CSD Newsletter – November 30, 2011
Welcome to the ninth 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
- Sign up for our December Democracy Exchange on Voting Rights: On Thursday, December 1 at 2pm (Eastern) the Campaign will be hosting the next in our series of Democracy Exchange conference calls, this time on the subject of the assault on voting rights. Speakers will include Eric Marshall of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Heather Smith of Rock the Vote, and Greg Moore of the NAACP National Voter Fund. Tova Wang of Demos will moderate the conversation. Sign up at our website to receive the dial-in number and read more about the call.
- Democracy a partial winner on Election Day: Some states and cities held elections earlier this month, and some democracy issues came out as winners from the day. Maine voters struck down a law that would have eliminated same day voter registration, and the city of Detroit approved a new city charter with stronger ethics protections and single member City Council districts. At the same time, however, voters in Mississippi came out in favor of a new voter ID law.
- Different approaches to getting money out of politics: Three new approaches to the issue of money in politics have come out recently. One proposal from Lawrence Lessig outlines a “democracy voucher” program on citizens’ tax returns; another is a Constitutional Amendment on campaign finance; and the last is a campaign called United Republic, which in itself will take multiple approaches to campaign finance reform.
Four Things You Must Read
- Understanding a Diverse Generation: Youth Civic Engagement in the United States (CIRCLE): A new study by CIRCLE shows that young people in the United States are not a monolithic voting bloc. Rather, youth in the United States are engaged on several different levels, ranging from those who are broadly engaged to those who are “civically alienated.” The study also finds that often youth of color are the most disengaged.
- The Price of Intolerance (New York Times): Alabama’s new anti-immigrant law has had a huge impact on not only immigrants, but also the economic well being of the state. The New York Times editorial board writes about the loss of the state’s work force, and mentions that there is growing talk of repealing the legislation.
- SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) debate: Why are Google and Facebook against it? (Washington Post): SOPA and PROTECT IP (SOPA’s companion bill in Congress) have been garnering a considerable amount of press recently for how they could potentially stifle creative content shared on the internet. The Washington Post provides some good background on SOPA, covering both the pros and cons.
- Our Reading Guide on Congressional Dysfunction (ProPublica): Low Congressional approval ratings and constant gridlock are explained by ProPublica. The piece cites a larger partisan divide between members of Congress, the constant need to raise money instead of build relationships, and constant media scrutiny as the reasons for dysfunction.
- April 11-14, 2012: National Service-Learning Conference (Minneapolis)
- June 11-12, 2012: Personal Democracy Forum (New York)
- November 15-17, 2012: Facing Race Conference (Baltimore)
- Update on the White House’s new petition website (JH Snider / National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation)
- White House defends We The People petition responses (Nextgov)
- Obama wants better digital archive of federal records (Washington Post)
Electoral Reform and Voting Rights
- Voter ID Laws: The New Poll Tax (ColorOfChange)
- Giving Every State a Shot at the Primaries (Nonprofit VOTE)
- Can’t we all just vote? (Los Angeles Times)
- Ranked Choice Voting a Clear Winner in St. Paul Elections (FairVote Minnesota)
- Health-care case brings fight over which Supreme Court Justices should decide it (Washington Post)
- Courts and politics: Justice for the highest bidder? (Chicago Tribune)
- Justice at Stake: Sandusky Case a ‘Wakeup Call for Judges’ on Need for Transparency (Justice at Stake)
Lobbying, Ethics and Campaign Finance Reform
- Where is George Orwell When We Need Him? (Fred Wertheimer / Huffington Post)
- Unlimited Contributions Is Not the Answer to Unlimited Contributions (Nick Nyhart / Huffington Post)
- The Campaign Jungle (New York Times)
Media Reform and Internet Access
- FCC’s goal: An open and vibrant Internet (Los Angeles Times)
- Don’t Let Them Censor the Internet (FreePress)
- Senate Upholds Net Neutrality Protections (ColorOfChange)
National, Community and Public Service
- Social entrepreneurship and the next generation of giving (Washington Post)
- Heart of the Nation (National Conference on Citizenship)
- Veterans Day Round Up: 10 Stories You May Have Missed (Corporation for National and Community Service)
Participation, Collaboration, and Civic Engagement
- Publicizing Public Participation (International Association for Public Participation USA)
- Collaboration and Ecology of Democracy (Kettering Foundation)
- America’s Most Politically Active States (The Daily Beast)
Racial Justice, Civil Rights and Immigrant Civic Inclusion
- Undocumented Youth Lobby for DREAM Act (Huffington Post)
- Obama’s Deportation Limbo (Demos Policy Shop)
- A Conversation on Civil Rights in America with the Justice Department’s Tom Perez (Center for American Progress)
- New Report Calls Out Hate Speech on Talk Radio (ColorLines)
Transparency and Openness
- Transparency is Not Enough (Peter Levine)
- They Like Transparency, Until They Don’t (New York Times)
- On Supercommittee Failure (Sunlight Foundation)
Youth Engagement and Civic Education
- CIRCLE Ten Year Anniversary Newsletter (CIRCLE)
- Becoming Citizens: Youth e-Engagement in Civic and Public Policy (CivicSource)
- The State of Young America (Demos)