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Courtesy of Unite America

Representatives of democracy reform groups show off their Accelerator Awards given out late last week by Unite America and RepresentUs. The groups received a total of $250,000 in grants as part of the awards to promote their work on redistricting reform and expanding voting.

13 tapped for prizes to boost local democracy reform campaigns

DENVER — Thirteen local good-government groups across the country have been awarded a combined $250,000 to advance their causes.

The money is going to the inaugural winners of the Accelerator Awards, chosen from 115 applications around the country. The prizes are the creation of Unite America in partnership with RepresentUs. The two are among the most prominent non-partisan groups advocating for fixes to the problems of dysfunctional democracy.

The money was awarded to both fledgling and established organizations to advance their work in three areas: ending partisan gerrymandering, giving voters more power in elections and getting more citizens involved in elections.

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The Gerry Meander

Organizer: League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia

Tour the eastern edge of District 1 to hear about gerrymandering, redistricting, and how the Democracy Act can reform the system. Meet at Armstrong Center and board a bus to be guided through the ins and outs of District 1, gerrymandering, redistricting and the much-needed reform of the Democracy Act.

  • Dr. Kimberly Martin, assistant professor in political science and international relations at Georgia Southern University Armstrong campus, will define Gerrymandering, how it differs from redistricting and why it matters.
  • Pat Byrd, chair of Fair Districts GA, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to reforming the redistricting system in Georgia, will outline the Democracy Act, why it makes sense for Georgia and what voters can do to support it.

End with a postcard writing party back at Armstrong in support of the Democracy Act.

Location: The Armstrong Center, 13040 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA

Fair Districts Forum Warsaw

Organizer: Fair Districts Forum Warsaw

Fair Districts NC and the NC Council of Churches are organizing this community forum to inform voters on what gerrymandering is and why we must end this corrupt practice now, before the next redistricting (right after the 2020 Census). President Ronald Reagan said it best when he called for "an end to the un-American and anti-democratic practice of gerrymandering....It isn't just the district lines that [are] bent out of shape, it's the American values of fair play and decency and it's time we stopped....It's time to give the votes back to the people." This forum will explain how gerrymandering works and, more importantly, how it is undermining our democracy, how we can end it, and what you the voter can do about it. Please join us for a stimulating, nonpartisan, and eye-opening discussion on one of the most critical issues facing our state.

Location: Warsaw Wellness and Recreation Center, 210 West Hill Street, Warsaw, NC

SOS Application Workshop — Grand Rapids

Organizer: Voters Not Politicians

The Secretary of State is hosting workshops for Michiganders interested in applying for the first Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Workshops will include an overview of the new redistricting process and an opportunity for participants to fill out an application. Notaries will be available to complete the notarized signature requirement for each application at no cost. Please bring a photo ID to these workshops so that notaries can verify your identity.

Location: Grand Rapids Community College, 435 Fulton St E, Sneden Building Rm 108, Grand Rapids, MI

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