Claiming Our Democracy

Strengthening Democracy

Our Vision

A strong and effective government is fundamental to achieving economic opportunity for communities of color. Government should serve the needs of an increasingly diverse America; it shouldn’t govern on behalf of wealthy special interests at the expense of ordinary people. To do this well, the voices and experiences of communities of color must be able to inform the dialogue.

Potential New Voters in CA
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The Challenge

Our government and democracy are under attack by those who want to limit the growing voting power of communities of color. Attacks on government lead to cuts in services that serve children, the working class and the elderly, while corporations are increasingly writing the rules of the game. Low voting rates and new barriers to voting only aggravate this problem. Fighting against voter suppression and restoring voting rights is essential, but not sufficient. To truly advance equity, we need a democracy that truly works for all, including the new majority.

Our Response

Greenlining works to make government more effective by bringing the voices of communities of
color into the democratic process. We focus on the following areas:

  • Voting & Elections Reform – We work to improve election administration from top to bottom and design the democracy we need for the future.
  • Initiative System Reform – We work to ensure that our initiative process provides fair access and opportunity for all communities to have a meaningful voice on issues that affect their lives. This includes ensuring that the initiative process is accessible for citizens still learning English.
  • Redistricting – Greenlining played a strong role in the implementation of California’s Prop. 11, which took authority for drawing district lines away from the state legislature and gave it to an independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. We continue to work to ensure political districts enable communities of color to have a fair opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.
  • Money & Politics – We support efforts to overturn the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision that allows billionaires to buy elections and, in the interim, efforts to strengthen campaign funding disclosure requirements.
  • Tax & Budget Reform – We advocate for policies that lead to healthier budgets for states and cities in order to protect vital services.
  • Legislation – We monitor both state and federal legislation and work closely with Congress and the California Legislature to protect the interests of communities of color. Click above for a summary of last year’s legislation, and watch this space for updates.
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