Laura Williamson says her career was shaped by growing up in North Carolina, which she describes as being historically at the center of the best and worst of American democracy. She spent seven years working with young people at progressive groups and got a master's in public affairs at Princeton before joining Demos in the summer of 2018. The think tank aims to combat "threats to democracy, racial equity and economic inclusion" and as a senior policy analyst she's focused on voter registration, voting rights, money in politics and civic participation. Her answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
What's democracy's biggest challenge, in 10 words or less?
Abolishing all disenfranchisement schemes and achieving an inclusive, multiracial democracy.
Through cutting-edge policy research, inspiring litigation and deep relationships with grassroots organizations, Demos champions solutions that will create a democracy and economy rooted in racial equity. Our name means "the people." It is the root word of democracy, and it reminds us that in America, the true source of our greatness is the diversity of our people.
Voters in almost half of Florida must have access to Spanish-language ballots in time for the 2020 presidential primary next March, a federal judge has ruled.
District Judge Mark Walker on Friday ordered state election officials to offer election materials and assistance to the growing Spanish-speaking population in the nation's most populous politically competitive state. In a close contest at a critical juncture in the primary Democratic season, a bigger turnout by Latinos (who find their access to the ballot box has been made easier) could prove decisive in propelling one candidate toward the nomination.