CSD Newsletter – September 30, 2011

Welcome to the seventh 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 intersection of money and redistricting: ProPublica recently released a report on the impact of money on the redistricting process and how outside groups have been posing as “independent” to influence district drawing. We take a look at that report, and also point to some of the alternatives for redistricting — state success stories in Florida and California, while also looking at other possibilities for reform.
  • Welcoming immigrants to a friendlier and more civil America: A shift is on the way in immigration discussions — the Center for American Progress has released a new report that talks about how “receiving communities” can be more accomodating to new immigrants. Additionally, we take a look at the current state of immigration discussions in the country, and some of the ways that groups are pushing it towards being a more civil and reasoned debate (including Colorlines’ “Drop the I-Word” campaign, and Jose Antonio Vargas’s DefineAmerican website).
  • Courts and the “money revolution”: Bert Brandenburg of Justice at Stake wrote an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune on money in state courts. We look at the influx in spending mentioned in the piece, as well as some of the push back to get ethics standards introduced on the US Supreme Court level, and introducing recusal reform on the state level.

Four Things You Must Read

  • Guardian of Democracy (Campaign for the Civic Misison of Schools): A new study from Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools notes that K-12 civic education is on the decline, and that there are concrete everyday steps that schools can take to change this path. The report also provides policy suggestions for local individuals, philanthropic foundations, as well as state and federal lawmakers.
  • Wall Street and the Supercommittee: The $41 million question (Public Campaign): Public Campaign follows the money in their new report on corporate donations to the Congressional Super Committee. The 12 Super Committee members received $41 million from donors in the finance, insurance, and real estate sector during their tenures in Congress.
  • The Last Moderate (New York Times): The New York Times profiles moderate Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper, who speaks about the days where he could work with both parties in Washington. He cites money in politics and redistricting as the reasons for increased extremism in politics.

Upcoming Events

HEADLINES

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

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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