Testimony of Wendy Fields, Executive Director, Democracy Initiative before the Democratic National Committee Platform Drafting Committee
Members of the Democratic National Committee Platform Drafting Committee, thank you for allowing me to speak on behalf of the Democracy Initiative and our 30 million members of groups like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Communication Workers, Common Cause, NAACP and the AFL-CIO.
This weekend, a mass movement of thousands of activists and advocates from more than 300 labor, environment, civil rights, and faith organizations, descended on Capitol Hill for Democracy Awakening in a brilliant display of solidarity and action to demand an equal voice in our democracy and government that is accountable to
“We have the opportunity to show the country that getting money out of politics is a moral issue; that ordinary people deserve the opportunity to run for office without having to rely on wealthy donors and special interests.” —Joan Saxe, Sierra Club Maine Chapter
“When we band together for common goals like we have with other Democracy Initiative organizations, America becomes an even better place for middle class Americans.” –Serina DeWolfe, CWA Local 1400
This special edition of the DI Report is an overview and resource on money in politics to which you can refer and use in your work. While much of this week is focused on the Journey for Justice and voting rights, we are committed to keeping both issues at the center of our democracy reform efforts.
The Democracy Initiative just returned from Netroots Nation in hot and sunny Phoenix, Arizona where we presented a joint panel with Common Cause on felon re-enfranchisement, voting rights, money in politics, and the growing democracy movement. This was an amazing opportunity to showcase the work of the Democracy Initiative and our partners to build a movement of millions of people across the country, ensuring an equal voice in our democracy.
Yesterday, on the 2nd anniversary of the Shelby County v. Holder decision which gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act, more than 500 hundred environmental, labor, and civil rights activists joined member organizations of the Democracy Initiative and the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, and journeyed to Elmwood Park in Roanoke, VA to rally for voting rights and an equal voice for all in our democracy.
Core to the Democracy Initiative’s mission is to defend and expand voting access nationally and in states. This special edition of the DI Report is meant to be an overview and resource on voting rights to which you can refer and use in your work. At our December convening, groups indicated that they wanted DI to act as a “Democracy Docent,” providing guidance for groups for which democracy has not been a primary focus. This newsletter is meant to fulfill that purpose and we expect to produce a similar newsletter on money in politics as well as update this newsletter in the future.