CSD Newsletter – February 29, 2012

Welcome to the latest edition of the Campaign for Stronger Democracy’s e-newsletter — a clearinghouse for news about the democracy reform community. The Campaign is a new coalition that is working to increase collaboration among democracy advocates.

The headlines below will be archived at the Campaign for Stronger Democracy’s web site.
You can also get news and updates through our Facebook page or on Twitter. Please forward this on to other colleagues and encourage them to sign up to receive future newsletters.


From the Blog

  • The people-powered push for ballot access: We take a look at some of the on-the-ground work being done by state organizations to push back against laws that restrict voting. In particular, we look at the routes that citizens in Minnesota and South Dakota are taking to reclaim the right to vote.
  • Building a regional reform agenda in the Midwest: Campaign staff attended the winter meeting for one of our organizing committee members, Midwest Democracy Network. On the blog, we explore some of the biggest takeaways from the two-day meeting in Chicago.

Four Things You Must Read

  • Upgrading Voter Registration (Pew Center on the States): The Pew Center on the States has released a new report highlighting the shortcomings of current voter registration systems in the United States, and offers some ideas for new methods to help solve these inefficiencies. The report notes that one-in-eight voter registrations are no longer valid, and over one quarter of eligible voters are not registered. The report also says that no widespread fraud or suppression are occurring at the moment. The Brennan Center for Justice also released a response to the report echoing the need for modernized voting systems.
  • Do-It-Yourself Deportation (New York Times): An op-ed by Antonio Alarcón, a high school student from New York, traces the story of his family back from when they moved to the United States from Mexico. His parents have had to move back to Mexico because of harsh policies for undocumented immigrants. Recent discussions of, and state laws encouraging “self-deportation” have taken their toll on immigrant families across the country, including Antonio’s. Antonio also spoke to Univision, and that interview can be found here.
  • Kettering Review 2011 (Kettering Foundation): The Kettering Foundation has released its latest journal of ideas and activities dedicated to “improving the quality of public life in American democracy.” In particular, the piece by Professor Wendy Brown, “We Are All Democrats Now” takes a look at democratic (small-“d”) evolution in the 21st century, and ties it back to historic thinkers and philosophies. The whole report is available for free on Kettering’s website.
  • Sunshine Week Idea Bank (Sunshine Week): This March 11-17 is Sunshine Week, a time to promote dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Sunshine Week has put together a list of ways to “celebrate,” so take a look and see what you and your organization can do to promote open government.

Upcoming Events


Democracy 2.0

Electoral Reform and Voting Rights

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 Engagement and Civic Education

Please pass this on to your colleagues and encourage them to sign up for our regular newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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