Home > Campaign for Stronger Democracy, Newsletters > Campaign Newsletter – November 1, 2012

Campaign Newsletter – November 1, 2012

November 1, 2012

Hello everyone, and welcome to the Campaign for Stronger Democracy’s latest newsletter.

We make it a point here at the Campaign to emphasize that there’s more to democracy than just elections. Yes, voting is important, but it’s not the only thing.

However, it’s hard to talk about democracy in Fall of an even numbered year without talking about the huge role that elections play in our democracy. Voting is a baseline form of participation that has been under attack this year, thanks to voting restriction legislation, and voter suppression efforts.

But it’s not just the act of voting that comes into play in our discussions of elections and democracy. We also have to consider the flow of campaign cash, undue influence that comes from being able to spend seemingly unlimited amounts of money, and a news media that neglects to give the public the full story.

All that said, VOTE! Encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same, regardless of their views about the candidates or politics generally. Government may not represent us well all the time or even most of the time, but voting is one expression of your voice and view, and staying home won’t help.

Our work doesn’t stop with the election, but that’s when a lot of different aspects of our democracy come together.

Please remember to vote on Tuesday, November 6, and early vote if you can.

For those with questions, here are some good election resources:

Many of you endured the devastation of hurricane Sandy this past week. Our thoughts and best wishes are with you, as you move toward recovery.

The entire newsletter from this month is below the fold.

Onward and upward, and stay safe, all of you,

Peter
Executive Director
phardie@strongerdemocracy.org

Posts to Read and Discuss on our Blog

  • Are Debates Good for Democracy? and Post Debate Thoughts: Peter Hardie, the Campaign’s Executive Director has some thoughts on whether presidential debates in their current form are good for democracy, and how we can change them to make sure the important issues get discussed thoroughly and truthfully.
  • Redistricting and Partisanship: How will the most recent round of redistricting impact the Congressional elections next week? New reports from the Brennan Center and FairVote give some insight into exactly how much more partisan some districts have become.
  • Advancing Justice Conference: Day 1 and Day 2: Last month, Campaign communications coordinator Brandon Lee attended the Advancing Justice Conference hosted by the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. Here are his recaps and thoughts from the conference.

Five Things You Must Read

  • The Voter-Fraud Myth (The New Yorker): Jane Mayer writes in the New Yorker about the history of the myth of “voter fraud,” and how it has led to the series of voting restriction laws over the past two years.
  • True the Vote’s True Agenda (The American Prospect): The American Prospect takes a closer look at the history of True the Vote, the voter suppression group set to deploy a million poll monitors on election day, particularly to Black and Latino neighborhoods to challenge voters they do not believe are eligible.
  • How Diversity Trumped Equity – And May Kill Affirmative Action (Colorlines): Colorlines looks at the arguments before the Supreme Court earlier this month in Fisher v. University of Texas. Colorlines notes that universities have used the argument that affirmative action is in place to promote diversity at their institutions, when a more convincing argument would be that affirmative action remedies past inequities – however, Colorlines notes that in order for that argument, universities would have to admit to past discrimination.
  • New Poll: Americans Oppose Corporate Political Spending, Overwhelmingly Support Strong Transparency and Accountability Rules (Demos & Corporate Reform Coalition): A new poll released by the Corporate Reform Coalition shows that over 80 percent of Americans feel that secret campaign spending is bad for democracy, and nearly 90 percent believe that there is too much corporate money in politics. Poll results also found that overwhelming majorities within both major political parties (as well as independents) believe that big money makes politicians corrupt, and drowns out the voices of “average Americans.”
  • Bringing Citizen Voices to the Table: Carolyn Lukensmeyer, a long time friend of the Campaign, has written a new book, Bringing Citizen Voices to the Table: A Guide for Public Managers. The book offers seven field-tested strategies to help maximize citizen engagement as they implement the President’s Open Government Directive. Read a sample chapter and order the book here. Read more from Carolyn in her blog post at Nonprofit Community – The Case for Citizen Engagement.
Upcoming Events

HEADLINES

Civic Education

Democracy 2.0

Electoral Reform and Voting Rights

Government Reform and Civility

Judicial Reform

Lobbying, Ethics and Campaign Finance Reform

Media Reform and Internet Access

National, Community and Public Service

Participation, Collaboration, and Civic Engagement

Racial Justice, Civil Rights and Immigrant Civic Inclusion

State and Local Democracy

Transparency and Openness

Youth Empowerment

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