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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 08.01.18

Wednesday, August 1, 2018
 

DOn't Mess with our vote: DI Launches petition

 

Today the Democracy Initiative's "Don't Mess With Our Vote" petition has gone live! You can see it, and sign, below. Please join us in pushing back on attacks on our voting rights by distributing this petition to your lists and on social media, either nationally, locally, or in priority states. We will be providing sample tweets and Facebook posts, talking points, a one pager on the organizing value of this petition, graphics, and a sample email to your membership in the coming days. Since zip code information is collected as part of the signature, we will be able to deliver the signatures to state officials signed just by their state residents.

Please contact Getachew at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org for more information and to join the campaign. We will be updating this page on our website as new materials are produced.

Monday, August 6th is the 53rd anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act. A great way to celebrate this landmark piece of Civil Rights Legislation is to sign and share this petition!

 

Dear Governors, Secretaries of State, and Election Officials

Everyday people are uniting to stand up to take collective action to build grassroots power and make sure democracy works for all. Election administrators should be on the front lines of our democracy, ensuring that eligible Americans can cast ballots that are counted. As the November 2018 elections approach and you carry out your duties, we write to urge you to protect the voting rights of every American and to spur maximum voter participation. In the United States, everyone should feel confident they can cast their vote and have it counted, no matter who they are or where they live.

Our country succeeds when government responds to the will of the people. Purging voter rolls of eligible voters, or making it harder to vote for anyone who is eligible, flies in the face of this country’s democratic principles. Election systems and security are threatened by a serious, chronic lack of public investment and the threat of interference. As a result, many of us and our families risk losing, or have already lost, the right to have our say. This is unacceptable and un-American.

Our organizing coalition, the Democracy Initiative, is composed of 69 national organizations representing 40 million people. We are advocates for workers, people with disabilities, and the environment; for civil, religious, LGBTQ, and women’s rights; and for democracy reforms. Each of us joined this coalition knowing the resolutions to our individual priorities and issues require a collective effort to improve the infrastructure of our democratic institutions.

Our alliance is powerful. We are black, white, and brown; urban and rural; working class, comfortable, and struggling to get by. We stand ready to act to see our shared principles upheld—in every state, from every candidate for office, in every ballot initiative and every law.

We know that some reforms will need to go through the legislative process to become policy, but there are some actions you can take immediately to increase turnout, improve access, increase confidence and help lead to greater representation in the November midterm elections.

 

 

Today, in this historic moment we must show politicians and elected officials our collective power. Together we are putting them on notice; that we will not allow the coordinated attacks on our voting rights to continue. We oppose efforts to cheat the system and suppress our votes, such as limit voting registration, the purging of millions of eligible voters, and the inadequate response to election security. These attacks disproportionately silence the voices of black, brown, working-class, and under-served communities. This will not be tolerated.

We demand that in time for the November, 2018 election, Governors, State Secretaries and Election Officials must:
 
• Prevent purging voter rolls of eligible voters,
 
• Ensure each polling location is properly prepared for election system failures by having a contingency plan in place that is accessible to all, including back up paper ballots and printed poll books,
 
• Provide an increase in polling places and ensure polling place hours truly serve our communities by extending weekend and evening hours,
 
• Educate poll workers on the voting rights of those on the “inactive voter list,”
 
• Give up to date and thorough training on new laws to poll workers, and,
 
• Hire adequate staff for the administration of the election in polling places.
 
By 2020 we expect and demand:
 
• A 21st Century voting system in which all eligible voters are registered and every vote is counted,
 
• An end to voter suppression laws such as requiring voter id that many people lack,
 
• A voting process that is both efficient and accessible through reforms like same day registration automatic voter registration, accessible and widespread early voting locations, and state wide vote by mail options, and fewer restrictions on absentee ballot eligibility, and
 
• Significant investment in election infrastructure security to reduce the possibility of digital election interference.
 
As officials entrusted with ensuring the quality of full, free, and fair elections, we expect you to be committed to expanding voter turnout, and the reforms outlined above will help accomplish this goal. It is within our collective power to make voting accessible, and to reverse the low turnout trends of the past several election cycles. It is for all our best interests to ensure every eligible voter—60% of whom are from historically disenfranchised communities: women, young people, and people of color—shows up to vote for our future representatives and initiatives. Your proactive policies and planning can pave the way for such a positive change.
 

We are ready, organized, and growing in numbers. We are powered by our commitment to the democratic process—not the interests of the wealthy few. We look to you to share in and act on this commitment, and, if you don’t, you’ll hear from us.  

 

We will be collecting signatures on this petition until September 31st. In October the signatures will be delivered to your Governors, Secretaries of State, and State Election Officials. Click the image above to read the full language of the petition and to see how you can help.

Democracy News

CONGRATULATIONS TO BALTIMORE FAIR ELECTIONS AND ALLIES ON THEIR HARD WORK ON SMALL-DONOR CAMPAIGN FINANCING!

On Monday, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh signed off on a charter amendment proposal establishing a Fair Elections Fund; the initiative will now appear on the November ballot for Baltimore residents. The fund would initiate a program for small-dollar donations for eligible candidates to be matched by the city. The measure aims to increase the accountability of elected officials to voters and not wealthy interests. The people of Baltimore have demanded for their voices to be heard, and the initiative is a crucial step toward getting outside money out of our communities and politics.  

Read more here.  

 

NAACP SUES CONNECTICUT over Prison Gerrymandering, which undermines one person, one vote

DI partner NAACP has sued the state of Connecticut last Thursday over the state's practice of prison gerrymandering, which attributes prison populations' district of residence to the location of the prison rather than their own residence. The NAACP argues that this practice violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. More importantly, the practice often secures funding and electoral weight for the typically white rural districts in which prisons are housed at the expense of poor communities of color.
The NAACP has released a statement about the suit, which can be found here.  

Cheri Quickmire, President of Common Cause CT said the following.

"We welcome this lawsuit by the NAACP against prison gerrymandering in Connecticut. Common Cause in Connecticut is committed to fighting for the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment of U.S. constitution – the principle of one person, one vote. Prison gerrymandering inflates the votes of people who live near prisons and causes the under-representation of those who live in the districts that the incarcerated come from -the districts where they will return."

VOTERS NOT POLITICIANS' ANTI-GERRYMANDERING INITIATIVE GOES TO THE BALLOT-giving voters a say in fair representation!

On Tuesday night, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 vote for the Michigan Independent Redistricting Commission Initiative to appear on the November ballot. The initiative allows for the creation of an independent commission of citizens to draw the state district lines, which will redraw heavily gerrymandered districts previously drawn by Republicans in 2011. The Voters Not Politicians initiative passed through the court despite efforts from moneyed interests such as the astro-turf group Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution, a group with ties to the wealthy Koch network and the American Legislative Exchange Council. Read more about the decision here.

Executive Director of Voters Not Politicians Katie Fahey said of the decision,

"Our state Constitution begins with, 'All political power is inherent in the people.' The court's decision upholds our right as citizens to petition our government for positive change."
 

Dark Money, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The fair representation of all communities, not just those with money, is key to the democratic process. Our voices need to be heard as loudly as those of wealthy and corporate interests, to create better lives for all. The film takes viewers to Montana — a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide — to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Through this gripping story, Dark Money uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold. The movie premieres in Baltimore today, and in Michigan on August 30th. Find your local screening and more info here.

 

 

 

MObilization & Collaboration

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

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

2018 Expanded Mobilizing Meetings

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

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

DI Communications Working Group-- Next Meeting Thursday, August 16th at 1pm.

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

Stay Connected with DI Partners

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

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

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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 07.27.18

Friday, July 27, 2018
 

Take ACtion

USE YOUR VOICE: DEMAND A FAIR CENSUS IN 2020- DEADLINE APPROACHING

We need a fair, accurate Census in 2020- ACT NOW.

Our friends over at Common Cause need YOUR help to stop the Trump administration from adding an untested and unnecessary question on citizenship status to the 2020 Census.

Experts warn that this will cause countless Americans -- whether they’re citizens or not -- to refuse to fill out the Census survey. That means the Census data we use to draw legislative districts, make spending decisions, and more won’t accurately reflect our communities.

That’d play right into the Trump Administration’s hands -- skewing our government against communities with high non-citizen populations until 2030. Our Constitution requires the Census to count every person who lives here -- and getting that count right is hugely important for all of our futures.

The Census Bureau is accepting public comments on this dangerous, untested proposal -- can you submit yours today BEFORE August 4th to STOP the citizenship question?

Use your voice and submit your comment here.

SIGN ON LETTER: Tell the EPA to use sound practices in upcoming chemical safety assessment
In June, the EPA released its draft plan for how it will assess the safety of 10 chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The plan excludes analysis of legacy chemicals, and chemical exposures through air, water, and waste disposal -- the primary routes of exposure for most people. The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) developed an organizational sign-on letter calling on new Acting Administrator Wheeler to include legacy exposure of chemicals and aggregate exposures from air, soil, and water in its assessment, and to use the National Toxics Programs protocols for systematic review. Deadline for sign-on is July 30th.

TAKE A STAND AGAINST BIGCORPORATIONS WITH CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY!

Each August the civic organization Corporate Accountability launches its Corporate Hall of Shame - highlighting 10 corporations (ex. Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, etc.) and inviting people to submit votes to decide which organization is the most dishonorable. After the vote is held, Corporate Accountability partners with organizations and take action to reform these unrepresentative corporations. If you are interested in participating in this year’s Corporate Hall of Shame or Corporate Accountability, please reach out to Taylor Leake (tleake@corporateaccountability.org)  

Dark Money, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana — a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide — to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Through this gripping story, Dark Money uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold. The movie premieres in Baltimore today, and in Michigan on August 30th. Find your local screening and more info here.

FIX DEMOCRACY NOW WEEK!  

Every Voice and allies will hold a “Fix Democracy Now” week of action from July 29 to August 4, in partnership with candidates across the country, to rally support for reducing the influence of big donors, upholding access to the ballot, and drawing fair district lines. Candidates running at every level of elected office are encouraged to campaign that week for a democracy that works for all of us and to #FixDemocracyNow. For more information including toolkits for organizations and candidates with social media guidance, sample email blasts, and more, check out FixDemocracyNow.com or email Every Voice’s Communications Director Adam Smith at adam@everyvoice.org.

Partner NEWS AND UPDATES

BRENNAN CENTER REPORT

One of our partners, the Brennan Center for Justice, a key ally in voting rights, has written a powerful report. The study, published on July 20, focuses on the growing anti-democratic practice of voter purging and its grave threat to our democracy. Areas of our country that are not covered by section 5 of the Voting Rights Act are targeted significantly more for purging. There is no differentiation between those who have committed misdemeanors and those who have committed felonies, disenfranchising millions more. The report points out the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County v. Holder ruling as a significant cause of voter purging’s increasing prevalence, because the decision ended the practice of federal pre-clearance, a practice designed to evaluate potential curtailing of voting rights. The report further details the growing number of aggressive and often illegal purges, along with recommendations for the protection and expansion of our fundamental right to vote. The report can be found here.

 

Free Speech For People and United for a Fair Economy co-released a new report " Blackout in Puerto Rico: How 120 years of corporate dominance and political inequality stifles self-determination today ."

This report discusses 120 years of political inequality and corporate dominance in Puerto Rico, and also analyzes how the current system of money in politics affect s Puerto Rico’s financial crisis and hurricane recovery efforts. In discussing the impacts of money in politics today, this report acknowledges other systems of oppression — in this case, the creation and continuation of political inequality, white supremacy, and colonization — and discusses how money in politics is a tool used to perpetuate these already existing inequalities.

VICTORY! CT JOINS NATIONAL  POPULAR VOTE COMPACT

Connecticut was the most recent of 12 jurisdictions to pass the National Popular Vote compact, a massive victory for supporters of democracy around the United States. Connecticut was the first state to join the compact since the 2016 election. If passed by enough states, each jurisdiction would pledge all electoral votes to the candidate who receives the highest vote total. This success in Connecticut was driven by the organization National Popular Vote - a testament to the effectiveness of grassroots mobilization. For more information about the effort and how to get involved in your state, visit National Popular Vote here.

 
 
 
SACRAMENTO – California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced that a total of 792,851 voter registration transactions were completed through the Department of Motor Vehicles in the first two and half months since the launch of  California Motor Voter . This activity includes new voter registrations, as well as re-registrations and updated address transactions.
This total includes:
- 259,294 new voter registrations,
 
- 393,020 re-registrations,
 
- 120,016 updates to voter registration address, and
 
- 20,521 online voter registrations routed from DMV website and paper voter registration cards mailed to the Secretary of State’s office.

MObilization & Collaboration

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

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

2018 Expanded Mobilizing Meetings

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

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

DI Communications Working Group-- Tomorrow, July 26th at 1 p.m.

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

Stay Connected with DI Partners

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

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

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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 07.18.18

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
 

TAKE ACTION!

CONFRONT CORRUPTION AND DEMAND DEMOCRACY

Confront Corruption and Demand Democracy vigils are being held tonight nationwide, and are endorsed by several DI partner groups. The DC event is from 8pm - 9pm at Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House.

To find a vigil near you, go here.

 

TOMORROW: DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING IN DC

We already have nearly 40 participants, including interns from our partner organizations NAACP, Common Cause, Arab American Institute, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Public Citizen, and Every Voice, with more signing up all the time. RSVP now!

The Democracy Champions Training aims to provide interns with a larger perspective connecting the issues they care about and work on each day with overarching democracy issues. Interns will develop the skills they need to take their DC internship experiences home and create an impact there. With a focus on interpersonal communication, interns will learn how to reach out to people in their communities and get them involved and interested in the issues that matter.  

If you have interns who are interested in attending, please instruct them to RSVP here!

 

USE YOUR VOICE: DEMAND A FAIR CENSUS IN 2020

We need a fair, accurate Census in 2020.

Our friends over at Common Cause are asking for your help to stop the Trump administration from adding an untested and unnecessary question on citizenship status to the 2020 Census.

Experts warn that this will cause countless Americans -- whether they’re citizens or not -- to refuse to fill out the Census survey. That means the Census data we use to draw legislative districts, make spending decisions, and more won’t accurately reflect our communities.

That’d play right into the Trump Administration’s hands -- skewing our government against communities with high non-citizen populations until 2030. Our Constitution requires the Census to count every person who lives here -- and getting that count right is hugely important for all of our futures.

The Census Bureau is accepting public comments on this dangerous, untested proposal -- can you submit yours today BEFORE August 4th to STOP the citizenship question?

Use your voice and submit your comment here.

Support Transparency in Government, with The #CANCERCOVERUP Bill

The following is a message from our partner, the Center for Environmental Health:
Chemical and food manufacturers are up to no good. They just introduced a law in D.C. that would take away your right to know about dangerous chemicals in their products. This law would eliminate state requirements for labeling and disclosure. That’s right, the same labels that let you know if a product has chemicals known to cause cancer, hormone disruption, birth defects, and other serious issues would vanish if this law passes. That’s why we’re calling this the #CancerCoverup bill.

We need to make sure our political leaders hear from us! Click here to tell your representative that you have the right to know what's in the products you use!

Challenges to our Democracy

NC VOTER ID LAW PASSES

Discriminatory anti-Early voting law to take effect for Nov midterms

While the new measure may appear innocent, as it requires every early voting site to stay open 12 hours a day each weekday, its true impact is far more sinister. This change occurs after most counties set their election budgets, meaning these new regulations will force many counties to close their polling locations to avoid going over budget. Even more explicitly anti-democratic is the provision forbidding early voting places from opening the Saturday before elections. Unsurprisingly, a substantial number of minorities, especially black people, voted on this date in 2016. Read more here.

A WIN FOR DARK MONEY IS A LOSS FOR INFLUENCE OF ORDINARY AMERICANS

A midnight announcement from the Treasury Department on Monday indicated the IRS will only require certain tax-exempt groups to report their donors, which significantly does not include dark money groups that engage in political spending on issues and in campaigns. According to Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21, “The Treasury Department opened a massive loophole that will, as a practical matter, allow Russia, Russian oligarchs and other foreign interests to launder unlimited amounts of undisclosed, illegal contributions into federal elections.” The more secret money that the corporate and wealthy interests pour into elections, the less we know about who is influencing our elected officials, and the less power we have to win on our issues. Read more here.

STATES SLOW TO PREP FOR HACKING THREATS-WILL OUR VOTES COUNT?

Despite both Congress allocating $380 million to the states in electoral security funding for the 2018 midterms and the recent indictments from the Russia investigation into meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election, states have failed to provide a plan for use of their funds. While a few states are planning to install new voting machines, in general states have failed to correct their most pressing electoral security issues in the months before midterms. States must work quickly to protect voter databases, as they are one of the most vulnerable elements of our electoral system. Do not let our vote go unprotected this November!  Read more here.

Arab American Institute'S #YallaVote Hotline

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

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

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

MOBILIZATION & COLLABORATION

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

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

2018 Expanded Mobilizing Meetings

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

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

DI Communications Working Group-- Next month's meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 23rd at 1 p.m.

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

Stay Connected with DI Partners

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

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

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DI Statement re: Kavanaugh Nomination

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

 

For Immediate Release
July 10, 2018

Contact
Myke Bybee: (202) 567-6103
mbybee@democracyinitiative.org
 

Dear DI Partners and Friends, 

The nomination of Kavanaugh to SCOTUS continues bold attacks on healthcare, voting and civil rights, the right to choose, immigrants, and working people. Nov 6, is our day to flex our muscle and collectively push back on the attacks. Vote Nov. 6, and engage daily to win on the issues that matter most. #KavanaughSCOTUS

Several of the organizations represented on our Board have released their own statements on the nomination. Links and statements are below.

 

In Solidarity, 

The DI Team

 

https://www.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2018/07/sierra-club-statement-trump-s-nomination-brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court

https://www.naacp.org/latest/naacp-statement-nomination-brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court/  

https://aflcio.org/press/releases/judge-brett-kavanaugh-puts-rights-working-people-serious-risk

https://www.cwa-union.org/news/releases/cwa-opposes-nomination-of-judge-brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court

The People Want to Know Judge Kavanaugh's Views on Our Democracy

 

Sierra Club: 

Today, Donald Trump announced he plans to nominate Brett Kavanaugh to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s recently vacated seat on the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh is currently a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Kavanaugh was added to Trump’s short list of nominees by extremist right-wing organizations who selected candidates who will pave the way for attacks on the environment, dismantling worker protections, gutting Roe v. Wade, and criminalizing women’s health. 

While on the DC Circuit, Kavanaugh consistently sided with polluters over the best interest of the public and the agencies charged with protecting the public's health, welfare, and the environment. His decisions on the DC Circuit are far to the right. His track record includes attacks on the EPA, workers, women's health, and net neutrality. Judge Kavanaugh presents a great threat to the faithful application of our nation’s bedrock public health and environmental laws should he become a Justice on the Supreme Court. 

The Sierra Club will join others on the steps of the Supreme Court tonight at 9:30 p.m. to rally against Trump’s pick. 

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement: 

"The American people deserve a Supreme Court justice who is fair, even-handed, and thoughtful, who will act in the best interest of everyone who lives in the United States, not just corporate polluters, right-wing extremists, and the most wealthy. But instead, Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, an extreme ideologue who has time and again proven himself hostile to commonsense environmental safeguards, women’s rights, voting rights, and the rights of workers. Kavanaugh’s views puts the demands of polluters and big corporations before the rights of people, and he cannot be trusted to protect our communities, our air and water, or our climate. 

“This decision over the next Supreme Court justice is poised to shape the direction of our country. The American people deserve a justice who will put their interests first and not move the court far to the right. Kavanaugh is an extremist who will work only on behalf of the wealthy. We strongly urge Senators, who are elected to represent and protect the American people, to speak up for families across the nation and reject Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, full stop.” 

 

AFL-CIO: 

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States: 

Judge Kavanaugh has a dangerous track record of protecting the privileges of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of working people. Any Supreme Court nominee must be fair, independent and committed to protecting the rights, freedoms and legal safeguards of all Americans. Judge Kavanaugh does not meet this standard and must not be confirmed. 

Judge Kavanaugh routinely rules against working families, regularly rejects employees’ right to receive employer-provided health care, too often sides with employers in denying employees relief from discrimination in the workplace and promotes overturning well-established U.S. Supreme Court precedent. 

The current Supreme Court has shown that it will side with greedy corporations over working people whenever given the chance, and this nominee will only skew that further. Recent decisions by the court, often the result of 5-4 votes, have a dramatic impact on the lives of working families and reinforce the importance of the selection of a new justice. We simply cannot have another lifetime-appointed justice unleashed who, as Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her dissent in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, acts as a “black-robed ruler overriding citizens’ choices.” 

Working people expect the Supreme Court to be the fairest and most independent branch of government in America. Any senator who believes Supreme Court justices should protect the rights of all Americans should reject this nomination and demand a nominee who will protect the rights of working people and uphold our constitutional values of liberty, equality and justice for all. Across the country, working people are organizing and taking collective action as we haven’t seen in years, and we won’t stand for any politician who supports justices who put our rights at risk. 

 

NAACP: 

NAACP, the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: 

Today, our nation celebrates the 150th anniversary of ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment transformed our democracy by guaranteeing to all persons the right to equal protection under the law. 

150 years after its passage, our nation still struggles to realize the promise of equality under the Fourteenth Amendment. The next appointment to the Supreme Court is pivotal to that struggle. The rights of African Americans to fully participate in democracy and in every facet of social and economic life, on an equal basis, lie in the balance. The next Supreme Court justice will play an outsized role in determining whether African Americans move forward in our journey toward achieving full equality, whether we simply tread water for the next three decades, or whether we slide backward toward our former status as second-class citizens. 

This nomination occurs at a time unlike any other, and it should be considered by a Senate elected by the American people in November. We have a president whose statements and policies are rooted in racism. We have an administration reversing civil and human rights at every turn. We have one justice and dozens of judges appointed because of their proven hostility to civil rights. We have a criminal investigation into the presidency itself. We have radical outside groups pre-selecting nominees to the Court. Nothing about this nomination is ordinary, and nothing about this confirmation is ordinary. These are extraordinary times requiring extraordinary measures. 

Brett Kavanaugh is a dangerous ideologue whose extreme views on civil rights would solidify a far right majority on the Supreme Court. Coming after Neil Gorsuch’s appointment, a Kavanaugh confirmation would re-make the Court in President Trump’s own image. This prospect is unacceptable to the American people, and the NAACP is ready to lead the fight of a generation. 

The NAACP knows Judge Kavanaugh well. We opposed his confirmation to the D.C. Circuit for good reason.  In his 12 years on the bench, he has proven us correct. He has been a strong and consistent voice for the wealthy and the powerful. Over and over again, he has ruled against civil rights, workers’ rights, consumer rights, and women’s rights. 

With a Justice Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, we could see reversals of hard-won gains securing equal opportunity in education, employment and housing.  We could see further exclusion of communities of color from participation in our democracy.  We could see racism continue to flourish within the criminal justice system.  We could see the 

elimination of effective tools for proving discrimination.  We could see the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the guarantee to accessible health care for millions. 

The NAACP has understood the importance of fair-minded justices since 1930 when we helped defeat a Herbert Hoover nominee to the Supreme Court, John Parker. We will fight this Trump nomination with everything we’ve got. Our state conferences, branches and units are fully engaged to tell their Senators that our civil rights hang in the balance and that Kavanaugh must be defeated. 

To each and every Senator, we say: This is THE civil rights vote of your career. We will be watching closely. Make no mistake – we are in the fight of our lives, and we hope you are prepared for battle. 

 

CWA: 

CWA opposes the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and calls on members of the U.S. Senate to reject this nomination. 

Decisions of the Supreme Court can have a dramatic impact on working people's rights, freedoms and legal safeguards, as we saw in cases this past term like Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 and National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil.

Judge Kavanaugh routinely rules against workers and their families and regularly sides with employers against employees seeking justice in the workplace, including CWA members. Just last year, Kavanaugh issued a partial dissent in a case involving more than 300 NABET-CWA technicians at CNN who lost their jobs and the benefits of union representation in the wake of the company’s phony reorganization scheme to get rid of union workers. He concluded that the company was not liable for violations of the National Labor Relations Act and should not have to pay back wages. He has stood with AT&T to prevent CWA members in Connecticut who interact with customers or work in public from wearing union shirts protesting their treatment by the company. He has held that a waiver of a right to picket allowed Verizon to prevent workers from displaying pro-union signs in their cars. 

Judge Kavanaugh's unwillingness to protect workers even extends to life-and-death situations. In a case which involved the death of a Sea World trainer who was working with a killer whale, he dissented from the majority, holding that the Department of Labor lacks authority to regulate activities of participants in sports events or entertainment shows in order to protect their health and safety. 

Working people can’t afford to have Judge Kavanaugh making decisions that without doubt will adversely affect our families and our communities. We need and deserve a Supreme Court Justice who understands and respects the importance of the laws and protections for working people in this country, including the right to form unions, to be free from discrimination, to have a safe workplace, and to be paid for all hours worked. 

Based on his record, we can expect that Judge Kavanaugh will continue to protect the interests of already powerful corporate CEOs instead of working families. 

 

Common Cause:

Statement of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn

With President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and with so much at stake for future generations, the Senate must focus on core principles of democracy as it decides whether to give its consent to this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.   

As the third branch of our government, Americans expect the judiciary to uphold equal justice under law. The Constitution places the ultimate power in our democracy with the people who, through amendments, have written our voices generation after generation, into an ever-expanding vision of our democracy. American democracy has historically been a beacon of freedom to the world because we have steadily expanded who has a say in the future we create together, extending democracy’s freedom, liberty, and each individual’s pursuit of happiness to more people.

Americans’ trust in the Court, as with other civic institutions, has suffered as a five-justice majority empowered corporations to spend unlimited amounts of their funds to influence elections in Citizens United, gutted the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County, and just last month undermined the collective voices of working families when it overturned decades of well-settled labor law in Janus. These decisions collectively shift power away from the people toward wealthy special interests.

In this moment, the people need to know, and the Senate must press Judge Kavanaugh, on his values, approach to judging, and vision. Among many critical questions, senators should ask: 

  • Can Judge Kavanaugh reassure Americans that they can fairly sit in judgment of President Trump — a subject of ongoing criminal investigations —  and apply the rule that no person is above the law? 
  • Has Judge Kavanaugh pledged a loyalty oath to President Trump? 
  • What is Judge Kavanaugh’s definition of originalism, and does he identify as an “originalist”? 
  • What is Judge Kavanaugh’s view of political equality as a constitutional principle? 
  • What is Judge Kavanaugh’s view of the Supreme Court as a check and balance in our constitutional system? 
  • Did the Supreme Court comport appropriately with the doctrine of stare decisis in Citizens UnitedShelby County, and Janus
  • If confirmed, will Judge Kavanaugh comply with the Code of Conduct for United States Judges? 
  • What is Judge Kavanaugh’s view of the president’s decision to outsource judicial vetting to the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, and why did his name appear on the list of nominees? 

There is no facet of American society that is unaffected by the Supreme Court. Americans deserve to know how Judge Kavanaugh will uphold his obligation to deliver equal justice for all. Common Cause will research the nominee’s record on matters of democracy and press senators to do their job and elicit honest answers before voting to approve a lifetime seat.

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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 06.27.18

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
 

Supreme Court Rules against Working People, and Democracy

 

The Supreme Court decision in the case of Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 is not only anti-worker and anti-union; it is part of the coordinated national assault on our democracy. The corporate interests behind the Janus case are part of a dark money web that includes the Koch brothers and the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. These same wealthy interests are bankrolling anti-democracy efforts across the country. Their goal is to weaken the bargaining and political power of workers by limiting their ability to collect fees for the representation that they provide, and limiting the political power of ordinary Americans. Attacks on public sector workers disproportionately affect hard-working women and people of color, who provide some of the most important government services that we all rely on.

 

The right of workers to organize and bargain collectively leads to increased wages and benefits for all workers, whether or not they are union members. When wealthy interests take away workers’ rights to join together and take action, it increases economic inequality in this country, which is itself a threat to our democracy.  

Historically, the labor movement has been the backbone of progressive social movements that expand, protect, and diversify our democracy. By dividing workers and limiting their ability to wield political power, corporate and wealthy interests strengthen their grip on our democratic and economic systems, limit our ability to take collective action, and continue to hold our country hostage.

For all of these reasons, the Democracy Initiative condemns the Janus decision of the Supreme Court. We stand in solidarity with our labor partners. The labor and democracy movements have been assaulted before, and we always come back fighting. We will not allow decades of progress to be lost. No politically motivated judicial decision will stop the work of millions of people standing together for better lives for all Americans, or stop us from reaching our goal of a government of, by, and for the people.  

Statement from DI Executive Director Wendy Fields:

GET INVOLVED: SOLIDARITY ACTIONS

We are asking our friends to do three simple things to amplify our key message that workers are more resolved than ever to stick together and fight back against any attacks that attempt to divide us. That’s because America needs unions now more than ever to fix a democracy and economy rigged in favor of the wealthy and powerful.
 
1. Amplify our message on social media with a Norma Rae-themed action (see samples below).
2. Issue and share a statement that lifts up the value of unions to our communities, calls on our elected officials and candidates to do everything in their power to make it easier for working people to join together in unions and highlights how this attack on unions is an attack on all working people. (For guidance, please refer to the joint statement from AFSCME, AFT , NEA and SEIU ) and attached message materials).  
3. Continue to stand with us in the days and weeks ahead to help drive policy at all levels that make it easier for working people to join unions.
 
SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA
 
Twitter:
This case was an attack on unions and an attack on working people & the causes we fight for every day. We stand with our union brothers & sisters. No court case will stop our movement. #Union.
Show your solidarity with working people by tweeting your “union” photo with #Union. [ Click here for image ]
Unions sustain our families and make our communities stronger. Working people will stick together and organize to fight back against any attempt to divide and weaken us. #union
Unions are the best way to unrig our economy and democracy. We’re calling on our elected leaders and candidates to do everything in their power to make it easier for working people to join unions. #Union
 
Facebook:
#Unions are one of the most effective vehicles to move people into the middle class, especially for women and people of color. We must organize, hold our elected leaders accountable, and fight back against efforts to divide us and weaken the strength in numbers we need to sustain our families and make our communities stronger.
Today, the Supreme Court ruled on a well-funded case attacking workers’ power in unions. Let’s show that America needs unions now more than ever. Share this image or a photo of yourself with a “union” sign using #Union to show we’re sticking together. [ Click here for image ]
 
 

Spotlight on DI PRIORITY STATE CAMpaign: Missouri

One of our state campaigns, CleanMissouri, is hard at work getting money out of state politics! We’ve partnered with DI members Common Cause, Sierra Club Missouri, AFL-CIO Missouri, AFSCME, Demos, NAACP, and SEIU, along with other allies, to blunt the influence of moneyed interests on politicians. The Clean Missouri Initiative, on their website, lays out their goals:

1. Legislative records must be open to the public

2. Politicians must wait two years before becoming lobbyists

3. Banning any single lobbying gift more than $5

4. Lowering campaign contribution limits: $2,500 for state senate, and $2,000 for state house

a. Eliminating legislative fundraising on state property

5. Nonpartisan-drawn legislative district maps, reviewed by a citizen commission

a. Protecting the political power of minority communities against voter suppression

As of May, CleanMissouri volunteers turned in 347,000 signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, more than twice the number needed for a proposed amendment to appear on the statewide November 6 ballot, collected from all 114 counties and the city of St. Louis.

Report Back From Flint

On June 23rd, the DI successfully launched the first Democracy Champions training of 2018 in Flint, Michigan. Thank you to the organizations who turned out members for participants at the training; Flint Rising, the NAACP, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, Michigan Voices, Clean Water Action, the UAW, Promote the Vote, and Voters Not Politicians! And thank you to the the UAW for hosting us! We welcomed community leaders to speak on the issue most impacting the state and local communities.
 
At the conclusion of the training, Promote the Vote and Voters not Politicians, which are working to expand voting rights and create an independent citizens redistricting commission through ballot initiatives in Michigan, led participants through a mini-briefing of the campaigns. The group then went canvassing in support of the ballot initiatives.

Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission Initiative has gotten on the ballot.

On Wednesday, June 19, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers approved Voters Not Politicians’ initiative, the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission Initiative, for inclusion in the upcoming November 6 ballot in a 3-0 vote. The initiative would alter the state’s constitution to set up an independent redistricting commission in time for the next scheduled redistricting after the 2020 Census is released. Read more here.

(to the right: Nayyirah Shariff of Flint Rising)

 

Take ACTION To end family detention of migrants

On Friday, June 22, Dallas News reported that “One of the country’s largest operators of private immigration detention facilities has made significant contributions to several Texas members of Congress.” The largest recipient is Houston Republican Representative John Culberson, accepting $32,900 from GEO Group’s PAC. GEO operates many of the private detention centers used by ICE to house immigrant families since implementation of Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” policy. The ACLU has accused GEO of denying detainees food, water, and bathroom access.

The administration needs more room to hold all of the children they have separated from their parents, and are investigating the possibility of creating additional “tent cities” on military land. But according to a press release from DI partner the Sierra Club, the water at several of these potential build sites contains chemicals, effectively poisoning it. Evidence of the contamination was buried for six months by Pruitt’s EPA “for fear of a ‘public relations nightmare,’ according to the New Republic.” The exposure to these chemicals (PFAS) links to kidney/testicular cancer and thyroid disease. Children are particularly vulnerable, and even low levels of exposure can weaken their immune systems.

The depravity with which the Trump administration treats these people becomes more evident with each passing day as a slew of investigations bear fruit. Let us be clear: beyond the continued existence of xenophobia and racism in our country, the situation at the border is a direct consequence of our weakened democracy. So long as people are denied their constitutional rights to vote and govern free from wealthy, corrupt, bigoted politicians, the situation can only grow worse. A reflective, representative democracy is a matter of life and death.

Sign on to DI partner Sierra Club’s petition.

TOMORROW, JUNE 28th, the organizers of the Women's March are hosting a mass civil disobedience in DC to End Family Detention. We are participating and will share reports via social media. Sign up for more information and to join here.

Join the #FamiliesBelongTogether mobilization in Washington, D.C. on June 30th, or find one in your area. Thousands have already signed up to go to the White House on June 30th to tell Trump and Jeff Sessions to end their policies that break apart families. If you can't make it to DC, there will also be local events across the country. To learn more, click here.

 

Democracy initiative endorses recommendations to reform the Democratic Party

 

The Democracy Initiative is proud to communicate that we endorse an historic set of democratic reforms for the Democratic Party, recommended by the DNC Unity Reform Commission and supported by Chairman Perez, and Vice Chair Keith Ellison.

These proposed reforms and the internal debate about the Democratic Party rules are coming at an important moment as we face extraordinary challenges. Many of you are hearing clearly the demand for change from your rank and file members, the resistance movement, and activists from black, brown, and working class communities. In 2016, I was joined by many of our leaders in the DI and democracy movement, including Public Citizen,Our Revolution, and Every Voice, to name a few, to testify at the DNC platform committee to ensure that key democracy reforms on Voting Rights, Getting Money out of Politics, andRedistricting Reform must be a high priority on the platform and program.

Now we urge you to share information with your membership and engage in the debates currently happening. The full DNC will vote on the proposal from the Rules and Bylaws Committee, based on the Unity Reform Commission report, on August 25th in Chicago. We call on the members of the DNC to support transparency and increase the influence and power of the grassroots members.  We will share the exact language of the final proposal as soon as it is made public.

You can read the report of the Unity Reform Commission here: (copy and paste the link into a browser)

https://my.democrats.org/page/-/Unity%20Reform%20Commission%20Report%201...

 

Tomorrow: Democracy Behind Bars, COMMON CAUSE

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

Arab American Institute'S #YallaVote Hotline

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

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

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

MOBILIZATION & COLLABORATION

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

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

2018 Expanded Mobilizing Meetings

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

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

DI Communications Working Group-- This month's meeting RESCHEDULED for Thursday, July 9th at 1 p.m.

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

 

Stay Connected with DI Partners

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

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

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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 06.21.18

Thursday, June 21, 2018

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

Flint, Michigan: training & book launch

THREE DAYS AWAY IN FLINT, MI  

JUNE 23, 2018

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

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

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

Register for the training here.

 


 


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

 


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

Please RSVP here.
 

News and Action on the Border Crisis


WENDY FIELDS STATEMENT ON THE MIGRANT BORDER CRISIS

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

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

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

The NAACP on the Civil Rights Front Lines

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

EVENT: Democracy Behind Bars, COMMON CAUSE

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

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

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

The Koch attack on our democracy continues

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

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

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

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

GERRYMAndering Cases REmanded

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

TAKE action: BAltimore Fair election fund

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

VICtory in KANSAS! And kobach gets schooled!

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

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

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

Read more here.

Arab American Institute'S #YallaVote Hotline

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

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

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

Take action: support second chances florida

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


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

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

American Promise National Citizenship Leadership Conference

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

 

MOBILIZATION & COLLABORATION

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

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

2018 Expanded Mobilizing Meetings

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

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

DI Communications Working Group

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

Next Meeting: Thursday, June 28th

Stay Connected with DI Partners

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

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

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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 06.13.18

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

 

Arab American Institute'S #YallaVote Hotline

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

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

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

TAKE action: #Stophatestopfarr

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

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

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

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

Sign the petition to block his nomination here. #FarrOut

SCOTUS Fails Ohio Voters

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

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

Indiana Purging law blocked by courts

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

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

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

Pratt wrote in her 28-page ruling.

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

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

Take action: support second chances florida

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

Blumenthal v. Trump: Foreign Emoluments Clause Violation?

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

American Promise National Citizenship Leadership Conference

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

Democracy Mission Statement

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

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

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

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

 

DEMOCRACY CHAMPIONS TRAINING

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

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

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

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

Register for the training here.

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

MOBILIZATION & COLLABORATION

Get Engaged - See Latest Updates on the Campaigns Calendar

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

2018 Expanded Mobilizing Meetings

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

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

DI Communications Working Group

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

Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 27th

Stay Connected with DI Partners

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

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

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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 5.10.2017 - SPECIAL: Illinois Mobilization

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

We have a new format for the Weekly Update that organizes mobilizing opportunities by states that are part of our new Democracy365 umbrella campaign. Use this tool to help activate your network around key reforms that will build a more reflective and responsive democracy for all.

Welcome David & Elana!

Please take a moment to welcome new DI staff: David Sanchez and Elana Orbuch. David started on Monday as our Outreach and Engagement Coordinator. Elana has been working with us as an administrative temp but joins us full-time as the Program Assistant and Office Manager.

Illinois

Opportunities to Change Politics in Illinois!

Illinois is poised to become the 7th state to adopt automatic voter registration. We have 18 days to finalize the bill in the House before the General Assembly adjourns on May 31, 2017.

It's time for collective action, join us for a mobilization webinar on Wednesday, May 11 at 11amET. RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org.

(Click to Tweet)

We have a unique moment in Illinois to advance reforms that will blunt the influence of corporate money in politics and help more citizen get registered to vote. New public financing legislation will be introduced in Cook County and the Illinois Senate unanimously passed SB1933, moving the state one step closer to Automatic Voter Registration (AVR). SB1933 is a revamped AVR proposal that incorporates changes pushed by Rauner after he vetoed a similar bill in 2016.

ACTION: We need to mobilize members in specific districts to make sure AVR passes the House and is signed by Governor Rauner.

We are hosting a partners mobilizing call/webinar on Thursday, May 11 at 11am ET / 10am CT. RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org.


MARYLAND

Empower Everyday People with Political Power!

Howard County and Montgomery County are pivotal to the advancement of small donor matching programs in Maryland. Both counties have passed citizen-funded elections and now its time to make sure these programs are fully implemented!

ACTION #1: Fully fund the Fair Elections Program in Montgomery County (MD)

The GO committee will vote on funding for the program THIS WEEK, mobilize your network in to fight for full funding of the Fair Elections Program.

ACTION #2: Howard County Mobilization May 22 thru June 5

The Howard County Council will vote on the Citizens' Election Fund (CB30) on Monday, June 5. The Fair Elections Howard County coaltion is preparing for mobilizations from May 22 to June 5 to show councilmemebers how much the community supports this bill.


PENNSYLVANIA

March on Harrisburg to Expand Voter Power

If you are sick of politicians picking their voters, politicians voting with their donors and not you and systematic defacto disenfranchisement, then join the march (starting on May 13) and participate in lobby days in Harrisburg May 22-25.

Visit http://www.marchonharrisburg.org for more details and to sign-up as a sponsor. The all-volunteer team leading the march is looking for organizations that can help get the push out for the march and mobilize members to meet with their representatives in Harrisburg.

CONNECTICUT

Public Financing Under Attack

Legislators in Connecticut are threatening to cut funding to the state's public financing program that has been in existence for a decade. The DI will discuss mobilizing efforts for the state during our program call.

For more information, email David Danchez at dsanchez@democracyinitiative.org

PROGRAM CALL & WEBINAR REMINDER

Partner Mobilization for Illinois

We're gearing up for Democracy365 with upcoming webinars and discussions on how organizations can help mobilize members on key reforms. Join us on Thursday, May 11 at 11am ET / 10am CT.

RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org.

Program Call

Join us for our Bi-Weekly program call next Wednesday, May 17th at 3PM ET/12PM PT. We will provide an update from the field on the Automatic Voter Registration efforts in Illinois and other state campaigns. RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org.


Got Mobilize?

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.

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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 4.12.2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Did You Know?

Hawaii has the lowest voter turnout of all 50 states. In 2016, turnout was 43% for the state, compared to 60% nationwide. The state may soon join Oregon, Washington, and Colorado as a vote-by-mail state. These states all rank in the top 15 for voter turnout.

Montana Governor issued a special amendatory veto to use vote-by-mail for the state's special U.S. House election to replace Rep. Ryan Zinke.

ACTION ALERTS

Make Your Voice Heard on April 19!

Join the Rally & Hearing on Fair Elections in Howard County (MD)

We're just a week away from the hearing! Mark your calendar and remind your network to attend the rally and hearing. We need everyone to come out and encourage lawmakers to fully fund the Citizens’ Fair Election Fund.

Rally & Hearing
April 19 at 6:30pm
George Howard Building
3430 Court House Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Read our recap from the Women's event held on Friday with Ben Jealous.

Download and share the flyer for the event.


Be a Democracy Defender at the People's Climate March!


(Click to Tweet)

The Democracy Initiative has set a goal for 100 democracy folks to march together as Democracy Defenders in the People's Climate March on Saturday April 29. Can you join us and show a strong presence in the climate march? Join everyday Americans marching for climate, jobs, and justice.

Here are three ways to take action:


Workers' Memorial Day:
Mourn the Dead. Fight for the Living

The current administration is rolling back regulations and policies that protect workers. Stand up for workers; rights on Friday, April 28th. Show your solidarity with workers by organizing a rally or meeting with your elected officials to call for stronger safety and health protections.

Contact David LeGrande, CWA Occupational Safety and Health Director at legrande@cwa-union.org  for assistance in planning an event and to report on events.


Join the March for Accountability! April 15

The president is accountable to the American people, and he must answer to us! There are local marches happening across the country to put pressure on the president to release his taxes. Ongoing questions regarding ties to foreign entities and his ability to profit from the presidency make his returns a vital interest for the nation.
Learn more at http://taxmarch.org/


Fight Voter Suppression in New Hampshire

Join the battle against bill SB3. You can help fight voter suppression by by doing virtual phone banking to alert New Hampshire voters. Phonebanks take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4:30-7:30 pm but your organization can initiate at another time.

Contact Zach Jonas (zjonas@americavotes.org) at 617.750.9224  for more information.


Join the Small Donor Matching Lobby Day - April 20

After passing a small-donor matching program in Portland, supporters are taking the effort to the state level. Contact Kate Titus (Ktitus@commoncause.org) for more information.


Let's Empower Voters in Nevada!

Two bills to empower voters are working there way through Nevada’s state legislature. AB272 and SB94 will expand early voting and increase voting accessibility. These bills face a potential veto from the Governor who already vetoed Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) last month.  We need to put pressure on the Governor there and are developing a strategy. Contact Jonah Zern (jzern@citizen.org) if you have folks on the ground.

 

PROGRAM CALL REMINDER

Join us for our Bi-Weekly program call next Wednesday, April 19th at 1PM ET/10AM PT. RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org for call details.

UPCOMING EVENTS


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

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Democracy Initiative Weekly Update 3.28.2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

(Click to Tweet)

Women's History Month Fact: In the 220-year history of the U.S. Supreme Court, only four women justices have served.

VICTORIES

Congratulations to Partners in Mississippi and California for Advancing Democracy Reforms

Mississippi Passes Bill to Prevent Politicians from Using Campaign Funds for Personal Use

Mississippi State House

A new ethics reform bill passed on March 23rd is headed to the governor for signature. The bill limits how campaign funds can be spent by politicians and elected officials to only campaign-related expenses and activities related to their office, according to the Daily Journal. Along with limiting how funds are used, it prevents retired politicians from transferring funds into a personal accounts.

Sacramento City Council Passes Measure to Increase Transparency and Accountability

The Sacramento City County has created a new ethics commissions to oversee the newly passed ethics code and sunshine ordinance. The commission has the power to investigate complaints and issue fines. The new ethics code requires city officials to use city email address for city business and public recording keeping.


Automatic Voter Registration Headed to the 2018 Ballot in Nevada

Voters in Nevada will have the chance to join six states plus D.C. in allowing eligible voters to be automatically registered through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed the initiative petition legislation last week moving it to the 2018 ballot.

PROGRAM CALL REMINDER

Join us for our Bi-Weekly program call next Wednesday, April 5th at 3PM ET/12PM PT. RSVP to eorbuch@democracyinitiative.org.

Agenda will include actions on Howard County (MD) and DC.

ACTION ALERTS

Mobilize Your Members to Protect Our Environment & Ensure Democracy for All!

The People's Climate March is Saturday April 29. Millions will mobilize in resistance against Trump’s agenda and for our climate, our jobs, and our justice. The "country-wide arc of action" led by The People's Climate Movement will have marches in DC, Miami, San Diego, and many more cities.

Sign up and share the link to join the march here!  

Mobilize your members with sample social media.


We Need Your Voice & Action in Howard County - April 19!

Every voter should have an equal voice! Howard County lawmakers are finalizing the Citizens’ Fair Election Fund and we need members to attend the hearing on April 19.

Democracy Initiative partners successfully worked together to pass the county charter amendment to create a citizens’ funded election program (53%-47%) last November.

Mobilize Your Members in Howard County!

  • View list of upcoming County Council hearings.
  • Share social media content.
  • Encourage members to write letters to the editor to local papers.

Join D.C. Fair Elections Campaign Kickoff on April 1

D.C. residents have the chance to hold their elected officials accountable and blunt the influence of special interests.

You're invited to the coalition’s big campaign kickoff event is this coming Saturday, April 1 from 10:30-12:30 at Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M St. NW, Washington DC  (Closest Metro stops are McPherson/Farragut North).

Please share details with your local DC Membership.


Tell the Senate: Gorsuch is Wrong for the Supreme Court

We heard powerful testimony from Democracy Initiative partners last week about why Judge Neil Gorsuch is wrong for the Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Judge Gorsuch's nomination on Monday, April 3.

Here is some of the testimony, please share with your members and network:

"Our concern regarding Judge Gorsuch's nomination is grave and simple: Working people cannot be assured a fair shake from a Justice Gorsuch."
Jody Calemine, CWA General Counsel

"What’s at stake today is the very shape and structure of our democracy: the way we make decisions about everything from who gets health care to whether a family with a full time worker will live in poverty; and whose voices are heard in that process.”
Heather C. McGhee, President, Demos

"The right to vote is too important and we must understand whether Judge Gorsuch is committed to interpreting and preserving what remains of the Voting Rights Act."
Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

"Judge Gorsuch has expressed a consistent willingness to close the courthouse doors to citizens and the public while holding them wide open for corporate and industrial interests.”
Pat Gallagher, Sierra Club, Environmental Law Program Director

Relevant hashtags: #StopGorsuch #WeObject #DonorsOrVoters


Protect Voting Rights in New Hampshire

 

Join the march on April 1 to protect voting rights in New Hampshire.There are several bills being considered by the legislature that would undercut same day registration and discourage voter participation in a state that had 72.5% voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election.

NH March for Voting Rights from Concord High School to the State House, Saturday, April 1st 1-3pm. Activist training will be held following the rally.

UPCOMING EVENTS

 


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

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