CSD Newsletter – July 3, 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

  • July 10 Democracy Exchange with Meira Levinson, author of No Citizen Left Behind: On July 10, we welcome Meira Levinson, Harvard professor and author of the new book No Citizen Left Behind. Levinson argues that the status quo is fundamentally anti-democratic, and that schools can play a role in addressing the democracy deficit by confronting the dynamics of race and racism head-on. Her new book is a candid and challenging “must-read” for those of you interested in pedagogy and civic education. RSVP for the call on our website!
  • Prison-based gerrymandering and released felons’ voting rights: The Supreme Court this week affirmed the decision of a lower court to uphold Maryland’s statute prohibiting prison-based gerrymandering. On our blog we look at the impact of this decision on representation, as well as what Iowa has been doing the last couple of years to prohibit ex-felons from voting.
  • The historical connection to modern voter suppression: A few new pieces on the historical connection to modern voter suppression came across the web this month, including a piece from Harvard professor Alexander Keyssar and the launch of a blog documenting voter suppression from Colorlines and the Nation. Additionally, Demos provides policy recommendations to ensure ballot access for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Five Things You Must Read

  • The Roberts Court is Born (Adam Winkler on SCOTUSblog): Adam Winkler, constitutional law professor at UCLA writes about how Chief Justice John Roberts has shaped the Court, especially with his opinion in the Affordable Care Act case. Winkler also dives a little bit into what this means for the future of a Court which will likely encounter challenges to parts of the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action in the next year.
  • Private Prisons Profit From Immigration Crackdown, Federal and Local Law Enforcement Partnerships (Huffington Post): The Huffington Post examines the connection between the private prison industry, increased lobbying by prison corporations, and a stronger federal immigration crackdown. The report finds that the number of beds in private prisons over the last 10 years has increased along with money spent on lobbying as well as immigration detention line items from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • After Chorus of Protest, New Tune on Deportations (New York Times): The New York Times analyzes President Obama’s decision to grant deferred action to certain undocumented young people instead of placing them in deportation proceedings. The Times says that the policy shift occurred in no small part due to protests, activism and organizing done by student organizations led by undocumented youth.
  • The Necessity of Civic Education (The Atlantic): Randall T. Shepard, former Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court and current Justice at Stake board member has some ideas for how the legal profession can play a bigger role in civic education and have a more central role in public education about law and government. These ideas include having cameras in the courtroom, and working directly with school classrooms.
  • Voter Suppression Will Disenfranchise Troops. Now the Pentagon Must Tell Us How Many (Jon Soltz of VoteVets.org in Huffington Post): Jon Soltz of VoteVets.org writes that as states have imposed new restrictions and hurdles to voting, particularly to absentee and early voting, many veterans are affected. Soltz and VoteVets.org are calling on Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to review these state proposals and see if they are in violation of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

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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