Home > Campaign for Stronger Democracy > Check out our February newsletter

Check out our February newsletter

February 6, 2013

news_logoIn case you missed it, our latest newsletter went out earlier this week and we’ve reposted in full below the break. If you like what you see, please consider subscribing on the righthand side. Thank you all for reading!


Dear friends,

We’ve had an exciting month. The President was sworn in for a second time (or a fourth, if you count official and unofficial), Congress is back to work, and we’re having multiple ongoing nationwide conversations on several hot-button issues.

It has been an exciting time for the Campaign as well. We’re moving along, having just wrapped up a great Democracy Exchange with Carolyn Lukensmeyer and Matt Leighninger on civil discourse. We’ve also got another great Exchange planned, this one our first full-on webinar with Amy Ngai of Sunlight Foundation. Read more about that one here (and below).

Stay tuned for more from us as we prep for the year ahead. Thanks to you all for reading — this month’s headlines and articles from around the democracy field continue below. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or ideas.

Executive Director

Posts to Read and Discuss on our Blog

  • Stream and download our Democracy Exchange on Civil Discourse: We had a great Democracy Exchange this past month, discussing civil discourse with Carolyn Lukensmeyer and Matt Leighninger. Stream and download our conversation over on the blog, where they discuss how different methods can apply to the issues we face today, and how discourse plays a significant role in strengthening our democracy.
  • An invitation to do something: Peter Hardie reacts to President Obama’s inauguration speech, and says that his speech, as all inaugurals tend to do, was an invitation for those with passion to do something. Speeches don’t make action happen – people do.
  • Include everyone in conversation on immigration reform: Oftentimes we realize (perhaps too late in the game) that we don’t include all voices that need to be heard in our civic discussions. This is a call to ensure that all voices are heard on immigration, particularly those of non-citizens, people who are undocumented, and those who have been left out of the immigration bill framework.
  • Open debate, stronger democracy: Jon Carson, recently of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, responded to petitions about states seceding from the country by saying that an open and heated debate is good for our democracy, but that as much as we welcome debate, we don’t allow our differences to tear us apart.

Five Things You Must Read

  • What Democracy Lost in 2012 (The American Prospect): The Prospect looks at some of the headlines from 2012. Even though progressives hailed the election results as an indicator of democracy, the influx of money in politics, Super PACs, and attempts at voter suppression showed that democracy lost on November 6, as well.
  • 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Highlights (Points of Light): Our friends at Points of Light co-hosted a major national service weekend before Martin Luther King, Jr. day and the inauguration. Check out their recap, including their service event in DC which included Vice President Joe Biden.
  • Can We Trust Obama? (Tania Unzueta Carrasco of the Immigrant Youth Justice League on CNN.com): Tania Unzueta Carrasco, a Chicago-based activist who is also an undocumented immigrant, asks whether immigrants can and should trust President Obama on the issue because of his administration’s record setting deportation numbers and continued raids on undocumented workers.
  • The Case for Voter Registration Modernization (Brennan Center for Justice): Brennan Center outlines the some of the core reasons to modernize the voter registration process, saying that the current, antiquated voter registration system is the greatest barrier to free, fair and accessible elections.
  • The House GOP Can’t Be Beat: It’s Worse Than Gerrymandering (Rob Richie of FairVote in Salon): Rob Richie and Devin McCarthy take a look at the structural ways in which one political party has worked the system to its advantage. Redistricting is one way to explain some Republicans’ extreme tendencies in the last Congress, but independent commissions will not solve the country’s redistricting problems.

Upcoming Events


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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