DI Annual Meeting November 28, 2018!

Events and Information

Democracy Initiative 2018 Annual Meeting

 November 28 | 1:00-5:30PM
Whittemore House
 1526 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

* * *

Power Comes from the Ground Up: Mobilizing for Big Fights

Democracy Initiative 7th Annual Meeting Agenda

November 28, 2018

Welcome and overview

Seizing the moment to build a bold national movement

Bill Samuel, Director of Government Affairs, AFL-CIO

Sustaining and building the movement at the grassroots

An authentic, pragmatic conversation about how we can build power and win on the ground. A panel of diverse young grassroots leaders from recent or ongoing campaigns will highlight gaps in the field, challenges of race, class and gender, and offer their insights into practices to strengthen and sustain large-scale, grassroots-led mobilization in the states.


  • Joanne Antoine: Manager, State Outreach & Engagement, Common Cause
  • Haley Arata: Field Organizer, Arab American Institute
  • Brandon Jessup: Deputy Campaign Director, Michigan Promote the Vote
  • Nse Ufot: Executive Director, The New Georgia Project


  • Yadira Sanchez: Development Director, Mi Familia Vota
  • Sheila Isong: National Political Director, Civic Engagement, NAACP
  • Liz Havstad: Executive Director Hip Hop Caucus
Executive director report: Which side are they on? Linking our fights, taking on the 1%

Wendy Fields, Executive Director of the Democracy Initiative – Campaign proposal for 2019-2020

Chris Shelton, President, Communications Workers of America

Larry Cohen, Chair, Our Revolution

Mykel Bybee, Campaign Director, the Democracy Initiative

Strategy session breakouts 

Breakout sessions will go deep into the opportunities to advance our democracy package at the state level. Drawing on earlier discussions and the 2019-2020 campaign proposal, participants will be asked to identify opportunities and think strategically about how the DI network can engage to realize them.

  • Principals meeting – In what ways can we deepen our commitment? How do we each do a little bit more? What moves our members to take action on the ground, and what can we do to support them?
  • Legislation – Where are the opportunities, both legislative and administrative, to advance our democracy package in 2019? What do we need to do to seize them?
  • Corporate campaigns – How can we expand the arrows in our quiver to include tactics honed in corporate campaigns? Where are the opportunities, and what do we need to do to seize them?
  • Narrative/messaging – How can we talk more powerfully about what we do at the local level, in a way that builds the collective power of the DI?
Report outs and next steps
Reception and presentation of 2018 Democracy Champions awards to follow the meeting


Arab American Institute

Promote the Vote & Voters Not Politicians

Defeating MO Right to Work – The Labor Movement

Special Guest Speaker

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., Hip Hop Caucus