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October Activism 🎃, November Momentum 🚀
Gen-Z Voter Registration Efforts
A newsletter giving you handcrafted monthly updates about our voter registration efforts in our goal to register one million youth voters.
🚨 Democracy Under Fire
Democracy is a system of government in which the power to make political decisions is vested in the hands of the people, either directly or through elected representatives. In a democracy, the key principles include:
Popular Sovereignty: The authority to govern derives from the will of the people.
Elections: Democratic systems involve free and fair elections for the people.
Political Pluralism: The existence of multiple political parties and diverse political opinions.
Rule of Law: Laws are established, enforced, and applied consistently to all citizens, including those in power. This principle ensures fairness and justice.
Protection of Rights: Constitutional protections for individual rights and freedoms, ensuring that the government respects and upholds these rights.
Accountability: Elected officials in a democracy are accountable to the citizens.
The quality and effectiveness of a democracy depend on factors like the rule of law, protection of minority rights, the functioning of institutions, and the level of civic engagement and participation in the political process.
❗️The Importance of Democracy:
Democracy is important for a variety of reasons, and it has been widely regarded as one of the most effective and just forms of government. Some of the key reasons why democracy is considered important are: the representation of the people, accountability of government officials, the rule of law is apparent, economic prosperity, heightened civic engagement, and the protection of the rights of citizens.
While democracy has its strengths, it is not without flaws and challenges, and its effectiveness depends on the specific context and the quality of its implementation. Nonetheless, it remains a widely valued and important form of government for promoting individual rights, representation, and society's overall well-being.
❗️The Recent Decline of Democracy:
United States democracy is being put to the test. The US score by Freedom House fell by 11 points on a 100-point scale in the decade from 2010 to 2020, with an accelerated deterioration of 6 points during the presidency of Donald Trump. However, this decline did not start with Trump’s presidential term. Legislative dysfunction, partisan gerrymandering, the excessive influence of special interests in politics, ongoing racial discrimination, the spread of polarization and disinformation in the media environment, and distrust in elections have caused the decline in democracy.
❗️Things We Can Do To Strengthen Democracy:
Preventing the decline of democracy requires a concerted effort from citizens, political leaders, civil society, and international organizations. Here are some key actions that can help safeguard and strengthen democratic systems:
Participate and encourage civic engagement
Defend democratic norms and democratic institutions
Promote inclusive and diversified politics
Call out and combat corruption
Protect Freedom of the Press
Ensure election integrity
Hold governmental officials accountable
Resist political polarization
Preventing the decline of democracy is an ongoing and collective effort. It requires vigilance, informed and active citizenship, and a commitment to the values and principles that underpin democratic systems.
💥“The Democracy Group podcast fellowship really helped me discover the kind of voice I want to contribute to politics, not just as an individual but also as the director of a youth-oriented civic engagement organization like New Voters,” says Nivea Krishnan, New Voters Executive Director.
💥“Interning for 8 months at The Democracy Group extremely expanded my knowledge of political issues, prompting my desire to get more involved, which led me to New Voters after my internship,” says Olivia Ausnehmer, New Voters Marketing Manager.
❗️Listen to Learn More
More About Democracy from The Democracy Group
Danielle Allen joins this podcast to discuss how to make democracy inclusive, how to reimagine the way we teach new generations of democratic citizens, and how to build coalitions for effective change.
This podcast episode explores the following questions: Does democratic self-government demand too much of Americans? Can democracy work for people focused on meeting the everyday demands of life? Or do Americans need to rethink some of the ways in which they do democratic self-government? And what is “stand-by citizenship?”
When we consider the meaning of citizenship, most Americans usually think about individual rights. In this episode, we hear a bold call for change. The guest, Richard Haass, says that if democracy is to survive, we must re-envision citizenship and consider our obligations to one another.
🌟 Read Our October Op-Eds!
The Youth Voice Belongs in Government by Matthew Han
Creating Impactful Tech for Voter Engagement by Liam Cummings
Red, White & Royal Blue: Supporting Young Voters Through Media by Chelsea Dong
The Lost Era of Opportunity by Nidhi Achanta
Working in the Digital Civic Space by Chloe Chan
Empowering Youth Racial Activism in the Face of Racial Pushback by Aarushi Arora
🌟 New Voters Updates
The Communications Department is busy expanding New Voters’ brand across many platforms and mediums. They are developing a joint social media campaign with The Polling Place, working with The Democracy Group to collaborate on newsletter and podcast content, and promoting the Youth Advisory Council to journalists across Pennsylvania. The interns are also doing an amazing job populating our social media platforms.
The Policy Department has also made tremendous progress this fall. Over the last week, Policy has finished a memo for pre-voter registration in Arizona. They are also looking to meet with legislators to work on establishing a new bill. In addition, they are creating a Youth Advisory Council in action by the end of the fall cycle, to get the program up and running.
The Technology Department is hard at work! They developed a voter registration tool pilot that was tested and used at 10 high schools in PA to register over 170 new voters, with a goal of registering 400 students. They also conducted a user experience analysis of New Voters’ main website, continued to work on data warehousing and visualization, and lastly welcomed two new team members.
The Operations Department has launched wave one of outreach and is updating our curriculum to incorporate new resources for our upcoming class of fellows. They are also in the process of finalizing a restructuring of the Operations department, launching our first fellows trainings, and bringing on college mentors for the organization.
The Development Department has been working to research and apply for state grants in the key states that New Voters is working in. They also are doing research on foundations that seem to be a good fit to fund New Voters. Lastly, they are looking to find unique ways to raise money for New Voters.
🤝 Get Involved!
Made By Us, an organization dedicated to connecting young adults to shape a better future, has launched the Civic Season, an initiative with the goal of enhancing democratic participation. As a Civic Season Fellow, you can contribute to this effort by dedicating 3 hours a week from January to July 2024, working remotely to brainstorm, design, and provide input on program submissions, content decisions, branding, and marketing. You will get a $1,500 stipend. The organization encourages individuals aged 18-30 with diverse backgrounds to apply by November 1, 2023, for a chance to be part of this impactful endeavor. For questions or additional information, contact Nia Mosby, Program Manager, Civic Season, at email@example.com.
The Polling Place is a nonpartisan, data-driven website dedicated to providing detailed, consolidated information on all candidates on a ballot, from the U.S. Senate to the local school board. It takes hours to thoroughly research every candidate on a ballot and The Polling Place seeks to fill that void by making information on voting easily accessible. If you are interested in their mission and helping spread voter information, they are currently accepting applications here: https://forms.gle/9RynEdMbsGZzdkkn7, or if you simply want to volunteer with them until election time, send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
BallotReady is seeking a remote Marketing Fellow for their 2024 program. The Marketing Fellow will focus on expanding top-of-funnel sales growth, targeting potential customers, and promoting informed voting in American elections. Responsibilities include developing customer outreach strategies, managing prospecting projects, and crafting engaging materials for potential customers. The position is expected to begin in December 2023, run through December 2024, and offers a $50,000 annual salary with various benefits.
Jahnavi, Nivea, and the New Voters Team