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The State of Reform
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Cori Bush, who was dismissed as unelectable two years ago, tripled her 2018 fundraising total on her way to defeating an incumbent congressman in Missouri's Democratic primary Aug. 4.

Surge of donations to Black candidates tests old assumptions

Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush's victory over Rep. Lacy Clay, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, captures both the pain and the promise facing a new generation of African American candidates.

Bush narrowly bested Clay, who's represented St. Louis for two decades, in this month's Democratic primary and is overwhelmingly favored to win the House seat this fall — benefiting from this year's surge of donations to outsider candidates of color, for decades among the least likely politicians to benefit from the tidal wave of cash coursing through the campaign finance system.

Bush lost to Clay by 20 points in the primary two years ago. But money started fueling her comeback in a big way this spring following the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked mass protests across the country about police violence and systemic racism — and promises by the marchers to follow-up with intensified political activism.

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Civic Ed
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Alumni of Houston's Jack Yates High School participate in a vigil honoring George Floyd, who played football at the school.

Twelve years of school never taught me Black lives matter. Time to fix that.

Before graduating in June from high school in Sugar Land, Texas, Tangirala launched the Anti-Racist Curriculum Reform effort to persuade school districts to teach more about racism and include more perspectives of people of color in social studies.

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GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds had been under intense pressure from Black Lives Matter and other civil rights groups.

Iowa ends status as only state with lifetime ban on felons voting

Correction: An earlier version misstated details of the executive order.

Iowa's governor decreed Wednesday that most felons in the state may vote starting this fall, ending the state's status as the only place in the country where convicted criminals are denied the franchise forever.

Expanding the political rights of people who've been to prison has been a top cause of voting rights groups for years, but the cause has gained fresh urgency this summer as the nation undergoes an intense reckoning with systemic racism — especially in the law enforcement system.

"It's a big step for so many on the road to redemption," Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said as she signed an executive order in her Des Moines office, fulfilling a promise she made two months ago after the General Assembly deadlocked on a more complex plan for eventually returning the vote to felons.

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Black Voters Matter Co-founder Cliff Albright on Amplifying the Black Vote

Organizer: Leadership Now Project

Join us for a briefing with Cliff Albright, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Black Voters Matter Fund, one of our 2020-II Portfolio organizations. BVM received national attention in 2017 when they helped mobilize Black voters during the U.S. Senate race between Doug Jones and Roy Moore. In 2018, Albright and the BVM team travelled throughout seven southern states in "The Blackest Bus in America" energizing voters and exposing voter suppression. We will discuss their voter registration effort March on Ballot Boxes (M.O.B.B), the power of relational organizing, and ways to fight back against the voter suppression they have seen already in primary elections across the U.S.

Location: Webinar

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