I want to organize a Voter Assembly in my community, where do I start?
Choose a Good Location and Time
Accessible, public spaces outside (parks, prominent intersections, or in front of civic buildings) are usually a good bet. If you need to use an indoor space then an accessible, public space such as a community center would be ideal.
Provisional ballots are not counted on election night, but must first go through a qualification process to determine whether or not the voter was eligible 1) to vote at all, and 2) to vote in all races on the ballot that was cast. . . . Observing this process can increase the chances that it is conducted fairly, in part by providing a deterrent to biased decision-making.
What Can an Election Integrity Activist Do On Election Night?
Bev Harris of Blackbox Voting has put out a brief educational video about what citizens who want to ensure election integrity can do. She tells you exactly what to look for and video on Election Night to protect the count. You can take some easy steps to minimize election machine voter fraud.
Your help is needed. Thousands of citizens can ensure a fair election if they get active and involved in working for election integrity.
Learning Citizenship and Democracy Through Participatory Budgeting: The Case of Rosario, Argentina, by Josh Lerner and Daniel Schugurensky. Analysis of the pedagogical dimension and educational effects of participatory budgeting.
Active Democracy: Citizen Participation in Decision Making www.activedemocracy.net
Description: Run by Lyn Carson at University of Sydney, this is an interesting collection of mostly Australian case studies and links.
February 8, 2006: Council Ordered To Address Iraq Issue
Description: A judge orders city council of Watertown, Wisconsin to decide whether it will vote on a resolution to withdraw US troops from Iraq or let it proceed to referendum. The judge found it a legislative matter and proper for the council to consider. Advisory referenda are proper subjects for direct legislation.
From unreliable electronic voting machines and millions of uncounted ballots, to partisan election officials and 10-hour waits at the polls, it is clear that our electoral system is in dire need of an overhaul. To build a more just, secure, and robust democracy, please support the following 10-point Voter Bill of Rights:
1. Pass a Constitutional Amendment Confirming the Right to Vote
Over the past year, campus-based organizers have staged a series of significant mobilizations across the Unites States, including (but not limited to) antiracist rallies, massive antiwar demonstrations, sit-ins and building occupations, labor strikes (by both grad unions and staff), student strikes and boycotts, and Tent State Universities.
As we have written in the past, states have increasingly taken action to stop global trade deals from undermining state authority and state regulations that protect consumers, workers and the environment.
In recent weeks, the debate has heated up over the need to institutionalize the voice of states and protect state authority within trade negotiations. Just last week the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) passed a resolution asking the White House to commit its trade office to avoiding preemption of state authority. The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade also recently held a hearing on the issue of strengthening state voices within the trade negotiation process.
From Saving the News: Toward a National Journalism Strategy
"Journalism is a public good. As a society, we all benefit from quality news and information. But like many public goods, journalism has always been heavily subsidized. The subsidy model that prevailed for the past century — advertising-supported journalism — appears to be dying. If current trends continue, America could soon embark on an unprecedented social experiment by becoming the first advanced democracy to leave wide sectors of society and entire geographic regions without a fully functional, professional press. We are venturing into uncharted territory."
The Free Speech Organizing Toolkit is designed to provide campus leaders and free speech supporters with the tools to work with higher education leaders to remove impediments to a marketplace of ideas on their campus.
This valuable toolkit was produced by the Center for Campus Free Speech. The Center acts as a clearinghouse of information, provides specialized support to campuses, and connects concerned educators, administrators, lawyers and students into a national network. The Center draws advice and guidance from a group of leaders in the higher education and legal communities.
State legislation designed to end National Guard deployments to Iraq and/or Afghanistan and to reform state National Guard law . . .
- 2009 Session -
Note: Legislation is also pending in Alaska, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Campaigns are also underway in California, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C..
The Center for Campus Free Speech releases there Guide to Student Activity Fees - a primer on the legal issues involved in creating and managing a student activity fee system.
Student fee systems are used by students across the country to provide the resources for a wide variety of out-of-classroom activities.
Students fund everything from service organizations to advocacy to educational forums and guest speakers. They debate and learn about critical issues like multiculturalism, the environment, education policy, conflicts in the Middle East and religion. They learn new skills and create change on major problems the world faces.
Student activity fees give involved students the resources to create a vibrant marketplace of ideas on campus.
The new debate over war powers, defense policy,
and the National Guard
This study memo–maybe more dependent on computer literacy than on a knowledge of Latin legal maxims–consists of three features: The author’s narrative, documents or parts of documents integrated into the syllabus for easy reference, and links to the full texts of these documents as well as to other documents.
Many, many thanks to Ben Manski of the Liberty Tree Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Law School for creating this opportunity for dialogue.
“Bring the Guard Home! It’s the Law.” is a national movement of state campaigns to end the unlawful overseas deployment of our National Guard. There are active campaigns in over 20 states working with state legislators to pass laws that will help keep our National Guard units from being sent to Iraq, and prevent future deployments that are not legal. With this legislation, the states can begin to reassert their historic national defense responsibilities and to honor the Constitution's genius for distributing power over issues of war and peace. This campaign can also help to bring an end to an occupation that has caused incredible suffering and death for untold numbers of innocent people.
This report, by John Schmitt and Ben Zipperer of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, updates an earlier report from January of 2007, which found a steep rise in illegal firings of pro-union workers in the 2000s relative to the last half of the 1990s. It updates the index of the probability that a pro-union worker will be fired in the course of a union election campaign, using published data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It also takes into consideration the increase in card-check organizing campaigns that began in the mid-1990s and adjusts the index for this factor.
This map pinpoints communities across America that are innovating how to build their local economies while taking into their own hands the fight against climate change by developing community-scale renewable energy projects.
Ballen, Denmark, is one of 18 small villages on Samsø, an island of 4,000 residents. The new Energy Academy with its 11 new jobs is located here, doubling as a meeting house and visitor center for those who come here from the world over to learn how to become 100 percent energy-independent. The island has 21 huge wind turbines generating over 104 million kW h/year, enough to power 26,000 homes. Sixty percent of the island’s buildings are heated by 4 solar district heating systems, with straw-burning back-up boilers; the rest use electric heat pumps. Cars run on electricity.
San Diego and its community choice energy district would be able to offer a diverse energy mix with all of the solar, biodiesel, biogas, and energy storage resources that we have in San Diego. A product that is price competitive and yet at the same time would strive for and achieve a higher level of renewable content.”
See how this southern California city is striving for more clean energy and more local control in this interview with Lane Sharman, co-founder and chair of the San Diego Energy District Foundation. This podcast was recorded via Skype on May 21, 2014.
That Nigeria is facing power supply challenge is an understatement. But the Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Dr Godwin Uyi Ojo, in this interview with CHARLES OKONJI, says the epileptic power supply has an exit date if only Nigeria embraces energy democracy. Excerpts:
You have been advocating energy democracy. Can you explain to us what you mean by energy democracy?
IN THE MID-1960s, when author, historian, and political economist Gar Alperovitz was working as legislative director for Senator Gaylord Nelson, change was in the air. Ink had dried on an early version of the Clean Air Act, the civil rights movement had won major victories, and the first Earth Day was in the works. The U.S. still faced plenty of serious challenges, but many Americans felt their country was capable of dealing with them successfully.
Private banks have not always been accepted institutions, fixtures of commerce, and purveyors of most of our economic transactions. Throughout US history, there have been robust public conversations about banks, largely due to their propensity to derail the economy when their business models fail. One example of this was in rural Vermont in 1806, when the state established their first public bank. Testimony on that bill, from Governor Tichenor lays out the problem:
This June 6-8, more than 500 movement leaders, activists, practitioners, and newcomers will come together in Boston for CommonBound, the New Economy Coalition’s largest and most significant convening yet.
Like much of the rest of the globe, New York City is beset by two crises: economic instability and the changing climate. Any hope of making our intensely unequal and unsustainable city more equitable and resilient requires fundamental changes in the relationship between the government and its people, and between the economy and its infrastructure. This requires more than a change of administrations; it requires a reconstruction of the governance process itself.
When Iya’Falola Omobola first crossed the Mississippi state border 10 years ago, she felt uneasy. A friend told her that she was “feeling the energy from all those bodies hanging in the trees.” Yet, Omobola’s feeling soon changed. Born into a family of civil rights and labor organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, Omobola came to see Jackson as the Phoenix that rises from the ashes.
With the fast flow of information these days, the average citizen can easily be just as informed as any local politician or policy wonk. So why do we need politicians to spend our tax dollars for us? Especially when it comes local communities, people have a visceral and intuitive understanding of the changes they want to see.
If you happen to be looking for your morning coffee near Golden Gate Park and the bright red storefront of the Arizmendi Bakery attracts your attention, congratulations. You have found what the readers of The San Francisco Bay Guardian, a local alt-weekly, deem the city’s best bakery. But it has another, less obvious, distinction.
In recent years, the concept and practice of sharing resources is fast becoming a mainstream phenomenon across North America, Western Europe and other world regions. The internet is awash with articles and websites that celebrate the vast potential of sharing human and physical assets, in everything from cars and bicycles to housing, workplaces, food, household items, and even time or expertise.
The 85 richest people on planet "own the wealth of half the world's population", the charity said.
The world's elite have rigged laws in their own favour undermining democracy and creating a chasm of inequality across the globe, charity Oxfam said in advance of the annual get-together of the world's most powerful at Davos.
Last August hundreds of people from across the country convened in Madison, WI for the 2nd Democracy Convention. Made up of nine individual conferences, the Convention was an extraordinary space for individuals and organizations to network with and learn from one another in the service of building a larger, more dynamic democracy movement.
In December 2012, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. This year’s conference had some big-name participants, from Ed Stone of Nasa’s Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his adventures in deep-sea submersibles.