CSD Newsletter – June 30, 2011

Welcome to the fourth 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.

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.

Five Things You Must Read

  • Don’t Call Them Post-Racial: How Young People Actually Think About Race: This three part report from the Applied Research Center and Colorlines takes a look at the “millennial” generation in the United States (those born after 1980) and how they view race. Millennials make up the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in United States history, says the report, and they know that race plays a key role in their lives in education, politics, criminal justice, and other areas. The study also finds, however, that millennials are not monolithic in their thinking, comprising a varied view of racism in their lives.
  • Supreme Court strikes down public financing provision: The Supreme Court ruled this week in McComish v. Bennett that a provision in Arizona’s campaign finance law that concerned “trigger funds” to publicly financed candidates was unconstitutional. This provision allowed for additional funds to be given to publicly financed candidates when their opponents raise above certain thresholds of money from private donors or outside groups. The Court, however, left public financing as a whole intact with the ruling, even while striking down this single provision.
  • Fixing Congress: In a series of articles on fixing Congress, the Boston Review gathers opinions from many political commentators. The lead article, written by Representative Jim Cooper, breaks down some of the problems that he sees with Congress, including the influx of money in politics, and the changes that have ocurred since he first took office in the 1980s. Nick Nyhart of Public Campaign posts one of the responses to Rep. Cooper’s article, taking a closer look at the issue of money in politics.
  • Will Obama, Issa and Warner Revolutionize Federal Spending Transparency?: The Project on Government Oversight looks at the recently introduced DATA act in the House and Senate, as well as President Obama’s executive order to create a new board to look at transparency issues. POGO does a run-down of some of the pros and cons of the DATA act, and offers some suggestions for how the legislation could be improved.
  • Michael Copps, the FCC’s voice for media democracy: Katrina vanden Heuvel writes a profile of FCC commissioner Michael Copps for the Washington Post, including his historical role in the commission going back to his appointment, as well as his current battles in favor of strong net neutrality and his dissent, as a sitting commission member, to a report written and published by the FCC on the strength of modern press.

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

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