After ten years of building a multi-issue democracy coalition and expanding the movement’s capacity to take on important issues, the Democracy Initiative and Democracy Initiative Education Fund will be closing their doors effective November 15.
We close our operations having achieved many of our goals. When the Democracy Initiative / Education Fund first began, few in the democracy community were embracing the bold reforms advanced by our coalition. Today, they are well-respected positions that resonate with the majority of American voters.
Our coalition has much to be proud of, including:
- Launching the movement for Filibuster reform – the DI/EF shaped the debate around the ‘Jim Crow filibuster’ and made it a household word. A foundational tenet of the DI/EF, to re-balance the power between small states and the will of the people has momentum. We are confident that this change will happen.
- Limiting the influence of Big Money in Politics – the DI/EF coalition mobilized to help eliminate dark money, encourage candidates to reject PAC donations, and pass legislation on small donor financing of elections.
- Making Vote By Mail Essential – even before COVID-19 made voting a public health crisis, the DI/EF recognized it as an essential tool to allow working people, disabled voters, and communities of color to participate in our election process. Working together, we helped to ensure that Americans could vote safely in the 2020 elections, and we countered the mis- and disinformation attacks on the post office to build trust in the mail system itself.
- Helping to shape HR1 – many elements of the For The People Act incubated in the DI/EF coalition to become part of the historic bill that was passed in the House in 2021.
When we first began, the DI/EF was a unique place where partners could come together to advance our shared work on democracy. Today, there are many groups dedicated to this effort and well positioned to continue this legacy.
We are deeply grateful to the DI/EF staff who have made this organization’s work possible over the years. The small but mighty team has harnessed the collective power of 75 national organizations, from disparate issue areas, to protect and expand our democracy.
We thank our coalition partners for all of their hard work and dedication to building a stronger and more inclusive democracy.
Last week, we saw democracy in action as voters across the country made their voices heard about the future of our country. I’m encouraged that our partners and supporters will continue the work to ensure American elections always remain free, fair, and accessible.
With deep thanks and much respect,
Executive Director, Democracy Initiative / Education Fund
Boards of Directors for the Democracy Initiative and Democracy Initiative Education Fund