Make Some Noise about Threats to Our Democracy

February 28, 2011

Since the House of Representatives voted to make huge cuts to the federal budget, I have been shocked at how little coverage has gone into informing the public about the programs that would be eliminated or severely reduced and what the impact of those cuts would be.

Among the many programs related to the health of our democracy that were cut, I’ve only really seen any coverage of the elimination of funding for the Corporation of National and Community Service (e.g. AmeriCorps) and the elimination of funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (e.g. NPR and PBS).

I’ve seen virtually nothing out there about cuts to public financing of Presidential elections, civic and history education programs, regulatory enforcement of net neutrality, election reform grants from the Election Assistance Commission, or immigrant civic integration grants. And even larger, higher profile programs seem to be getting very little coverage.

Maybe everyone just assumes that the Senate and President Obama will oppose most of these cuts? Or perhaps Wisconsin and the Middle East have just pushed everything off the radar?

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that one house of Congress has voted to slash funding for a wide array of programs that are essential to the health of our democracy. It is times like these that those of us who care about the health of our democracy need to come together and make some noise.

Cuts to our public media will deprive communities of an independent source of high quality journalism. National service programs like AmeriCorps are schools for citizenship, strengthening communities and our democracy at the same time. Public financing of Presidential elections given average citizens and small donors a major role in financing our presidential campaigns. Grants for immigrant civic integration provides new citizens with the civic skills they need to take part in our democracy. Civic education programs are essential for ensuring that young people have the skills and knowledge to become active citizens.

Visit our Take Action page and let your voice be heard. We need to make sure that everyone knows about the impact that these cuts will have. It is time to fight back!


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