Statement on the Introduction of John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

“The Supreme Court’s disastrous 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision left voting rights, especially those of people of color, exposed to unchecked attacks by extremist state lawmakers. Today’s reintroduction of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) is necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act to its full power and represents a fundamental step forward in ensuring our freedom to vote.

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Statement from Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy, on today’s expected release of 2020 census data by the U.S. Census Bureau to be used in redistricting

“Today’s release of census data starts the clock for states to begin the redistricting process, and marks the beginning of gerrymandering’s next attack on fair representation. Without protection from the For the People Act, Americans are looking at another 10 years where politicians pick their voters, rather than the other way around.”

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Recess Can Wait; Our Democracy Can’t

The Declaration for American Democracy coalition and 22 member organizations issued statements calling for August recess to be delayed until the For the People Act is passed.

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Statement on Georgia Field Hearing

The testimony during today’s field hearing on voting rights painted a grim picture of the real life consequences of the attack on our freedom to vote that we’ve heard time and time again. The unfortunate reality is that what Georgia voters experienced during the last election and in decades past is not unique.

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Following Mark-up, Declaration for American Democracy Coalition Calls on Senate to Immediately Pass & Send the For the People Act to President Biden’s Desk to Sign into Law

“Today’s efforts by Republicans to obstruct progress on S. 1, the For the People Act, during the Senate’s mark-up session blatantly ignores the will of the American people. The For the People Act’s common sense reforms to make the promise of American democracy real for us all, no matter our color, zip code, or income.

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Democracy Coalition Applauds House Passage of D.C. Statehood Legislation, Urges Senate to Immediately Follow Suit

People in our nation’s capital are now one step closer to finally having the same rights and representation in government as the rest of the country. The Declaration for American Democracy applauds the passage of H.R. 51 in the House, and the leadership of Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and the over 200 cosponsors of this legislation for ensuring that the District of Columbia and its more than 700,000 residents are granted equal and fair representation in Congress.

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Democracy Coalition Thanks Sen. Manchin for his Commitment to Voting Rights for All Americans, Looks to Partner with the Senator to Pass the For the People Act

We thank Senator Joe Manchin for his response to S. 1, the For the People Act, and his commitment to curbing the influence of dark money in our politics and making sure that all Americans have equal access to the ballot box, particularly Black, Brown and Indigenous communities and other communities of color that continue to face disenfranchisement. Sen. Manchin has long been a champion for voting rights and ensuring that our democratic institutions and elections are fair, transparent, and free from any outside interference.

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Democracy Coalition Applauds Senate for Introducing S. 1, the For The People Act, Calls on Senate to Immediately Pass & Send the Transformative Democracy Reform Package to President Biden’s Desk to Sign into Law

With the introduction of S. 1, the For The People Act, the Senate made it clear that democracy reform is a top priority. We applaud Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Rules Committee Chairwoman Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), for their leadership in moving our country toward a government that finally lives up to our founding promise of a democracy that is of, by, and for the people.

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Nearly 50 Groups Respond to House Passage of HR1

Declaration for American Democracy 51 for 51 AFSCME American Federation of Teachers Bend the Arc (below) Blue Wave Postcards Movement (below) Brady United Brennan Center Campaign Legal Center Center for American Progress Center for Popular Democracy Clean Elections Texas...

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On 11th Anniversary of Supreme Court’s Damaging Citizens United v. FEC decision, Declaration for American Democracy Celebrates Reintroduction of Constitutional Amendment to Get Big Money of Politics

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy – a diverse, grassroots coalition of nearly 180 labor, racial justice, voting rights, faith, environmental, women’s rights and good government groups, along with many other important communities...

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Statement on Washington DC Admission Act (H.R. 51) Reintroduction

Statement from Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy – a coalition of over 170 organizations from the labor, racial justice, faith, women’s rights, environmental, good government, and many other important communities – in response to the reintroduction...

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Voters Make Clear that Change is Needed Now: 170+ Organizations Call on Congress & President-Elect Biden to Finish the Job and Pass the For the People Act as a First Priority to Rebuild Our Democracy

Statement from Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy – a coalition of over 170 organizations from the labor, racial justice, voting rights, faith, environmental, women’s rights, good government, and many other important communities, representing tens...

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Debate Moderator Letter

To Chris Wallace, Susan Page, Steve Scully, and Kristen Welker: Debates present a special forum for the American people to hear directly from presidential and vice-presidential candidates about their vision for how to grapple with the problems facing the country. During a year...

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Uphold True Democracy and Support Black Lives

The anti-Black violence and continued police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin last week is yet one more tragedy on a 400+ year timeline of structural and systemic racism in America against the Black, Indigenous, and people of color who live here.  Ever since the founding of...

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We’re Hiring! DFAD is seeking a Campaign Associate.

Campaign Associate – Declaration for American Democracy GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The Declaration for American Democracy (DFAD) Coalition seeks to educate the public on the key issues facing our democracy and grow the grassroots movement for reforms through inspiring people...

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In Response to the Senate’s COVID-19 Stimulus Bill:

Statement from Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy – a coalition of 160 organizations from the labor, racial justice, voting rights, faith, environmental, women’s rights, good government, and many other important communities – in response to the...

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Mail-in Voting is About Democracy, Not Helping Democrats

Statement from Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy – a coalition of over 160 organizations from the labor, racial justice, faith, women’s rights, environmental, good government, and many other important communities – in response to President Trump’s...

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DFAD Statement on Extrajudicial Killings of Black Americans

Statement from Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy – a coalition of 160 organizations from the labor, racial justice, faith, women’s rights, environmental, good government, and many other important communities – in response to police...

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This Week in Democracy Reform

This week, states continued to adapt their primary elections to address the challenges of coronavirus. Milwaukee implemented a new drive-up early voting program, and voting rights activists sued the state of Wisconsin to ease prohibitive barriers to absentee voting. Iowa will...

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Vote by mail questions, more elections delayed, and more.

This Week in 200 Words This week, several more states cancelled or postponed their primaries due to the coronavirus, bringing the total postponed state primaries to nine. Georgia will send mail-in ballots to every registered voter in time for its rescheduled primary, Iowa has...

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H.R. 1 Anniversary Activist Webinar

Our democracy is in turmoil. Billionaires and corporate interests are flooding our elections with money, and state legislatures are trying to enact laws that suppress the voices of voters. But members of Congress are pushing back. Last year, Democrats in the U.S. House of...

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Native American Voting Rights, DC Statehood, & More

This Week in 200 Words This week in state updates, a Native American voting rights case over North Dakota’s photo ID law is headed to court. Michigan activists are rallying to oppose Republican efforts to roll back the independent redistricting and government ethics reforms...

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Citizens United: 10 Years Later Americans Demand Change

Washington, D.C. – Today marks 10 years since the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for corporations and wealthy donors to spend an unlimited amount of money to influence our elections with its Citizens United v. FEC decision. To put the power back in the hands of people, the...

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Voting Machines Upgrades, Ranked Choice Voting and More

This Week in 200 Words This week, a federal judge upheld Georgia’s purge of nearly 100,000 voters from its voter rolls. A North Carolina voter ID law was struck down with references to the state’s history of racist voter suppression. A Texas voter registration law is also...

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Dark Money Rising, New Bipartisan Redistricting in Ohio and more

This Week in 200 Words This week, Ohio will launch its new bipartisan redistricting process in 2021. Wisconsin approved $1.1 million to reinforce election security. Michigan has seen a rise in dark money in recent times. Even with steps taken by Missouri, big money still has a...

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What would the Freedom to Vote Act achieve?

The Freedom to Vote Act is a bold and transformative legislative package that would create national standards to protect our freedom to vote, get big money out of politics, combat partisan election subversion, and guarantee that congressional districts are drawn to give fair representation for all.

Together we can realize a democracy that represents, reflects, and responds to all of us.

Protects Our Freedom to Vote
  • Automatic Voter Registration and Online Voter Registration: Enacts an automatic voter registration system for each state through the state’s motor vehicle agency and ensures voters in all states have access to online voter registration.
  • Election Day Holiday: Makes Election Day a public holiday.
  • Uniform Early Voting: Ensures voters have access to at least 15 consecutive days of early voting for federal elections, including two weekends, while accommodating small election jurisdictions and vote-by-mail jurisdictions.
  • Same Day Voter Registration: Ensures every state offers same day registration at a limited number of locations for the 2022 elections and at all polling locations by 2024, allowing election officials, especially in rural areas, time to implement the new requirements.
  • Federal Minimum Standards on Vote by Mail and Drop Boxes: Ensures all voters can request a mail-in ballot, improves the delivery of election mail, and puts in place minimum standards to ensure drop boxes are available and accessible to all voters.
  • Strengthens Voter List Maintenance Standards: Requires that the removal of voters from the rolls is done on the basis of reliable and objective evidence and prohibits the use of returned mail sent by third parties to remove voters.
  • Counting of Provisional Ballots: Requires provisional ballots to count for all eligible races within a county, regardless of the precinct they were cast in.
  • Standards for Voter Identification: Promotes voter confidence and access by requiring a uniform national standard for states that requires identification for in-person voting, and allowing voters to present a broad set of identification cards and documents in hard copy and digital form.
  • Voting Rights Restoration for Returning Citizens: Restores the right to vote in federal elections for people who have served their time for felony convictions after they are released from prison.
  • Expanded Voting Access Protections for the Disabled, Native Americans, Military, Overseas Voters, and Underserved Communities: Includes targeted protections to promote accessible voting to communities facing unique challenges.
Ensures Fair Representation in Government
  • Bans Partisan Gerrymandering: Prevents states from adopting congressional maps that unduly favor a political party. Maps will be measured against concrete numerical thresholds for each state, created by political scientists using quantitative metrics of partisan fairness. Courts will also be able to look broadly at the maps and mapmakers’ intent to determine whether they are unduly favoring a political party.
  • Strengthens Protections for Communities of Color: By bolstering Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, requiring districts be drawn to represent communities of interest, including communities that share racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Requires States to Adopt Transparent and Fair Processes for Maps: Allows states to enact redistricting plans using their legislature, a commission, or any other entity — provided they hold public hearings, accept public input, adhere to transparency requirements, and explain how final plans adhere to the Voting Rights Act and the ban on partisan gerrymandering.
  • Takes Effect Immediately and Applies to All 2022 Maps: Prevents any unfair maps ahead of the 2022 elections, and courts may not allow an illegal map to be used simply because an election is imminent. Any resident may sue their state in federal court for violating the redistricting provisions, and if the court finds the law has been violated, it may either draw a new map or require the state to redraw its map.
Reduces the Influence of Big Money in Politics
  • Combatting Secret Money and Election Interference (DISCLOSE Act and Honest Ads Act): Requires super PACs, 501(c)(4) groups, and other organizations spending money in elections to disclose donors and shuts down the use of transfers between organizations to cloak the identity of contributors. Ensures that political ads sold online have the same transparency and disclosure requirements as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite.
  • State Election Assistance & Innovation Fund: Establishes a self-sustaining fund to finance critical investments in state-led innovations for our democracy and election infrastructure. The fund is financed through an additional assessment paid on federal fines, penalties, and settlements for certain tax crimes and corporate malfeasance. States would be allotted an annual distribution for eligible democracy and election-related investments. States could select to access their full distribution or a partial distribution, or roll over their distribution for future use.
  • Nonpartisan Oversight of Federal Election Law: Improves the ability of the Federal Election Commission to carry out oversight and enforcement responsibilities.
  • Stopping Illicit Super PAC Coordination: Creates “coordinated spender” category to ensure single-candidate super PACs do not operate as arms of campaigns.
Combats Partisan Election Subversion
  • Preventing State Election Subversion: Establishes federal protections to insulate nonpartisan state and local officials who administer federal elections from undue partisan interference or control.
  • Protection of Election Records, Election Infrastructure, and Ballot Tabulation: Strengthens protections for federal election records and election infrastructure in order to protect the integrity and security of ballots and voting systems.
  • Voter-Verified Paper Ballots, Reliable Audits, and Voting System Upgrades: Requires states to use voting systems that use paper ballots that can be verified by voters and to implement reliable post-election audits. Also provides grants for states to purchase new and more secure voting systems and make cybersecurity improvements.
  • Non-Partisan Election Official Recruitment and Training: Tasks the Election Assistance Commission with developing model training programs to recruit a new generation of election workers and provides dedicated grants for training and recruitment.
  • Comprehensive Voting System Security Protections: Puts in place election vendor cybersecurity standards, including standards for manufacturing and assembling voting machines, among other key security measures.
  • Establishing Duty to Report Foreign Election Interference: Creates a reporting requirement for federal campaigns to disclose certain foreign contacts.

What is the Declaration for American Democracy?

A Coalition of 230+ Member Organizations

The Declaration for American Democracy is an anti-oppression coalition working together to make the promise of democracy real for all of us.

We believe our democratic systems, institutions, and leaders must reflect, represent, and respect the diverse, multicultural nation that we are and have always been. For democracy to work for all of us, it must include all of us and address the deep systemic, institutional challenges that continue to block meaningful progress to this day. As America’s diversity continues to grow, so must our democracy.

Our Mission

Today our democracy faces crises on multiple fronts -- compounded by a deeply problematic history that has held us back from achieving an inclusive and equitable multiracial  nation since our founding. Powerful corporations and wealthy special interests use their money and influence to shape public policy priorities. Extremist politicians are putting up deliberate barriers to block access to the ballot box and silence the voices of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, low-income, LGBTQIA, disability, and other marginalized communities. State legislatures are manipulating Congressional maps to allow politicians to pick their voters and hoard power for their political parties. And our government has failed to respond after four years of a corrupt administration and Supreme Court decisions gutting voting rights protections and anti-corruption laws.

Working together, we are committed to passing national standards, including the Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and DC Statehood, to transform our political system and move our country closer to realizing the true promise of democracy. However, we will not be satisfied with any single reform and will continue to press for the structural changes necessary to rebalance power for the people and undo the historic harms that have barred communities that have been marginalized and denied political power since the founding of the United States.

We believe people of color, young people, people with disabilities, language minorities, and other historically disenfranchised communities should have equal access to the ballot and be equitably represented in government. We believe everyday people should have a stronger voice in elections than wealthy donors and special interests. And we believe our government should be transparent and accountable to the people.

Together we must ensure the freedom to vote is a fundamental American right and that the people -- regardless of our color, our background, or our zip code - hold the power, not the wealthy and corporations.

Our Vision

Therefore, we, the Declaration for American Democracy, are committed to working together to achieve this vision and model our values in how we work together. As a coalition, we will invest in each other and treat each other with respect. We will acknowledge and learn from our past, including the legacy of racism and white supremacy in our movement and democratic institutions. In decision making we will center Black, Brown, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, language minorities, as well as other impacted communities. And we will invest in each other through professional development, collaborative grantmaking, and shared projects.

Our 230+ Member Organizations

DFAD Members

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