This past weekend I was in Albany, NY attending my sixth Democracy Matters summit. This year the summit brought together over 90 students from across the country to learn more about the role of money in politics, grassroots organizing, and to strategize about ways to engage other students and community member in the campaign to get big money out of politic and put people back in. Continue reading to learn more…
Here are only a few highlights from a weekend that was brimming with them (taken from the most recent Democracy Matter E-News):
- Saturday night’s dialogue about DM’s relationship to Occupy and about this critical moment for activism held among Summit participants and Jay Mandle (DM Board member), Gary Holder-Winfield (public financed Connecticut legislator and political activist), and Nick Nyhart (President of DM’s national ally, Public Campaign).
- The Voter Suppression workshop, facilitated by Lee Rowland from the Brennan Center, that examined the new anti-democratic state voting laws and how we can fight back to ensure that everyone has a vote.
- Burt Weltman’s reminder that political activism to create a real and inclusive American democracy has been part of our history since the beginning; that we are linked to all those struggles – the civil rights movement, the progressive movement, the fight for labor unions, women’s suffrage and more – linked to all those who also fought for a government truly of, by, and for the people.
- The Sunday morning “Connecting the Dots” workshops where 1) Daryn Cambridge examined the close connections between today’s civil rights activism and the movement for public financing of elections; 2) Katie Rahill of Peace Action explored the links between military spending, the need for fair elections, and today’s peace movement; and 3) Joan Mandle highlighted the relationship between the under-representation of women in politics and their difficulty in raising enough money to be viable candidates.
As always, it was great to spend the weekend with so many inspiring youth organizers and democracy advocates.