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Join the Democracy Initiative

What is the DI Coalition?

The Democracy Initiative Coalition brings together advocacy organizations from civil rights, environmental justice, civil liberties, worker rights, gender justice, poverty reform, and faith communities. We believe the voice of every citizen should be heard and counted, so all of us have an equal say in a democracy that is of, by, and for the people.

Frustrated that many policies supported by the overwhelming number of Americans were continually stalled at the state and federal levels, leaders came together in 2013 to launch the Democracy Initiative (DI). Since then, the DI has grown its coalition to 75 national organizations working to harness their collective power to strengthen democracy and ensure that the voice of every citizen is heard and counted. Our partner organizations pursue a diverse range of progressive goals, but we know that success in any of these areas depends on strengthening and reforming our democracy.

Our staff and coalition partners are seasoned activists, public policy experts, and organizers with backgrounds that span a wide range of state, regional, and national organizations. In staying current with evolving challenges and opportunities in the democracy building movement, we work together to identify where and when new strategies and resources are needed to protect voters and advance democracy, and more importantly, the ability to implement these strategies.

Why Join the DI Coalition?

With 75 partner organizations representing 45 million members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the coalition’s strength lies in its broad geographic and demographic reach. DI staff provide training, toolkits, and technical support in strategy and policy reform efforts centered in a race, class, and gender equity analysis to help coalition partners inform and mobilize their members and allies. We connect partners to one another to share resources, experiences, and opportunities to strengthen campaigns and demonstrate unity across movements.

It is important to note that we recognize the damage done by past practices of white-led movements in speaking for and directing campaigns designed to empower disadvantaged communities that do not empower the community to speak for itself. We believe the people closest to the pain are most often closest to the solution. That is why DI and its coalition partners strive to align our objectives and partner with Black-and Brown-led frontline organizations, identifying capacity gaps and providing support for these advocates to determine strategies and practices that are more effective and authentic in their state-based campaigns. By empowering groups representative of and run by the community, we can create a national movement from the ground up.

Our coalition partners are comprised of organizations and groups which are:

  1. Engaged in democracy building and voting rights as their primary issues areas
  2. Engaged in a progressive issue area, but also has dedicated programming and staff to further democracy building and voter rights to advance their primary issue area goals
  3. Engaged in a progressive issue area, does not have dedicated programming or staff to further democracy building and voter rights, but is interested in participating in opportunities

Ensuring our democracy is inclusive and representative of the people will take large scale collective action. Every organization engaged in is an asset and our collective power is our strength. The DI strives to use the power of our intersectionality to mobilize grassroots members to influence and win on local, state, and national reforms while holding political leaders accountable in governing.

We recognized that our member groups who fight every day on social and economic justice issues can be the “game changers” in building a powerful reform movement and a just society. So, while democracy may not be your organization’s first priority, our coalition recognizes that we cannot win on our issues or represent our constituencies at the highest level if the rules do not work for everyone. A healthy, functioning, and fair democracy is a precondition for advancing all our other issues.

How Can My Group Learn More about Joining the DI Coalition?

If your group believes that success towards realizing its goals can be better advanced by participating in local, state, or national democracy building and voting rights efforts, please complete this form and one of our staff members will contact you. Learn more about our campaigns, trainings, and capacity building opportunities to help your organization identify ways to engage in the fight and have your voices be heard. Thank you for your interest!

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