Democracy Initiative Announces New Director of Communications and Digital Media

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

 The Democracy Initiative is pleased to announce that Michelle Whittaker will join the DI team as Director of Communications/Digital Media. We are fortunate to have been able to hire Michelle who is an experienced communications professional who has dedicated her career to building public awareness around issues affecting social justice and democracy.

    Most recently Michelle was Director of Communications at Fair Vote, The Center for Voting and Democracy, where she worked on projects such as the grassroots campaign in Maine to gain statewide election reform. Prior to her work at Fair Vote, Michelle was lead campaign strategist with the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society. 

     Michelle is a highly skilled graphic designer as well as an expert in both digital and traditional media strategies.  

     “We are thrilled to have Michelle join the team at DI.  She brings a wealth of knowledge on the issues we fight for “said Executive Director Wendy Fields. “She will work closely with the DI’s member organizations to develop and implement communications strategies to mobilize people in campaigns to strengthen and protect our democracy.”

Democracy Initiative Hosts Tele-Town Hall on SCOTUS Nominee Neil Gorsuch

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Monday, February 6th, the DI hosted a Tele-Town on SCOTUS Nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. DI Executive Director Wendy Fields was joined by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard. 

Annie Leonard detailed the strength of the resistance in the first few weeks of President Trump's Administration in reaction to a number of his executive orders and his nominees.

Thanks to the resistance, the administration and GOP led congress have:

  • Halted the plan to gut the Congressional Ethics Office
  • Exempted 500,000 green-card holders from the Muslim Ban
  • and cancelled the selling of public lands 

Senator Jeff Merkley explained the importance of resisting Gorsuch's nomination due to his opposition to LGBTQ individuals being able to pursue discrimination in courts, his role in pushing forward the Hobby Lobby case (which gave business strong influence over their female employee's reproductive healthcare access), and so much more. 

Listen to the full call here: 



Miles Rapoport Appointed as Senior Fellow at Harvard Ash Center

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The DI extends its warmest congratulations to Miles Rapoport on his appointment as Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School at Harvard. Rapoport has been a longtime organizer and democracy defender who served as the president of Demos for 13 years before moving on to Common Cause. He also is a former secretary of the state and state legislator in Connecticut, and founded or led several citizen organizations working on political reform, consumer protection, racial equality, and economic justice issues. Rapoport will create a strong link between field work and scholarship to improve our democracy. We look forward to his work!



Democracy Initiative Board Members on Why We Must #StopSessions

Democracy Initiative Board Members Cornell William Brooks (President & CEO, NAACP) & Annie Leonard (Executive Director, Greenpeace) speak out after the Women's March on why the Senate must reject Jeff Sessions.
Monday, January 23, 2017

Urge your senators to reject Sessions! Watch and share the video!


NAACP President Brooks Leads Sit-in in Iowa

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Less than two weeks after the sit-in organized in Mobile, Alabama, the NAACP followed up with another sit-in protest in Iowa. NAACP President Cornell William Brooks and members of the NAACP, Iowa AFL-CIO, and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) came to the office of Senator Chuck Grassley, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committe, to protest the possible confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.

"[W]hen you look at this nominee from voting rights to the protection of LGBTQ rights to the civil rights policing sentencing, he is bad pick at a particularly bad time," President Brooks said in an interview with a local outlet of USA Today, the Des Moines Register. "It is the ultimate irony that we are going to have to break the law in order to ensure that we have an attorney general who will enforce the law ... most assuredly, the Voting Rights Act." By the end of the day, two protesters had been arrested and cited for failure to disperse. Click here to see tweets and videos of the event, posted by the Iowa CCI Action Fund. 


NAACP President Brooks Arrested Protesting Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions

Friday, January 6, 2017

The NAACP took the fight against Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions to his office on Tuesday, January 3rd with an act of civil disobedience leading to his arrest. NAACP President and CEO and Democracy Initiative Board Member Cornell William Brooks led the occupation of Sessions’ Mobile, Alabama office saying he and five other NAACP members would leave either under arrest or after Sessions had withdrawn his name for consideration.

Jeff Sessions, whose district court nomination was rejected in the ‘80s due to racist remarks, praised the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and has worked against immigration, women’s equality, and money-in-politics reform.The protest ended Tuesday evening with the arrests of President Brooks and five other members of the NAACP, but the fight continues as confirmation hearings begin on January 10th.


Our Revolution Joins as a Partner Organization

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Democracy Initiative is pleased to welcome Our Revolution as our newest partner organization. A major player in several progressive causes across the nation, Our Revolution is a group dedicated to reclaiming democracy for America’s working people.

Most recently, Our Revolution was an asset in the DI’s Fair Elections Howard County campaign in Maryland and helped to raise more than $38,000. We are excited to see a continuation of their grassroots efforts and look forward to this partnership as they join the fight as an endorsing organization.

Join us in welcoming Our Revolution into the Democracy Initiative network and learn more about the work that they do on their website.

Join the Democracy Initiative as the Communications/ Digital Media Director

Wednesday, November 16, 2016



Job Description for Communications/Digital Media Director

The Democracy Initiative (DI) is a dynamic network of organizations working toward a vibrant future in which all Americans participate fully and freely in the democratic process. We believe that the voice of every voter should be heard and counted, and that the influence of corporate money in our democracy should be reduced so all of us have an equal say in a democracy that is of, by, and for the people. The Democracy Initiative Education Fund (DIEF) is a national, nonpartisan, research and education organization committed to building a vibrant democracy. DIEF’s core activities center on research related to democratic engagement and public education on important issues to preserve and improve our democracy.


The Democracy Initiative is a coalition of 58 progressive organizations whose mission is to mobilize to get money out of politics and to expand voting rights.


The role of the Communications/Digital Media Director is to work closely with the Communications Directors of our member organizations to develop and execute a national outreach program to mobilize the public to engage in democracy campaigns.  This position reports directly to the Executive Director.


This is a full-time senior level position for an individual experienced in utilizing social/digital media in a grassroots multi-organizational campaign context.


The individual will develop strategies to engage members in online actions, for driving traffic to DI sites, for obtaining and expanding lists, and for outreach to diverse and underserved populations.  The candidate should also be experienced with data analysis and with tools for list expansion and access to new potential activists for potential participants in social justice mobilizations.  Knowledge of traditional media outreach is also helpful, but creative and aggressive digital media skills are a priority.


In addition to these media skills, the candidate should have a demonstrated

commitment to progressive grassroots issues, including experience working with a

political or issue campaigns.


Democracy Initiative’s approach to communications is grounded in movement building. We see communications as a tool to mobilize at the grassroots level and influence the national debate. Our role is to help shift the national discourse and equip organizations with the tools necessary to engage in the national debate around democracy.



Required qualifications:


  • The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 6 years of experience working in communications in a campaign environment.

  • Experienced and highly skilled in developing campaign message and enforcing message discipline in fast-paced campaigns.

  • Proven experience in developing social and new media campaign strategies and programs.

  • Press and media-relations skills with demonstrated ability to gain a broad audience for campaign messages.

  • Proven ability to execute leaflets, brochures, direct mail pieces, video scripts and other materials.

  • Knowledge of advanced graphic design software, video production and printing techniques.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • A proven track record of project management particularly in coalition or network centric organizations.  



The Democracy Initiative offers a competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage.


The Democracy Initiative is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, height, or marital status in employment.


Please send a cover letter and resume to

Join the Democracy Initiative as the Grassroots Campaign Coordinator!

Monday, November 7, 2016

JOB DESCRIPTION: Grassroots Campaign Coordinator for Democracy Initiative

Democracy Initiative, a coalition of 59 progressive organizations including environmental, civil rights, and workers’ rights groups, seeks a Campaign Coordinator to direct local or state-based campaigns for ballot initiatives and legislative priorities that address fundamental democratic principles such as voting rights and money in politics. The Campaign Coordinator will collaborate and support issue-based coalitions that are organizing within communities to win important victories that expand democratic rights.

The Campaign Coordinator will lead a collaborative process in developing the field strategy and coordinate and execute all of the functions within the campaign(s). This will include working with Coalition member groups and partners to engage their members and to align the democracy programs within the coalition partners with that of the DI.

The Campaign Coordinator must have 8-10 years of experience running large scale field campaigns at both the state and national level and organizing mass mobilization efforts. The Campaign Coordinator should reflect the values of progressive social change and have worked within progressive organizations or labor unions to effect social change through mobilization, message and materials development, one-on-one recruitment, training, and public speaking. The candidate should have an understanding of how to develop a strategic campaign plan that incorporates a timeline, research, benchmarks, escalation of tactics, and effective communications. The ability to work with diverse coalition partners and public officials is essential. Excellent organizational and communications skills are required.


  • 8-10 years of grassroots strategic campaign or electoral campaign experience at both the state and national level.
  • Knowledge of and relationships within the democracy or labor community
  • Experience with movement and coalition building with an openness to popular education.
  • Creative, flexible and a problem solver.
  • Independent focused and self-motivated with the willingness to work long
  • hours including nights and weekends with the ability to travel.
  • Experience working and coordinating with digital and social media strategies.
  • Experience supervising staff and holding them accountable to metrics.
  • Strong communication and administrative skills
  • Reflect the values of progressive social change principles.
  • Strong communication and facilitation skills.
  • Bi-lingual a plus.

Salary & Benefits: Commensurate to experience. Please provide your salary range.

The preferred work location is Washington DC Metro area.

The Democracy Initiative offers a competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage.

The Democracy Initiative is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, height, weight, or marital status in employment.

Please send a cover letter and resume to