage DI partners on how we can join the efforts on the ground to build power and reach out to key communities. Voters and elected leaders are frustrated with the lack of transparency, accountability, and fairness in Missouri. The CLEAN Missouri Initiative is something that helps all of us fight big money and put democracy back in the hands of the people.

Contact Getachew Kassa (gkassa@democracyinitiative.org to learn more about how DI partners can engage and to get a recording of the call.

 

Attend Blueprint for a Great Democracy Conference - November 7, 2017

On November 7th Common Cause will host its fifth annual Blueprint for a Great Democracy Conference. We are excited to announce a great lineup of speakers and keynote who will help us explore responses to abuses of power, the state of ethics, security of our election systems, and the undue influence of money, including from foreign sources, in our campaigns.  We look forward to having you join us.  View agenda and RSVP here.  

CONFERENCE AT HARVARD NOVEMBER 8TH: GERRYMANDERING, REDISTRICTING, AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

On November 8, 2017, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation is holding a day-long conference on “Gerrymandering, Redistricting, and American Democracy”.  As the Supreme Court considers the most important case on political gerrymandering in a generation, join us for a convening of scholars, practitioners, and activists from around the country as we seek to understand a path forward on redistricting reform. Our panelists will provide unique insight into the history of gerrymandering, the role of race in redistricting today, the current crisis of the Census, and will examine the landscape for reform. We also invite you to join us in the evening for a reception and Forum titled "Redistricting and Representation" at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The conference is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. You can register and receive a ticket via Eventbrite.

For an updated agenda, please visit our website event page. We’ll be updating this page as new speakers are announced.

Mobilize Floridians for a Fair Democracy! Organize Members Week of November 11th

The Second Chances campaign in Florida is in home stretch in gathering the 750,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot to restore that ability to vote to 1.5 million Floridians who were convicted of felonies and have completed their sentences.

Here are the primary ways you can help: (sample email blasts here)

  1. Send out the petition to your Florida members and ask them to mail it in (and print extra copies to gather signatures). You can send it by email and/or by mailing.
  2. Join the Day of Action on November 11 to collect signatures. We need to not only help recruit hosts but also direct people to this page to find an event near them.
  3. Organize petition drive. Contact Itohan Ighodaro (itohanighodaro@gmail.com) if your organization is interested in bringing a group to gather petitions.

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

DEMOCRACY 365: Our Vote is Our Highest Currency

The Rural Coalition is one of Democracy Initiative's 63 diverse coalition partners that is working every day to connect members working on critical issues to democracy reforms. The Rural Coalition is grassroots-led by farmers, farmworkers, migrants and ingenious people working to build a sustainable and just food system. That starts by holding corporations and elected leaders accountable for the policies that impact our people as consumers and as a community.

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

Annual Meeting: DECEMBER 14          

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

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

Mobilizing & Collaboration

 

DI Communications Collaborative

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

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

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

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

 


Stay Connected with DI Partners

Want to share a victory or call to action in the fight for democracy? Email us for a chance to spread the word 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 10.26.2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Congress Should Protect Everyday Americans, Not Big Banks

America once again, has seen the influence of big corporate money in our governing and election system. On Tuesday night, the Senate voted 51-50 (with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaker vote) to reject a consumer protection rule that gave customers the power to stand up to banks. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, has helped over 27 million consumers get over $11 billion back from financial institutions. It is breathtaking in the midst of Wells Fargo and after the bank bailout, now big banks are back to rewriting the rules in their favor and leaving millions of ordinary people to be fleeced by high transactions fees, unfair and discriminatory lending practices, and hidden charges.

It is clear, our focus must be to create a demand for democracy reforms and engage our grassroots members to hold hold our leaders accountable. Too many members of Congress receive contributions from big banks.

The financial sector spent $2 billion on political activity from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2016, including $1.2 billion in campaign contributions. That averages out to $3.7 million per Member of Congress according to a study by Americans for Financial Reform. In the 2016 election alone, the winning Senators received a combined $5.1 million in contributions from financial institutions like Wells Fargo, Equifax, and Goldman Sachs -- institutions that have wreaked havoc on our economy and left Americans to foot the bill. It's time we have leaders who stand up to big banks and protect everyday Americans.

Packed room for DARING DEMOCRACY BOOK CONVERSATION With Frankie, Adam & Wendy

Daring Democracy, a new book by activists, friends, and gifted authors, Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen, makes the case that winning on kitchen table issues - workers’ rights, women’s rights, climate justice, and a fair justice system -- matters most. On Tuesday night, the Democracy Initiative hosted a conversation between Wendy Fields, Democracy Initiative Executive Director, Frankie and Adam. Over 45 guests, including our friends at People for the American Way, Sierra Club, Common Cause, ReThink Media, Corporate Accountability, MayDay, Public Citizen, Every Voice, Center for Environmental Health, Story of America, Greenpeace, Clean Water Action, Green Latinos, American Progress, and Our Revolution, joined us to discuss how we can bring people together to tackle tough issues, win on kitchen table issues, and fight for a democracy where everyone has the opportunity to participate.

Order Daring Democracy Online

DI members can order books from Beacon using the code DI365 to receive a 20% discount on Daring Democracy and any other Beacon title purchased through the website. Go to http://www.beacon.org.

TONIGHT OCT 26 at 7pm: Secure & Protect Our Vote Tele Townhall

What: Secure & Protect Our Vote Tele Townhall
When: October 26th at 8 PM EST/7pm CST/6pm MST/5pm PST/4pm Alaska time/3pm HI time
Who: Tom Hicks, EAC Commissioner |Elena Nunez, Colorado Common Cause Executive Director| Hannah Fried, Access Democracy| Amber McReynolds, Director of Elections for the City and County of Denver | Barbara Simons, Verified Voting

Register Here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_l_oApX2GR2KzlaaRf-siNw

The stakes couldn't be higher. Our democracy relies on free, fair, and accessible elections. And it falls on each of us to ensure that every eligible voter’s voice counts. Together, we can work in our communities with local election officials to modernize infrastructure, improve security, and remove any barriers that stand between Americans and our right to vote.

Attend Blueprint for a Great Democracy Conference - November 7, 2017

On November 7th Common Cause will host its fifth annual Blueprint for a Great Democracy Conference. We are excited to announce a great lineup of speakers and keynote who will help us explore responses to abuses of power, the state of ethics, security of our election systems, and the undue influence of money, including from foreign sources, in our campaigns.  We look forward to having you join us.  View agenda and RSVP here.  

Labor Members Turnout for Democracy Ted Talk at AFL-CIO Convention

Executive Director Wendy Fields, joined by Carlos Jimenez (Executive Director for Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO), spoke to packed room of AFL-CIO members during the pre-conference workshop, "Our Democracy: Main Street, Not Wall Street" on October 22 in St. Louis Missouri. Wendy focused on how strong unions are at the heart of a strong democracy and the front lines of economic and social change in American democracy.

Congratulations to President Richard Trumpka, Secretary-Treasurer Shuler, and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre on their re-election to the AFL-CIO leadership. We're excited to that Tefere's voice and leadership will continue to be part of the DI's board.

Le'ts Make Elections Fair in Prince George's County Now! MOBILIZe Members to SIGN Petition

Urge Prince George's County Council to Establish Fair Elections Program

Earlier this month the Fair Elections Maryland Coalition hosted a town hall and County Council Member Mary Lehman pledged to introduce a Fair Elections Bill. This would make Prince George’s County the third county in Maryland to have a Fair Elections Program. Sign the petition to urge Prince George’s County Council to establish a county Fair Elections Program.  

Fair elections give everyday people a stronger voice through small donor contributions that stop big money from polluting our politics and our communities. Check out the new website for Fair Elections Maryland where you can volunteer, host a house party, and

D.C. Fair Elections: Shift Power Back to Voters!

We are thrilled that the majority of the D.C. Council is supporting the D.C. Fair Elections bill to empower voters, especially people of color and working families, who are underrepresented in our current system. With the end of the year insight, we’re counting on the council to get Fair Elections passed! Mobilize your members to send an email for their D.C. Councilmembers.

CONFERENCE AT HARVARD NOVEMBER 8TH: GERRYMANDERING, REDISTRICTING, AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

On November 8, 2017, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation is holding a day-long conference on “Gerrymandering, Redistricting, and American Democracy”.  As the Supreme Court considers the most important case on political gerrymandering in a generation, join us for a convening of scholars, practitioners, and activists from around the country as we seek to understand a path forward on redistricting reform. Our panelists will provide unique insight into the history of gerrymandering, the role of race in redistricting today, the current crisis of the Census, and will examine the landscape for reform. We also invite you to join us in the evening for a reception and Forum titled "Redistricting and Representation" at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The conference is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. You can register and receive a ticket via Eventbrite.

For an updated agenda, please visit our website event page. We’ll be updating this page as new speakers are announced.

DEMOCRACY 365: STAND TOGETHER FOR DEMOCRACY

We will on the issues that matter most to our communities and families - a just economy, a healthy planet, thriving communities, and more - when everyone can participate fully and freely in our democracy. Voting is the most powerful tool we have to individually and collectively hold leaders accountable - but if we're not on the voting rolls, we're not able to act.

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

Annual Meeting: DECEMBER 14          

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

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

Mobilizing & Collaboration

Special Briefing: Clean Missouri Ballot Initiative

Wednesday, November 1 at 3pm EST / Noon PST

Putting Missourians First, Not Big Donors, Lobbyist and Partisan Politics

Join Sean Nicholson, campaign manager for Clean Missouri Initiative for a coalition meeting on Wednesday, November 1st at 3pm EST.

Lobbyists, big donors, and small groups of political insiders have too much control and influence over Missouri state government. The Clean Missouri Initiative is desperately needed to make state government more transparent, limit the power of big money in the state legislature, and ensure elected officials are held accountable to the people of Missouri.

Working families deserve a living wage and a government that is more transparent and represents everyday people.

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

Please email Getachew (gkassa@democracyinitiative.org) for more information.


DI Communications Collaborative

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

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

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

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

 


Stay Connected with DI Partners

Want to share a victory or call to action in the fight for democracy? Email us for a chance to spread the word 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 10.19.2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

OUR DEMOCRACY: MAIN STREET, NOT WALL STREET – OCTOBER 22, 2017

Our collective power to win on the issues that matter most begins at the local level. There can be no strong democracy without strong labor unions. Join us for a presentation on how union activists can build a grassroots army of “Democracy Champions” to protect and expand voting rights and reduce the influence of money and wealthy interests in politics while building our power to win social and economic justice.

WATCH LIVE: www.twitter.comaflcio  

DARING DEMOCRACY BOOK CONVERSATION  &
RECEPTION - OCT. 24, 2017 7PM at BUSBOYS & POETS

https://www.facebook.com/events/1984655291768790/

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

JOIN US as we host Frances Moore Lappé ans Adam Eichen on October 24 at Busboys & Poets (5th Street) in Washington, DC. Books will be available for sale at the event.

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

 

CONFERENCE AT HARVARD NOVEMBER 8TH: GERRYMANDERING, REDISTRICTING, AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

On November 8, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation is holding a day-long conference on “Gerrymandering, Redistricting, and American Democracy”.  As the Supreme Court considers the most important case on political gerrymandering in a generation, join us for a convening of scholars, practitioners, and activists from around the country as we seek to understand a path forward on redistricting reform. Our panelists will provide unique insight into the history of gerrymandering, the role of race in redistricting today, the current crisis of the Census, and will examine the landscape for reform. We also invite you to join us in the evening for a reception and Forum entitled "Redistricting and Representation" at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The conference is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. You can register and receive a ticket via Eventbrite.

For an updated agenda, please visit our website event page. We’ll be updating this page as new speakers are announced.

HOW TO ENGAGE INFREQUENT VOTERS: WHY VOTE-BY-MAIL SHOULD BE PART OF THE DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT REFORMS

National Vote at Home Coalition offered compelling proof for how vote-by-mail increases turnout, especially for infrequent voters.

AFL-CION president Richard Trumpka gave opening remarks at the event held at the National Association of Letter Carriers. The coalition highlighted increases in voter turnout for Oregon and Colorado with the introduction of vote-by-mail. The state of Oregon also saved 3 million dollars by switching to the system. More importantly, more people voted. In presidential years, vote-by-mail has a 10% higher turnout rate compared to states without it and, and for midterm elections, vote-by-mail has a 23% higher voter turnout than states without the system. In Colorado, infrequent voters were 3 times more likely to vote-by-mail than in states without the system!

The National Vote at Home Collation is looking to bring vote-by-mail to Montana and Michigan. Contact David Sanchez (dsanchez@demoracyinitiaitve.org) if you would like more information.

DEMOCRACY 365: STAND TOGETHER FOR DEMOCRACY

Our union members have been on the front lines of social and economic change in America for centuries. A vision for thriving economy where workers are respected begins with a democracy where all people have a voice.

That’s why unions continue to fight to expand voting rights and end big money politics at every level of government.

Let’s stand together for our democracy!

Annual Meeting: DECEMBER 14          

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

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

Mobilizing & Collaboration

DI Communications Collaborative

Tuesday, October 24 at 4:15pm EST / 1:15 PST
RSVP to mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

We are launching the communications working group to coordinate messaging for DI partners on our local and national campaigns. This will be our first meeting all members of your communications team (digital, press, messaging, etc.) are encouraged to attend.

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

 


Stay Connected with DI Partners

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


Want to share a victory or call to action in the fight for democracy? Email us for a chance to spread the word 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 10.11.2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Don't Hand Democracy Over to Corporate Polluters

A healthy planet goes hand in hand with a healthy democracy. The current administration’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan is the latest example of elected leaders handing over democracy to corporate polluters to write the rules in their favor. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt cares more about the bottom line for fossil fuel executives then he does about our health and safety.

Meanwhile, Congress has failed to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), leaving millions of children at risk and worried parents up at night about how to provide for their family. We need elected leaders who will lead with clean energy solutions to prevent childhood asthma, missed work and school days, and the thousands of premature deaths that occur every year because of fossil fuel pollution. At a time of rising temperatures, rising food prices, and rising health care premiums it's time for leaders who care about the needs of everyday people, not corporate interests.

To build a healthy democracy, we must blunt the influence of money in our politics at every level of government. That’s why clean elections programs across the country are being adopted at the local and state level. When we hold leaders accountable we can have a democracy that works for all. From Maine to Oregon and Maryland to Illinois, everyday people are saying it’s time to get big money out and bring small donors in!

We can stop the repeal of the Clean Power Plan and build a people-powered democracy.

Postcards for Public Elections in illinois!

This weekend Our Revolution Illinois hosted the state’s first Gubernatorial Candidate forum for the 2018 election. The televised forum was held at the Chicago Teachers Union Hall and was moderated by NBC’s Mary Ann Ahern. The event was co-hosted by over 50 organization across the state. Democracy Initiative organizer, Jack Lockhart, collected postcards from attendees to show support for fair elections in Cook County. Jack was able to collect over a 100 postcards from attendees passionate about fair elections!

Contact David if you'd like to know more about the fair elections campaign in Illinois: dsanchez@democracyinitiative.org.

RSVP for Daring Democracy Discussion - OCT. 24

https://www.facebook.com/events/1984655291768790/

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

RSVP TO ATTEND: The Democracy Initiative will host Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen on October 24 at Busboys & Poets (5th Street) in Washington DC. Books will be available for sale at the event.

Email Elana at eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org for more information.

Invest in a People-Powered DC & Fight Big Money

There is growing support for the Fair Elections Act in the District of Columbia. It would give everyday voters in all wards the opportunity to support and elect candidates that truly reflect their communities.

Too often wealthy special interest have had a voice in politics and policy. In DC politics the donor class is older, whiter, wealthier, and more male than the population as a whole.

Now the people have a chance to have a stronger voice with a small donor empowerment program that matches funds raised from small contributions.

Invite your member to be part of the October 11 Meet-up with DC Councilmembers and D.C. Fair Elections members at Busboys & Poets (625 Monroe St NE) from 6:30-9:00pm. RSVP to attend.

Has your organization added your name to the sign-on letter? Deadline to sign-on is October 13.      

In Pursuit of an Informed Citizenry: Freedom of the Press in the Trump Era

Common Cause will be hosting a panel on freedom of the press in the era of Trump on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 2:00PM at the National Press Club.

Politicians have always had an adversarial relationship with the press—but never in recent memory has the press been subject to the sort of criticism waged by President Trump. This panel will examine the role that the press plays in a democracy—watchdogging abuses of power; informing citizens; ferreting out corruption; and providing an outlet for leaks. Topics will include pressures, both political and economic, on the press; protections for leakers and those who report leaks; challenges that news organizations face and how journalists in newsrooms are responding; what consumers of news can do to support fact-based journalism; and how to defend the values of a free press when some citizens are persuaded that the media is the “enemy.”

democracy 365: Get People in, Get Money Out

Democracy works best when all Americans have the freedom to participate regardless of who they are, where they live, or how much money they make. The right to vote is our most powerful tool we have to advocate for the issues that matter most. It is how we hold elected leaders accountable and stand up to wealthy special interests. From climate justice to workers’ rights to criminal justice and immigration reform, we win on our just causes when all eligible voters can fully participate.

Our Democracy: Main Street not Wall Street

Wendy Fields, Executive Director for the DI, will be a speaker at the AFL-CIO's upcoming  "All of Us or None of Us" Diversity & Inclusion Pre-Conference on October 21st.

Only if we stay united can we organize tomorrow's workforce, build political power for working people, and defend out dignity and rights at work.  Join the AFL-CIO, union members, leaders, and community partners for a day of inspiration and action-oriented workshop from prominent civil and women's rights leaders on October 21st, in St. Louis, MO. Register here:  http://bit.ly/AFLCIO2017-allofus

 

Annual Meeting: DECEMBER 14          

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

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

Mobilizing & Collaboration

Bi-Monthly Mobilizing Meeting

JON THE NEXT MEETING:

October 18 at 3pm EST / 12pm PST

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

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

Email gkassa@democracyinitiative.org with any questions!

DI Communications Collaborative

Tuesday, October 24 at 4:15pm EST / 1:15 PST
RSVP to mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, cc: eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org

We are launching the communications working group to coordinate messaging for DI partners on our local and national campaigns. This will be our first meeting all members of your communications team (digital, press, messaging, etc.) are encouraged to attend.

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

 


Stay Connected with DI Partners

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


Want to share a victory or call to action in the fight for democracy? Email us for a chance to spread the word 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 10.05.2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Acting on Thoughts & Prayers

We join people across the country in mourning the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night that took the lives of 58 people and injured more than 500. We condemn this act of domestic terrorism. Many have been building a grassroots effort to address the epidemic of gun violence and the influence of the gun industry on safety laws in America. What is difficult is that we are not seeing changes, particularly when there is clear and overwhelming support. Most Americans are dissatisfied with current laws and policies on guns, according to a 2016 Gallup poll.

When 307 (87%) of the current members of Congress have received a combined $3.5 million from the NRA, it is clear that they do not serve the will of the people whom elected them. When gun industry stock rises following a mass shooting, it is clear corporations are profiting off of people’s fears. When doctors, nurses, and hospitals are ill-equipped to treat gun victims because of a federal ban on firearms research (thanks to the gun lobby), it is clear health care is not a priority for some elected leaders.

We must move our thoughts and prayers into action and real solutions to prevent the next tragedy from taking away someone’s mother, father, son, or daughter. We must create a grassroots demand to reduce the amount of monied interests in our governance and elections while expanding Voting Rights.

We call upon our elected leaders and communities to come together to not only support those who lost loved ones but to address gun violence across our country. Let’s break our silos to demand democracy reforms that shift our political landscape over the long haul. Winning bans on assault weapons, regulating the use of silencers, and creating universal background checks for firearms, means moving elected officials to act on the will of the people.

Every American deserves to live free from violence. We must say “No more!” and show elected leaders that there is a grassroots demand for common sense solutions to stop the violence. This is our democracy.

Partisan Gerrymandering Takes Center Stage at the Supreme Court

When politicians, not the people, decide who gets elected that's not democracy. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford about partisan gerrymandering - when officials (usually elected leaders) draw district lines in ways that give one party an advantage over another. Democracy advocates were out in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday calling for fair maps and an end to gerrymandering. Distorted maps distort our politics and our policies, impacting our lives, our communities, and our workplaces.

Daring Democracy Discussion - October 24

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

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

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

Invest in a People-Powered DC

There is growing support for the Fair Elections Act in the District of Columbia. It would give everyday voters in all wards the opportunity to support and elect candidates that truly reflect their communities.

Too often wealthy special interest have had a voice in politics and policy. In DC politics the donor class is older, whiter, wealthier, and more male than the population as a whole.

Now the people have a chance to have a stronger voice with a small donor empowerment program that matches funds raised from small contributions.

Invite your member to be part of the October 11 Meet-up with DC Councilmembers and D.C. Fair Elections members at Busboys & Poets (625 Monroe St NE) from 6:30-9:00pm. RSVP to attend.

Has your organization added your name to the sign-on letter? Deadline to sign-on is October 13.      

In Pursuit of an Informed Citizenry: Freedom of the Press in the Trump Era

Common Cause will be hosting a panel on freedom of the press in the era of Trump on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 2:00PM at the National Press Club.

Politicians have always had an adversarial relationship with the press—but never in recent memory has the press been subject to the sort of criticism waged by President Trump. This panel will examine the role that the press plays in a democracy—watchdogging abuses of power; informing citizens; ferreting out corruption; and providing an outlet for leaks. Topics will include pressures, both political and economic, on the press; protections for leakers and those who report leaks; challenges that news organizations face and how journalists in newsrooms are responding; what consumers of news can do to support fact-based journalism; and how to defend the values of a free press when some citizens are persuaded that the media is the “enemy.”

Stranglehold: Oil & Gas Money is Choking Our Democracy

Clean Water Action released a new report that shows the extreme spending by wealthy special interest groups" public policy outcomes that reflect the priorities of the oil and gas industry and not the American people."

Now more than ever, we need to demand common sense reforms to get big money out of our politics at the local, state, and national level. We are doing this across the country! Kudos to Clean Water Action on this report and taking action to hold leaders accountable.

Update: The Fight for Fair Elections Continues in Connecticut

Thanks to your calls, the Citizens’ Election Program (CEP) remains safe for now. Governor Malloy vetoed a harmful budget that would have eliminated the CEP, a program that has shifted the power away from corporation and moneyed interests for over a decade. There is an attempt to override the veto. We will let you know if more action is needed. Thank you to all the members and coalition partners in Connecticut for talking action and stepping up from small donors and fair elections!

Give everyday People a Bigger Voice in Oregon!

The success and growing demand for small donor programs is all about empowering voters to have a stronger voice, encouraging community candidates to run, holding leaders accountable, and blunting the influence of moneyed interests that try to sway our elections and our policies.

Oregon wants to build an inclusive democracy where everyone participates, every vote is counted, and everyone’s voice is heard. Make sure your members in Oregon know about the Small Donor Elections bill and let’s show legislators that folks on the ground care about this deeply.

Visit our action page for resources and sample emails.

Mobilizing & Collaboration

Bi-Monthly Mobilizing Meeting

JON THE NEXT MEETING:

October 18 at 3pm EST / 12pm PST

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

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


SAVE THE DATE: Annual Meeting December 14

The DI board invites all partners to join us for the December Annual Meeting on Thursday, December 14th, 2017 from 1:00pm-4:30pm ET.  

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

Pictured left to right: Derrick Johnson, NAACP; Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause; Tefere Gebre, AFL-CIO; Wendy Fields, Democracy Initiative, Larry Cohen, CWA/Our Revolution; Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA; Michael Brune, Sierra Club)

Email gkassa@democracyinitiative.org with any questions!


All of Us or None of Us: AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention Diversity Pre-Conference - October 21st

Only if we stay united can we organize tomorrow's workforce, build political power for working people, and defend out dignity and rights at work.  Join the AFL-CIO, union members, leaders, and community partners for a day of inspiration and action-oriented workshop from prominent civil and women's rights leaders on October 21st, in St. Louis, MO. Register here:  http://bit.ly/AFLCIO2017-allofus


 

Stay Connected with DI Partners

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


Want to share a victory or call to action in the fight for democracy? Email us for a chance to spread the word 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 09.29.17

Friday, September 29, 2017

And the winner is... Low Turnout

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

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

This is Our Democracy!

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

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

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

 

Daring Democracy Features Coalition

 

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

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

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

 

Toxic Democracy: CEH Urges Congress to #DumPDourson

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

Can you join Center for Environmental Health in opposing Doruson?

Here’s how you can help #DumpDourson

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

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

 

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

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

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

(Click to Tweet)

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

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

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

 

Add Your Story: Why We Fight for Democracy!

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

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

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

Mobilizing & Collaboration

Bi-Monthly Mobilizing Meeting

JON THE NEXT MEETING:

October 4 at 3pm EST / 12pm PST

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

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


Stay Connected with DI Partners

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


Want to share a victory or call to action in the fight for democracy? Email us for a chance to spread the word 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 09.20.17

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

DI Welcomes 3 New Groups as Coalition Continues to Build Power Nationally Locally

The Democracy Initiative welcomes Waterkeeper Alliance, Democracy Spring, and Small Planet Institute as new partners to the coalition. These organizations are committed to building collective power to tackle critical issues around clean water, money in politics, and democratic social change.

Raise Your Hand for Democracy - Sign the Pledge


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

The democracy solidarity pledge is an opportunity for you and your members to join millions across the country to stand up for a democracy that works for all.

We cannot leave democracy to elected officials alone. We the People have the power to improve and protect the lives of working class families, our communities, our environment, and our nation 365 days a year. It’s time to stand up and take collective action for a democracy that works for all. We must act and demand reforms that blunt the influence of corporations who flood our political system with money and wealthy special interest that try to shrink our voting power.

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

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

This is an all-hands-on-deck moment to protect one of the most important success stories of the democracy movement. A recent budget passed by Connecticut targets the Citizen’s Election Program (CEP) which – for over a decade – has encouraged more diverse candidates to run and shifts the power away from corporations and moneyed interests to everyday people.

Governor Malloy has until the end of this week to veto the budget. It’s time for everyday people to rise up to protect the CEP from this targeted attack that is coming from Koch-funded special interest groups. These groups want to shrink the power of everyday people and rollback progress on environmental policies, workers’ rights, and criminal justice reforms.

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

(Click to Tweet)

ACTION: Stand Up for Dreamers, Help PAss the DreamAct

 

Help pass the #DREAMAct and protect our immigrant communities.

Join CASA Tuesday Sept. 26 as we visit Capitol Hill to share stories and make immigrant voices heard. We want to make sure they see the faces of those impacted by their inaction.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Rally at House Triangle on the grounds of the Capitol

VICTORY: SEATTLE SMALL DONOR PROGRAMS GIVES EMPOWERS EVERYDAY VOTERS

(Photo from Honest Elections Seattle website)

The Seattle primary featured an innovative small donor matching program called, Democracy Vouchers. It showed that everyday people can have a louder voice that corporations or wealthy special interests. Two candidates - who built their campaign funding on the extensive use of vouchers - beat a big business-backed candidate. The voucher program saw over 8000 Seattle residents making small donations to candidates and the program encouraged many candidates to reject big-money donations. This is great for our democracy and builds more support for winning reforms across the country!

Kudos to the Honest Elections Seattle coalition and all the community groups for their investing in a democracy that works for all!

GIVE EVERYDAY PEOPLE A BIGGER VOICE IN OREGON

The success and growing demand for small donor programs is all about empowering voters to have a stronger voice, encouraging community candidates to run, holding leaders accountable, and blunting the influence of moneyed interests that try to sway our elections and our policies.

Oregon wants to build an inclusive democracy where everyone participates, every vote is counted, and everyone’s voice is heard. Make sure your members in Oregon know about the Small Donor Elections bill and let’s show legislators that folks on the ground care about this deeply.

Visit our action page for resources and sample emails.


Maryland Fair Elections HOSTS Prince George's COUNTY Town Hall wiTh Donna Edwards

September 28th Town Hall on Fair Elections:
Featuring former Congresswoman Donna Edwards and County Council Member Mary Lehman
College Park City Hall
4500 Knox Rd, College Park, MD 20740
7 pm - 9 pm

Has your organization endorsed the campaign? Please contact David Sanchez for a presentation at your local organization and learn ways you can make a difference.

Add Your Story: Why We Fight for Democracy!

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

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

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

(Click to Tweet)

Mobilizing & Collaboration

Bi-Monthly Mobilizing Meeting

JON THE NEXT MEETING:

October 4 at 3pm EST / 12pm PST

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

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


Stay Connected with DI Partners

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


Want to share a victory or call to action in the fight for democracy? Email us for a chance to spread the word 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 09.13.17

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The message was loud and clear from the thousands of grassroots activists who came together yesterday both at the local level in 4 states and online across the country to say: "Don't Mess With Our Vote!" It's simple: All eligible voters should be on the voting rolls. That's not the focus of the President's advisory committee on election integrity led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who have proven records for purging and blocking everyday voters.

Our DI partners engaged and mobilized hundreds of activists to join in rallies in New Hampshire, Kansas, Missouri, and Arizona as the sham commission held its second meeting in Manchester, NH. People were in the streets and online to demand a democracy that works for all. There is a growing movement of diverse leaders and activists ready to take up the mantle of responsibility to create demand that government and elected leaders deliver on the promise of democracy for all people -- and it begins by making sure our vote is not denied to any eligible voter.

Rev. Jackson of the NAACP Manchester President said it best at yesterday's rally:

Democracy is not a spectator sport. We are all players and we need all citizens on the field. This is a conversation for all of us, and as a community we can take collective action.
Rev. Eric Jackson, Manchester NAACP

(Click to Tweet)

3 Takeaways and Next Steps from Pence-Kobach Mobilizations

When, today, millions of eligible voters are denied the right to vote or blocked from fully participating in democracy, it's time to stand up and fight back regressive "solutions" that rollback our ability to advocate powerfully for our communities, our workplaces, and our planet.

Here are 3 Quick Takeaways from Yesterday:

  • When We Organize, We Win! Kris Kobach was on the defensive even before the commission began because of the work grassroots groups are doing to dispel his false claims of voter fraud and attacks on the hardworking people of New Hampshire. People organized rallies in New Hampshire, Arizona, Kansas, and Missouri. Hundreds of people came out to support the actions across the nation. Our ability to quickly organize rallies in 5 different states (Georgia was postponed due to Hurricane Irma) and organize a tremendous amount of social media content, gave people a glimpse of our collective power. Unions, environmental groups, civic organizations, and activist came together put rally around the need for a better democracy and to protest against the Presidential Commission.
  • Our Message is Strong! It was clear that many of the commissioners are not focused on increasing participation and trusting everyday Americans with the freedom to exercise their rights. That’s why #DontMessWithOurVote resonated with folks on-the-ground and online. Our Facebook Town Hall, hosted by the DI and Common Cause with Wendy Fields as the moderator featured speakers included DI Board member Larry Cohen (former CWA President), Carolyn DeWitt (Rock the Vote), Allegra Chapman (Common Cause), Wanda Mosley (New Georgia Project), and Denise Lieberman (Advancement Project).
  • This is Only the Beginning! Our work for a reflective democracy where every eligible voters can participate fully and freely, and advance their just causes doesn't start or end with the Pence-Kobach commission. It's about all of us taking collective action to move common sense reforms that give the power to the people.

We Appreciate the Hard Work - It's Paying Off!

We wanted to take a moment to recognize all the national and state partners that helped make yesterdays mobilizations a success:

Over 50 groups and hundreds of people across the country are pushing back on attempts to shrink the voting power of everyday citizens, and calling for adopting pro-democracy reforms to increase participation at all levels. The Democracy Initiative collaborated with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to bring together a diverse table of groups ready to mobilize the ground. Many DI partners and allies stepped up to be part of the mobilizations including ACLU (National & State groups), Advancement Project, AFL-CIO (Local & State Feds), Alabama New South Coalition, America Votes, A. Philip Randolph Institute, ​Arizona Advocacy Network, Center for Environmental Health, Chicago Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights, Clean Water Action, Center for Popular Democracy, Center for American Progress, Common Cause (National & State groups), Communications Workers of America, Corporate Accountability International, Daily Kos, Demos, Fair Elections Legal Network, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace USA, Hip Hop Caucus, Indivisible, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, League of Women Voters (National & State groups), League of Conservation Voters, Let America Vote, Local Progress, Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, NAACP (National & State groups), National Education Association, National LGBTQ Task Force, New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights, New Georgia Project, Our Revolution, People for the American Way, Public Citizen, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, ReThink Media, Rock the Vote, Rural Coalition, SEIU, Sierra Club (National & State groups), United Auto Workers, West County Community Action Network, and Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice.

There were 5 local actions, in New Hampshire, St. Louis, Kansas City,  and an incredible showing on social media, with hundreds of activists spreading the word through our Thunderclap. In the evening, the DI and Common Cause hosted a Facebook Live Townhall, with 6.6K views, to hear our experts' and activists' take on the commission, local actions, and sharing ways to stay engaged!


New Hampshire - 200 people strong outside of N.H. Institute of Politics, St. Anselm College Speakers included Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (President of Let America Vote), Olivia Teixeira (Student at St. Anselm College), Rev. Eric Jackson (President of Manchester NAACP) and Devon Chaffee (Executive Director for ACLU of New Hampshire).

Missouri (St. Louis) - More than 30 people attended press conference at the Missouri History Museum that is featuring an ongoing exhibit on civil rights. Speakers included NAACP St. Louis County Chapter leader and local radio personality Kenny Murdock, State Reps. Joe Adams and Stacey Newman, League of Women Voters of Metro St. Louis President Louise Wilkerson and past president Linda McDaniel, Sierra Club of Missouri Executive Director John Hickey, Philip Randolph Institute St. Louis Chapter Chair Keith Robinson, SEIU Local 1 Political Chair Eugene Hubbard, Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice Social Action Chair Trish Gunby, West County Community Action Network leader Jake Lyonsfield, and Advancement Project Senior Attorney and Co-Program Director for Power and Democracy Denise Lieberman.

Kansas/Missouri (Kansas City) - Over 60 people with half a dozen speakers including Nicole Girard from Indivisible Phoenix, Rivko Knox with League of Women Voters AZ, and Sandy Bahr Chapter Director for Sierra Club Grand Canyon.

Kansas (Wichita) - Press conference with the League of Women Voters and organized by Jane Byrnes at Public Citizen.

Arizona - With over 60 people in attendance at the Arizona State Capitol, Law Humorist Sean Carter, Nicole Girard from Indivisible, Rivko Konx from the League of Women Voters, Sandy Bahr from the Sierra Club, and others spoke -- Thank you Common Cause, SEIU, Sierra Club, Arizona Advocacy Network, Indivisible, Our Revolution, and League of Women Voters.

Next Steps: Democracy Pledge & Reforms

We cannot leave democracy to elected officials alone. We the People have the power to improve and protect the lives of working class families, our communities, our environment, and our nation 365 days a year. It’s time to stand up and take collective action for a democracy that works for all. We must act and demand reforms that blunt the influence of corporations who flood our political system with money and wealthy special interest that try to shrink our voting power.

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

Add Your Story: Why We Fight for Democracy!

We asked partners to share the stories of activism as we launch Democracy 365, the DI's new overarching campaign to mobilize members and win 20 reforms by 2020. Check DI's website and social media channels for new quotes from partner leaders and members. As you know, humanizing the fight is the most effective tool we have and in this moment. So let’s show the strength of our intersectionality!

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

(Click to Tweet)

Mobilizing & Collaboration

Bi-Monthly Mobilizing Meeting

JON THE NEXT MEETING:

September 20th at 3pm EST / 12pm PST

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

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


Stay Connected with DI Partners

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


Want to share a victory or call to action in the fight for democracy? Email us for a chance to spread the word 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 08.31.17

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Monday, August 28th marked the 54th anniversary of the March on Washington.  The Democracy Initiative (DI) is deeply disappointed with the current Administration's continued support and advancement of hate, discrimination, and economic inequality that benefits corporations and large campaign donors. This administration rolls back climate and worker protections at a time when “kitchen table” policies are in need of being addressed for millions of hardworking families and in the face of yet another natural disaster at a time when the administration rolls back climate protections. Read the full DI press release here.

The Democracy Initiative expresses our support for our partners and activists in Texas. To find out ways to help, visit this source shared from DI partner, Greenpeace.

Let's show our Unity and Strength on September 12, 2017: Mobilize Members at the sham commission

It's time to stand together and show who the real frauds are: the members of the Pence-Kobach "Election Integrity" commission. The commission is filled with all-star champions for blocking everyday people from participating in democracy. They want to shrink your power and open the floodgates to corporations and monied interests that oppose economic equality and prioritize pollution profits over the health of communities and families

We cannot leave democracy in the hands of elected officials and big monied interests alone. Our ability to move the issues that matter most in our communities - climate justice, public education, criminal justice reform, and healthcare -- is at stake in this political landscape.

Join the day of action on September 12, 2017 to mobilize millions of people to stand up and demand a democracy that works for all. The Democracy Initiative, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and many state and national organizations are planning actions to lift up the stories of the millions of Americans whose basic right to participate in democracy is in jeopardy. The coalition is planning multiple grassroots actions and online mobilizations.  Please access the Democracy Initiative’s Pence-Kobach Mobilization Packet to support the mobilizations in the states.

Let us know your capacity to plan actions! Our next meeting will be Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 from 3-4pm ET. Please contact Getachew Kassa, 202-394-2388 with questions.


Our Partner’s Membership is at Risk of Being Purged

Kris Kobach and other commissioners want to use the flawed Interstate Crosscheck, which could purge millions of eligible voters, targets minorities based on insufficient data, and is threat to our democracy.  Mobilize your members to tell the commission #DontMessWithOurVote. Submit written testimony directly to the commission through the Common Cause action page, or use the language drafted to create your own!  Contact Jack Mumby at Common Cause (jmumby@commoncause.org) with questions.

 

 


The Power of Our Stories #DontMessWithOurVote      

When we stand together, we can hold our leaders accountable. It is time to make sure we preserve the protections for our health, our neighbors, and the environment.

 

SHARE A STORY -  Thank you to the DI partners, SEIU, Friends of the Earth, National Action Network, and Clean Water Action for sharing stories. We want to continue to gather stories and identify activists who are speaking out. Mobilize your members to share a short quote on why voting matters to them and connecting the dots to core issues such as the environment, criminal justice, and healthcare. Email Michelle Whittaker, mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, with a story.

Interested in learning more about the flawed commission? The Democracy Initiative can provide a special 1:1 presentation with your organization to better understand how the commission impacts your members and how to message them on the urgent need for action. Sign up here.

Voting Victories!

Illinois Automatic Voter Registration Victory

Illinois officially joined with 1/5 of the nation to update and modernize their voting rolls through Automatic Voter Registration (AVR).  AVR became law in Illinois thanks to the work of grassroots organizations, DI Partners and Allies, including Common Cause IL and the Just Democracy Coalition in IL.

AVR will provide Illinois with a possible increase of 2 million new registered voters.

Now that more eligible voters have a voice, citizens of Illinois can hold leaders accountable who do not fight for a higher minimum wage


Congratulations to Allies on Texas Victories: Voter ID is Discriminatory & Redistricting Ruled Unconstitutional

Congratulations to the DI Allies in Texas for your grassroots activism and for calling out injustice. Now more eligible voters in Texas will be able to hold their leaders accountable.

U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos struck down Texas’ S.B. 5 law, a voter ID law.  Ramos rules that legislators that proposed the law acted with discriminatory intent and that federal supervision of Texas voting laws may be necessary.


Another win for Texas voters last Thursday when the 3-judge panel in the Texas redistricting case ruled that the 2013 State House plan was unconstitutional. The redistricting was found to intentionally dilute minority voting strength and racially gerrymandered districts.  

Mobilizing & Collaboration

Bi-Monthly Mobilizing Meeting

NEXT MEETING:

September 6th at 3pm EST / 12pm 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.


Protect Our Communities #DefendDACA

August 15th marked the 5th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Over the past 5 years, 800,000 young people have been protected through the program. The Trump Administration is suggesting it will revoke DACA and the protections it provides to these 800,000 young people.  DI Partner, CASA, is mobilizing people to #DefendDACA.

Mobilize your members to #DefendDACA with these actions:


Labor Day: Stand Up For Strong Unions

SEIU is leading a day of action(s) this Labor Day with working people to stand up for the ability to join together in unions to fight for a better future. We know that wages aren’t keeping pace with what it costs to pay the bills, get an education and save for retirement.

Fast-food workers will kick off the day and be joined by working people from healthcare, higher education, airports and other service industries, as well as those leading the fights against racism and to protect immigrants, the environment and healthcare.
Check out the action packet here!
Mobilize your members to:
  1. Tweet, share graphics, and share messages of support over social media
  2. Record a video message of support for workers joining together to form union

 


Stay Connected with DI Partners

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


Want to share a victory or call to action in the fight for democracy? Email us for a chance to spread the word 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 08.24.17

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Our ability to move the issues that matter most in our communities - climate justice, public education, criminal justice reform, and healthcare -- is at stake.

Yesterday, more than 30 state and national organizations met to plan actions and lift up the stories of the millions of Americans whose basic right to participate in democracy is in jeopardy. With the Pence/Kobach Commission on voting announcing their next meeting (September 12 in New Hampshire), the coalition is planning multiple grassroots actions and online mobilizations.

Let us know your capacity to plan actions! Our next meeting will be Wednesday, September 6th from 3-4pm ET.

Pence/Kobach is a Threat to Our democracy

Mobilize Your Members to Stand Up for Democracy

We know democracy works best when everyone can participate. When we all have a voice, we can improve & protect our families, our communities, our environment, the working class, and our nation.

That’s why our coalitions demands a healthy, more representative democracy. Today, the foundation of our democracy – the right to participate – is under attack. The sham Pence/Kobach commission on election integrity is an attempt to shrink the power of everyday voters.

The Commission's next meeting will be September 12th and we need you to mobilize your members to stand up for democracy and call out the Pence/Kobach commission for what it is – a tool to limit the power of the people. Please sign-up to indicate how your organization can be part of coordinated actions.


Your Members Could Be Purged

Kris Kobach and other commissioners want to use the flawed Interstate Crosscheck, which could purge millions of eligible voters, targets minorities based on insufficient data, and is threat to our democracy.  Interested in learning more about the flawed commission?  Fill out the interest form below and staff at the Democracy Initiative will be glad to do a 1:1 presentation to your organization.

 


The Power of Our Stories #DontMessWithOurVote      

It is time to make sure we preserve the protections for our health, our neighbors, and the environment.

SHARE A STORY -  Thank you to the DI partners, SEIU, Friends of the Earth, National Action Network, and Clean Water Action for sharing stories. We want to continue to gather stories and identify activists who are speaking out. Mobilize your members to share a short quote on why voting matters to them and connecting the dots to core issues such as the environment, criminal justice, and healthcare. Email Michelle Whittaker, mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org, with a story.

Illinois Action: Pressure Gov. Rauner for #AVRinIL

The people of Illinois said YES to updating and modernizing their voter rolls.

Automatic Voter Registration passed unanimously in both the Illinois House and Senate in May, and Governor Rauner is expected to sign the bill into law! AVR would give Illinois a possible increase of 1.13 million new registered voters

Mobilize your members to thank Gov. Rauner for making elections in Illinois more secure and accessible and #SigntheBill for #AVRinIL.

 

Mobilizing & Collaboration

Bi-Monthly Mobilizing Meeting

NEXT MEETING:

September 6th at 3pm EST / 12pm 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.


Dump Dourson & No Fossil Fuel Money Webinar  

We need to hold our leaders accountable on environmental issues.  Join the Democracy Initiative on Wednesday, August 30th from 3:00-3:30pm ET for a webinar on two environmental campaigns that need YOUR members' support.

Center for Environmental Health is mobilizing people to oppose the appointment Michael Dourson to the EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.  Dourson does not represent the interest of the American people and we can pressure the EPA to deny the nomination. Read their one pager here.

Dirty fossil fuel money is corrupting our political system.  Learn about the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge to commit candidates running for office to prioritize people and democracy over fossil fuel profits. The webinar will review the process for your organization to endorse the pledge. Together we can blunt the influence of fossil fuel money and plan for a climate-safe future!

RSVP


Commit to the Powerball, Commit to Public Financing

Public Financing is in demand in Montgomery County. With Public Financing as a option, candidates in Montgomery County have begun to re-imagine election fundraising and are focusing on constitutions relationships. n Montgomery County, "nearly two dozen candidates for the council have declared their interest in qualifying for matching public funds"'. Read the Washington Post article here. Public financing works.  

 


Stand Up for Strong Unions

SEIU is leading a day of action(s) this Labor Day with working people to stand up for the ability to join together in unions to fight for a better future. We know that wages aren’t keeping pace with what it costs to pay the bills, get an education and save for retirement.

Fast-food workers will kick off the day and be joined by working people from healthcare, higher education, airports and other service industries, as well as those leading the fights against racism and to protect immigrants, the environment and healthcare.
There will be a social media toolkit to share in the next week!
Mobilize your members to:
  1. Tweet, share graphics, and share messages of support over social media
  2. Record a video message of support for workers joining together to form a union

 


Stay Connected with DI Partners

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


Want to share a victory or call to action in the fight for democracy? Email us for a chance to spread the word for the next Weekly Update!

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