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Voting & Elections 09.1.2022

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: In battleground Georgia, new voters on the rise before ‘22 election

New voters will turn out if they’re concerned about issues that are important to them, such as democracy, taxes, education and housing costs, said Aunna Dennis, executive director for Common Cause Georgia, a government accountability organization. “All these people are joining in democracy and getting their voices heard at the ballot box,” Dennis said. “We have to pay attention to why they want to go out and vote, and what they care about.”

Voting & Elections 08.17.2022

Indianapolis Star (Op-Ed): Jan. 6 insurrection 'startling' but catalyst to continue to fight for democracy

Not every member of my generation has given up on democracy. Motivated by the turmoil of present day American politics, we have taken to political activism. Protests are a peaceful way to express concern or disagreement. However, activism can only push the political agenda so far. While protests bring attention to issues, they don’t always force politicians to enact the change citizens want. We’ve got to follow up our protests with informed voting in every election and persuade our peers to do the same.

Money & Influence 08.10.2022

The Oregonian (Op-Ed): The leadership that money can’t buy

Our communities face urgent issues. Across Oregon, we struggle with the disparate impacts of an ongoing pandemic, wildfire displacement, economic hardship, racism and more. We desperately need elected leaders who understand these struggles firsthand – those who come from impacted communities themselves and who share our lived experiences. But who can afford to run for office? And if elected, who can afford to serve in office?

Voting & Elections 07.25.2022

Boston Globe: Helping people discover their power through civic education

How does a community like Homewood, Pennsylvania, address the lead in the soil that’s harming children or the proliferation of vacant lots? Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan organization that serves as a watchdog against corruption and voter suppression for Pennsylvanians, says it starts with creating civically oriented spaces where people can learn about the democratic process and unite with others experiencing the same struggles. He came to understand this long ago: His drive for social change started when he was a community organizer at Operation Better Block in Homewood, where his job was to form a civic association. He said he realized “civic associations are really the building blocks of a strong democracy.” “If you don’t talk to one another, you can’t begin to hold an elected official or a potential candidate accountable for those issues,” Ali says.

NBC News: New congressional map for N.Y. sets stage for major clashes in Democratic primaries

Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a voting rights and good governance advocacy group, also criticized the new map, arguing in a statement that it “divides communities of interest and neighborhoods, particularly in New York City, and ignores the cores of the existing Congressional districts.”

Associated Press: Democrats face worsening legal environment on redistricting

Suzanne Almeida of Common Cause, a frequent litigant opposing gerrymanders, noted that courts in Republican states like Ohio have joined ones in deep Democratic states like New York in striking down partisan maps. “If I ran the world,” Almeida said, there’d be national standards against gerrymandering to ensure skewed maps in one big state don’t tilt the entire congressional map. But a Democratic proposal for just that foundered in Congress earlier this year. So, Almeida said, ”we are taking the wins that we can take.”

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