Want Change? Check Out These Websites
Monday, July 7th, 2008
In the current edition of The Nation, editor/publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel writes about the state of democracy in the United States — and despite record voter participation during the primary election cycle, she says we’re still in trouble:
There are clear signs of the decline of our democracy: registration and voter turnout lag far behind other democracies; ever larger numbers of citizens are disenfranchised; the cost of running for office is spiraling out of control, excluding citizens of average means from participating in government; and our media, the forum for the healthy debate so essential to any democracy, are increasingly incapable of acting in the public interest.
In a companion piece to her feature, vanden Heuvel calls Why Tuesday? one of the “leading prodemocracy groups working to build a more perfect union,” and she publishes a link to our website on their list of such groups. The complete list, with descriptions of respective groups, follows.
FairVote: As a reform catalyst it develops and promotes innovative strategies to win a constitutionally protected right to vote, universal voter registration, a national popular vote for President, instant runoff voting and proportional representation.
Demos.org: A nonpartisan policy research and advocacy organization focusing on increasing electoral participation and civic engagement–including enforcing national voting standards and enacting election day registration.
DC Vote: DC Vote works to secure full voting rights in Congress for the disenfranchised residents of the District of Columbia.
Public Campaign: A network of national and state campaign reform efforts to dramatically reduce the role of big special-interest money in our politics.
Brennan Center for Justice: The center’s work includes voting rights, redistricting reform and restoring the vote to people with felony convictions.
Common Cause: A nonpartisan advocacy organization committed to honest, open and accountable government as well as encouraging citizen participation.
Change-Congress.org: Internet guru Lawrence Lessig’s new organization is using online tools to build a national movement to end corruption in Congress.
Free Press: Launched in 2002 by media scholar Robert McChesney, journalist (and The Nation‘s DC correspondent) John Nichols and Josh Silver, it is the largest media reform organization in the United States.
Sentencing Project: Focuses on restoring the vote to felons.
WhyTuesday.org: Uses online tools to increase voter turnout and participation. Its primary focus is to end elections held during the middle of the workweek.
New America Foundation: Its political reform program promotes innovative changes such as instant runoff voting, proportional representation and free airtime.
Center for Responsive Politics: A nonpartisan research group that tracks money in politics and its effect on elections and public policy.