Learn & Share

Below we provide tools for learning about the Democracy Movement. Learn from reform primers, books, reports, newsletters, and more!

Glossary of Terms

Automatic Voter Registration

All eligible voters should be registered to vote. And in order to advance our kitchen table issues we must be on the voter rolls to be able to advocate for ourselves. A vote is a voice. Giving more constituents a voice encourages elected officials to be more responsive and increases faith in our democracy and government institutions. When Americans know they’re being heard, they’re more likely to participate in elections. Automatic Voter Registration enables state governments the ability to register eligible voters. Based on information obtained through government interactions (e.g. Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Human Services) the state registers eligible people to vote and allows them to opt out of the process if they so choose. AVR is portability which means when voters move and update their addresses with the DMV, their registration is automatically update. Automatic Voter registration is a great opportunity to modernize our elections and save taxpayers’money.

Public Funded Elections

Every voice should be valued in our democracy. When moneyed interests and corporations push out the voices of everyday citizens, it hurts our economy, our planet, and our communities. Publicly financed elections allow for everyday people to contribute to candidates of their choice. This encourages voters to be more engaged, and elected leaders are more responsive to the concerns of the communities they represent.

Books about the Roots of the Democracy Crisis and Solutions

The New Jim Crow
Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Michelle Alexander

Give Us the Ballot
The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America

Ari Berman

When Money Speaks
The McCutcheon Decision, Campaign Finance Laws, and the First Amendment

Ronald K. L. Collins & David M. Skover

Ratf**ked
The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy

David Daley

The Business of America is Lobbying
How Corporations Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate

Lee Drutman

Plutocrats United
Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections

Richard L. Hasen

Capitalism v. Democracy
Money in Politics and the Free Market Constitution

Timothy Kuhner

Daring Democracy
Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want

Frances Moore Lappé & Adam Eichen

Republic, Lost
The Corruption of Equality and the Steps to End It

Lawrence Lessig

It’s Even Worse Than It Looks
How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism

Thomas E. Mann & Norman J. Ornstein

Dark Money
The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

Jane Mayer

Dollaracracy
How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America

John Nichols & Robert W. McChesney

Nation on the Take
How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It

Wendell Potter & Nick Penniman

The Great Suppression
Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy

Zachary Roth

Reports and Overviews of the Democracy Crisis and Solutions from Organizations in the Guide

Democracy at a Crossroads
How the One Percent Is Silencing Our Voices

Democracy Initiative Education Fund

Bankrolling the Bench
The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2013-2014

Scott Greytak, Alicia Bannon, Allyse Falce, & Linda Casey

The Political Market

Jay R. Mandle

What Is and What Could Be
The Potential Impact of Small Donor Matching Funds in New York State Elections

Campaign Finance Institute

Stay up-to-date with News from the Movement

Daily Clips

Every Voice sends out Daily Clips to keep you informed of about how lobbyists, big donors, and Donald Trump’s conflicts are influencing his administration and Congress; and about the good news around the country of communities coming together to fight for a democracy that works for all of us.

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Weekly Update

Democracy Initiative sends a weekly update on the work of the Democracy Movement. Sign up to stay up-to-date and help build the movement for a stronger democracy.

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The Daily Democracy

The Daily Democracy is a twice-weekly email newsletter that goes beyond the headlines on voting rights, redistricitng, money in politics, and other election and democracy issues in the Trump era.

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Daily Actions

Every day is an opportunity to engage in democracy. Call your senator, attend a town hall, register someone to vote--there are endless ways to get involved and have your voice heard. Follow our Daily Action tips for more ideas on how you can engage as a citizen.