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.

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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