Our Struggle for Democracy Faces Many Challenges

Rising Political Violence Challenges to Civil Rights Censorship at Schools

Our American democracy is in jeopardy. We are experiencing our basic liberties being infringed, particularly in right wing-controlled states. This sabotage of democracy prevents the enactment of popular American policies that are antithetical to authoritarian ideology. In response, our action group Elders for Sound Democracy (ESD), harnesses proven strategies to empower voters, counter voter suppression and public corruption, and promote basic civic values. The following provides ways for you to participate in ESD action, as it summarizes ESD teams’ efforts, with links to detailed information and opportunities for you to join.

Getting Started

To learn of our activism details, we invite you to our monthly ESD Community Meetings (third Wednesday of each month, 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET). At these, we describe critical issues, or threats, impacting our democracy (e.g., wayward school boards, corrupted legislatures). Valuable insights gained from these meetings are incorporated into the pro-democracy actions that we take.

Sound Democracy and Its Freedoms

A sound democracy provides basic freedoms, or rights, for all Americans. These include public safety, minority rights, women and youth rights, and the basic right to vote. Eligible-to-vote citizens need to be informed about authoritarian actions attacking these freedoms. In response, informed citizens become more motivated to vote and to learn how to bypass regulatory roadblocks intended to suppress their voting turnout. Our monthly media content is designed to provide essential information to confront threats to these rights.

ESD continually conducts projects aimed at getting out the vote (GOTV) that all can contribute to with variable amounts of time and effort. Three of these are as follows.

GOTV Efforts That You Can Join

Youth Registration Project Progressive Voter Turnout Environmental Voter Project
ESD collaborates with The Civics Center, aimed at supporting high school voter registration drives. Potential youth votes gained often outnumber the voting margins in key states and districts. Work with our state teams serves to support voting rights activism. As vote suppression has risen, ESD volunteers have countered by joining with local GOTV efforts in targeted states (e.g., GA, PA, TX). This project increases voter turnout among environmentalists, good allies with respect to challenges facing our democracy (e.g., gun safety). We join EVP, encouraging greater registration and voting as a regular habit.

 

 

To learn more about these projects and how to participate go to Freedoms, Threats & GOTV Campaigns.

Political Corruption

There is a staggering amount of corporate and dark money spent on electing government leaders at all levels. Such corruption is also prevalent in influencing legislation that is passed as are appointments to key government positions (e.g., the Supreme Court). Many legislators are corrupted by this dark money and fail to address the public’s concern for such matters as social equality, health care, the environment and gun safety.

To address this problem, our team partners with pro-democracy-oriented organizations that promote limits on corporate campaign donations, mandate public disclosure, bolster publicly financed election campaigns, and support actions promoting open and fair discussion of political issues. To learn more about these projects and how to participate see Countering Political Corruption.

EAN State Teams

To foster growth in sound democracy at the grassroots level, we are facilitating the development of state teams and support for their regional activism. These state teams provide opportunities to participate in pro-democracy projects pertinent to the political situations at the local, district, regional, and statewide levels. For synergism, state teams partner with other organizations working for the same or similar interests.

Currently, we have partnered with Third Act in establishing the Arizona team. Florida and Wisconsin teams are in the early stages of formation, and Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Pennsylvania teams are under consideration. See EAN State Team Development.

Promotions & Communications

To inform, inspire and equip elders to support sound democracy needs, we utilize:

  • videos, graphics (memes), and social media used to enhance our projects’ objectives; and
  • monthly newsletters in which educational articles are presented concerning specific threats or issues regarding America’s democracy and individual and community rights.

These media products are also used to promote ESD activism to the larger American pro-democracy audience. If you are interested in doing research, reporting, writing, editing, illustrating, social media utility, event planning, marketing or related publication design activity, please contact carolvollen@me.com.

National ESD Operations Support

ESD’s national action group and staff members manage daily operations. Activities include communication and project research support, project and event marketing, new elder engagement, partnership development, and fund raising to expand staff administrative support and state field operations. See if there’s a match for your skills and interest on one of these important teams! To learn more, contact dianas@eldersaction.org.

Sound Democracy Resources & References

Many written or video-recorded resources with continuing value have been generated by past ESD pro-democracy activism efforts. These resources are being collected and will soon be posted in a new ESD Resource & Reference Repository. To find out how you can contribute, contact jjohnson_capr@yahoo.com.

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