Our weekly bulletin board
Here are the highlights of what fix-the-system groups are planning for the coming week — and other events important to the cause of reforming democracy.
Tuesday, April 13
The R Street Institute is hosting a talk about the potentially significant changes set in motion by Alaska's reform initiative with Katherine Gehl, author of "The Politics Industry" and founder of The Institute for Political Innovation, and Scott Kendall, the creator of Alaska Ballot Measure 2.
As state legislators around the country are working to advance and pass a record number of voting bills, the Campaign Legal Center is hosting a virtual discussion with a panel of experts and state advocates who will discuss the trends in access to voting legislation and the impact the bills will have on voters.
Join an exploration and discussion of options and topics in advance of the National Assembly of the People.
Wednesday, April 14
Millions of students will soon graduate into a workforce radically altered by the pandemic and changes in technology and energy. What is government's role in this new economy? Join the Common Ground Committee for a discussion with former Gov. John Kasich and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro.
Thursday, April 15
The Library of Congress invites you to a panel discussion looking at the way different systems of electoral decision-making in a democracy can, by themselves, lead to very different outcomes, and what can be done to reform them in ways that result in more responsive and deliberative legislative bodies.
Join New York University's John Brademas Center for a conversation with Paul C. Light, focused on his recent work in government reform. He will be joined by Joe Davidson, columnist for The Washington Post; Danielle Brian, executive director of POGO; E.J. Dionne, columnist for The Washington Post; and Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, nonresident senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.
Meanwhile, check out our latest news and opinion stories:
Our weekly op-ed highlight reel
News is the heart of what we're about. But The Fulcrum is also a forum for debate about what's ailing American democracy and what could make the system healthier. So here are the most provocative opinion pieces we've posted this week.
Congressional candidates who represent the diversity of America must be able to seek office in Washington without worrying about a living wage or health insurance, writes Beth Rotman of Common Cause.
I was blessed to be born into a family that taught and modeled conservative values, which lead me to support the For the People Act, explains RepresentUs volunteer Eric Carlson.
Georgia's new elections law positions the GOP-dominated Elections Board to control nearly all aspects of voting. No provision in the Georgia law looks to be more harmful to Black voters or more fatal to democracy's survival, argues Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat of the U.S. Vote Foundation.
Meanwhile, here are our latest news stories:
While the number of major sporting events roiled by Georgia's voting law looks to hold steady, now that it's expanded to two, the number of lawsuits to reverse the new restrictions keeps steadily growing.
The Masters got underway Thursday, but not before the Augusta National Golf Club's reputation as proudly insulated from modernity got rattled by the large number of golfers and the club's own chairman speaking out about the biggest civil rights story of the year.
At the same time, civic engagement groups that sent millions of absentee ballot applications to Georgians last year sued to block provisions of the law they alleged would unconstitutionally curtail such outreach. It was the fifth such federal suit filed in the two weeks since Gov. Brian Kemp signed the measure, and more are in the works.
Arizona is about to become the second state this year to explicitly prohibit the use of non-government money to administer elections. A similar ban on philanthropic underwriting of democracy was included last month in Georgia's sweeping overhaul of voting rules.
Both measures were written by Republicans who describe the use of private cash to smooth voting processes and ballot-counting as unconstitutional, at most, and at a minimum a barely disguised effort by progressives to tilt elections their way.
Both states got slices of the $400 million that Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated last fall to help local governments conduct comprehensive and Covid-safe balloting at a time when state budgets for elections were overstretched and a hoped-for infusion of funding from Congress got caught in partisan gridlock.
Georgia's new elections law positions the GOP-dominated Elections Board to control nearly all aspects of voting. No provision in the Georgia law looks to be more harmful to Black voters or more fatal to democracy's survival, writes Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat of the U.S. Vote Foundation.
Are the Political Parties Too Weak, Too Strong...or Obsolete? A (historical) conversation with Mickey Edwards
Open Primaries President John Opdycke and former Republican Rep. Mickey Edwards are going to dive right into the hard questions regarding parties — including questions that were as relevant 100 years ago as they are today.
Growing up in Milwaukee, Steven Olikara felt that playing music was the only way to bring people of all backgrounds and ideologies together — until he was inspired to launch the Millennial Action Project.
Believing the trend toward polarization had put American democracy on perilous footing, Olikara decided to translate his musical performances into political involvement on a national scale. In 2013, he officially launched MAP with the hopes that the next generation could bridge the political divide and put America on the right path forward.
Now, after nearly a decade at the helm, Olikara has stepped down as both he and the organization enter new chapters. On Wednesday, the organization announced as his successor Layla Zaidane, who previously served as MAP's executive director and COO. As for Olikara's next steps, the 31-year-old has his sights set on a potential Senate run next year when Republican Ron Johnson's seat is up for election.
I was blessed to be born into a family that taught and modeled conservative values, which lead me to support the For the People Act, writes high school science teacher and RepresentUs volunteer Eric Carlson.
The Campaign Legal Center is seeking someone to work on strategic communications plans for the organization's campaign finance and government ethics efforts. Learn more about this and other positions in the democracy reform community at Democracy Jobs.