Making Democracy Work

Great reads

Articles especially pertinent to voting and other League issues

Silicon Valley Indicators

Check out some important data about Silicon Valley, including its civic engagement, and access other Valley "indicators" here.

The Silicon Valley Indicators website is a collection of charts, data, and resources relating to Silicon Valley's economic and community health trends.

Many of the indicators are published in Joint Venture's annual publication, the Silicon Valley Index, released every February. In addition to data, the Index highlights challenges and provides an analytical foundation for regional decision-making. It is a nationally-recognized publication that has been telling the Silicon Valley story for nearly 20 years.

The Indicators website is a project of the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies, housed within Joint Venture Silicon Valley,

The Glory of Democracy

The Glory of Democracy by David Brooks
Dec. 14, 2017

... somehow we've lost our framework. We took our liberal democratic values for granted for so long, we've forgotten how to defend them....

So over the next few months I'm going to use this column, from time to time, to go back to first principles, to go over the canon of liberal democracy -- the thinkers who explained our system and why it is great.

I'm going to start with Thomas Mann's "The Coming Victory of Democracy." Mann, possibly the greatest novelist of his era, fled the Nazis and came to America.... Mann has confidence in democracy's ultimate victory because he has confidence in democracy's ability to renew itself, to "put aside the habit of taking itself for granted."...

Mann's great contribution is to remind us that democracy is not just about politics; it's about the individual's daily struggle to be better and nobler and to resist the cheap and the superficial. Democrats like Mann hold up a lofty image of human flourishing. They inspire a great yearning to live up to it.

Read the article here.

The American Independent Party is California's largest third party. A poll shows 73% may be in it by mistake.

"Residents of rural and urban communities, students and business owners and top Hollywood celebrities with known Democratic leanings -- including Sugar Ray Leonard, Demi Moore and Emma Stone -- were among those who believed they were declaring that they preferred no party affiliation when they checked the box for the American Independent Party....

Of the 500 AIP voters surveyed by a bipartisan team of pollsters, fewer than 4% could correctly identify their own registration as a member of the American Independent Party.

That's what we call a finding with real statistical viability," said Ben Tulchin, a Democratic pollster who helped craft the survey in collaboration with The Times and Republican pollster Val Smith. "It's overwhelming and it's indisputable."

The entire Los Angeles Times article is here.

Automatic Voter Registration Act

December 4, 2017 from the Brennan Center for Justice

Nine states and the District of Columbia have already approved automatic voter registration, and 32 states have introduced automatic registration proposals this year. ...

Automatic voter registration makes two transformative, yet simple, changes to voter registration: Eligible citizens who interact with government agencies are registered to vote unless they decline, and agencies transfer voter registration information electronically to election officials. These two changes create a seamless process that is more convenient and less error-prone for both voters and government officials. This policy boosts registration rates, cleans up the rolls, makes voting more convenient, and reduces the potential for voter fraud, all while lowering costs.

See the article here.

Why Are Millions of Citizens Not Registered to Vote?

from The Pew Charitable Trusts Research & Analysis

Why Are Millions of Citizens Not Registered to Vote?