2016 Program Strategy

2016 Program Plan Outline



I.    2016 DI State Campaigns 

DI concrete action and value added of focused work in up to six states:

Immediate actionMaryland and Illinois are being immediately prioritized for larger investment and activity. 

  • Support efforts to advance reform legislation that can win over the next two years. DI will focus on enhancing capacity and increasing grassroots mobilization so that the demands for reform are strengthened and broadened, putting additional pressure to act on key stakeholders and elected officials.

Longer term:  Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, & Missouri

  • Work with and enhance the strength and coordination of state-based groups on emerging reform plans, primarily focusing on longer term engagement to build power and a stronger coalition.

DI will work to increase democracy movement investment in the targeted states, to see that lessons are shared among states, to develop leadership, and to promote funder interest in each state.

Concrete example of state work: 

Maryland - The effort will be achieved by the imminent hiring of a DI organizer (housed at a strong local affiliate, Common Cause Maryland) to enhance the work of a broad set of organizations on democracy issues in the state.  This initiative will focus on strengthening collaboration among these groups, building the capacity of the DI and other groups to work on democracy issues, and recruiting additional organizations to become active in advocating for democracy issues.  This will involve working primarily with DI groups with members, locals, or chapters in Maryland, but also will involve outreach to local and state groups. The organizer will be the point person for identifying opportunities to engage DI groups.

Rapid Response Capacity:  While our prime interest in advancing money in politics reform will be in the targeted states (e.g. Maryland and Illinois), we will work with the money in politics community to identify states and municipalities where there are ripe opportunities to win money in politics victories in 2016.  We will assess the value added we will bring to any campaign to carefully invest in those initiatives where our value added will be significant.

II.   Fighting Forward State Voting Rights Initiative 

DI concrete action and value added:

  • Collaborate to advance model voting rights legislation in a targeted set of states, intending to be a catalyst for changing the national narrative on voting rights to one that advocates for an inclusive election system.
  • Work to introduce legislation in a targeted set of states and mount strong media and organizing campaigns around the need for modernizing and expanding voting, with the goal of winning victories in three to five states over the next two years.
  • Develop a branded campaign and support the development of a national narrative that will unite and amplify individual policy wins.

III. DI National Strategy

DI’s national strategy includes efforts to integrate democracy into the work of issue based organizations. 

  • Broadly sharing DI’s public opinion research to develop a framework for an umbrella democracy message designed to both inform the democracy agenda work and enable DI organizations and constituencies to more effectively employ democracy messaging.
  • Support DI organizations in using this polling and messaging material most effectively to reach and mobilize their members to become active in the organization’s work on these issues – a potentially significant breakthrough.
  • Systematically engage DI organizations in democracy work by providing non-branded shareables – from one-page descriptions of different aspects of reform to social media around campaigns, developing curricula for trainings and engaging groups in a dialogue about democracy activities.
  • DI will engage organizations formally through calls and briefings and informally through issue-based caucuses.

IV.  Spring Mobilization 

DI concrete action and value added:

Spring Mobilizations (SPM) and DI’s participation provide a number of concrete actions:

  • Provides an exciting vehicle for many thousands of people – including many new to democracy work — to be mobilized around a clear program to take action and be part of building a robust democracy movement across the country.
  • As such, SPM will confront directly the number one challenge of building a powerful democracy movement – the public’s cynicism that anything can be done about corporations’ seeming stranglehold on governmental decisions deeply affecting people’s lives.
  • Train and educate thousands of participants in the national mobilization and in state trainings around the country and, with the trainings being heavily focused on the need to build local action plans and campaigns, it will strengthen state and local work, particularly in targeted states.
  • Likewise the trainings and mobilizations will create effective ways for many disparate organizations and constituencies to work together on an ongoing basis – building a more robust and diverse democracy movement.

Value –added that DI provides for the success of the SPM:

  • Is playing a lead role in developing unity and coherence among the different groups moving plans for the SPM, including the NAACP, Public Citizen, PFAW, etc.
  • Will work closely with DI members to swell the numbers who participate and then plug participants into state and local campaigns.
  • Will provide the connections and networks to bring together diverse leaders active in the SPM in a targeted set of states.
  • Will play an active role in helping shape the curricula for the trainings and implement the extensive set of trainings.