Arizona State University: 2018 Language Access Convening

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Arizona State University
Amount: Up to $60,000 in 2018

What is the 2018 Language Access Convening?

The annual Language Access for Voters Summit brings together election officials, advocates, and other experts to share ideas, techniques, and resources – all in service of meeting the needs of voters for whom English is a second language or those who simply prefer to communicate in a language other than English.

Why do we think this event is important?

This convening brings together multiple stakeholders around the issue of language access in elections. Legitimate election outcomes are predicated on a process that is free and fair for all qualified citizens. Accommodating different language needs is essential to ensure that elections are free in fact, and not just in theory.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Arizona State University?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Arizona State University in the amount of up to $60,000 in 2018.

Campaign Legal Center: Online Political Advertising

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Campaign Legal Center
Amount: Up to $50,000 in 2018

What is the Campaign Legal Center?

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. CLC is adamantly nonpartisan, holding candidates and government officials accountable regardless of political affiliation. Their work includes serving as a watchdog group on ethics and campaign finance issues and participating in legal proceedings across the country to defend the right to vote.

Why do we think this organization is important?

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) shines light on the lack of transparency in online political advertising. Opaque and outdated transparency laws make it easy for dark money campaigns to influence elections and political debates online. CLC develops and pushes for common sense solutions that improve transparency of online ads at the state and federal level.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Campaign Legal Center?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to the Campaign Legal Center in the amount of up to $50,000 in 2018.

Four Freedoms Action Fund

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: NEO Philanthropy Action Fund
Amount: Up to $100,000 in 2018

What is the Four Freedoms Action Fund?

The Four Freedoms Action Fund (FFAF) is a project of NEO Philanthropy Action Fund (NEO-PAF) that builds and supports a robust local, state and national infrastructure of immigrants’ rights organizations and leaders. They are conducting a post 2018-midterm mapping and analysis to determine and understand what legislative opportunities there are at the state level to support immigrant communities.

Why do we think this project is a good idea?

We believe that diverse, bipartisan organizations and communities can work together for the common good. Bipartisan efforts are required in order to create safe and secure communities, develop a sense of shared national identity, and make space to defend constitutional norms under attack.  The Four Freedoms Action Fund’s 2018-midterm mapping identifies potential legislative efforts, policy issues, and other state-level opportunities where bipartisan networks can collaborate more effectively.

 How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Four Freedoms Action Fund?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of up to $100,000 to the NEO Philanthropy Action Fund (NEO-PAF) to conduct mapping of the 2018-midterm election and determine where there are legislative opportunities at the state level to support immigrant communities.

National Vote at Home Coalition

Type of activity: Project grant
Grantee: National Vote at Home Coalition
Amount: up to $75,000 over one year

What is the National Vote at Home Coalition?

The National Vote at Home Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ensuring the security of our elections and ensuring that voters’ needs are put first.

Why do we think this project is important?

A well-designed vote-at-home system provides alternatives for election administrators, has the potential to save money, and is an option that is well-liked by voters. The combination of these benefits results in a more efficient and accessible voting system.  The National Vote At Home Coalition will utilize research, education, and network-building to improve how election officials, advocates, and the public interact with Vote by Mail solutions. We believe that improving and increasing vote at home options will enhance efficiency in election administration and increase voter participation.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the National Vote at Home Coalition?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a one year grant of up to $75,000 in 2018 to the National Vote at Home Coalition to increase understanding of Vote by Mail solutions and their benefits to the election process.

Open Society Project

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Niskanen Center for Public Policy
Amount: $175,000 in 2018

What is the Niskanen Center for Public Policy?

The Niskanen Center for Public Policy is a 501(c)(4) organization that works within the governing networks of American politics to advance policies and politics animated by a spirit of thoughtful moderation.

Why do we think this organization is important?

The Niskanen Center for Public Policy is dedicated to protecting democratic institutions and processes. They believe that maintaining a liberal democracy is not a partisan issue, and that American rights and institutions must be actively protected. To this end, their Open Society Project has developed a center-right network of individuals and organizations opposed to the spread of illiberal, nativist populism.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Niskanen Center?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to the Niskanen Center for Public Policy in the amount of $175,000 in 2018.

TXBIZ Votes: Online Voter Registration

Type of activity: Project Grant
Grantee: TXBIZ Votes
Amount: up to $75,000 over one year

What is TXBIZ Votes?

TXBIZ Votes provides non-partisan and non-biased information about where candidates and elected officials stand on issues important to Texas employees, industry sectors, and consumers.

 Why do we think this project is important?

We believe in solutions and institutions that work to support election administrators and improve processes. Election Administrators in Texas have to consistently deal with large amounts of paper registration forms. Online Voter Registration is a reform policy that greatly benefits the public, as well as state and local election officials, by streamlining the voting process. Currently, Texas is the largest remaining state without Online Voter Registration, and it has some of the lowest electoral participation and registration rates in the country.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting TXBIZ?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a one year grant of up to $75,000 in 2018 to TXBIZ Votes to support ongoing state-based efforts to modernize elections in Texas.

Welcoming America

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Welcoming America
Amount: Up to $50,000 in 2018

What is Welcoming America?

Welcoming America is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides the roadmap and support institutions need to become more inclusive toward immigrants and all other residents.

Why do we think this organization is important?

Democracy Fund Voice is committed to supporting voices across the political spectrum who stand up for our democratic norms and institutions. We believe in the dignity of every individual and in the equal protection of their rights under the law.

Welcoming America works to build a movement of inclusive communities by bringing together a network of local governments and nonprofits through an innovative social change model. Founded in 2009, Welcoming America connects local communities with training, resources, national leaders (including Congress), and networks to create initiatives that help motivate policy, reinforce welcoming principles, and communicate the socioeconomic benefits of inclusion.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Welcoming America?

In 2018, Democracy Fund Voice approved one grant to Welcoming America, in the amount of up to $50,000 over one year.

Faith in Texas Action

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Faith in Texas Action
Amount: Up to $100,000 in 2018

What is Faith in Texas Action?

Faith in Texas is an affiliate of the Faith in Action national network, the nation’s largest network developing civic leadership in low- and moderate-income faith communities to advocate for economic and racial justice.  Faith in Texas trains teams of lay leaders in local churches, mosques and synagogues, serving low and moderate-income people. The Justice Teams identify systemic problems that affect their community, and move entire congregations to action through powerful policy campaigns.

Why do we think this organization is important?

The Belonging Communities project of Faith in Texas Action will build new civic capacity in geographic areas that are politically uncontested, particularly suburbs, exurbs, small cities, and states with undivided government. To solve geographic polarization, they will engage faith communities to embrace a “politics of belonging” in areas that are currently polarized and sharply divided.

Faith in Texas creates space for empathy, storytelling, and shared action across the boundaries of race, religion, and economics.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Faith in Texas Action?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Faith in Texas Action in the amount of up to $100,000 in 2018.

 

Free Press Action Fund: Civic Information Bill

Type of Activity: Advocacy Grant
Grantee: Free Press Action Fund
Grants Total: Three grants of up to $560,000 in 2016-2018 

What is the Civic Information Bill?

In 2016, the Federal Communications Commission began its “incentive auction.” This brought about significant reorganization of the public airwaves, and some broadcasters sold their channels and received a portion of the proceeds from the national sale of spectrum to wireless companies. Across the country, state and local governments, along with public and private universities, held non-commercial television licenses that were included in the auction.

The FCC’s Broadcast spectrum incentive auction generated significant funds for the public broadcasting stations. In New Jersey those funds went to the state, which held the broadcast licenses. The Civic Information Bill argues that a portion of the proceeds from these public airwaves should support public interest media.

Why do we think the Civic Information Bill is a good idea?

Free Press Action Fund works to develop and realize creative policy solutions to ensure that all Americans can connect and communicate. This grant supports their work to advocate for the creation of a new civic information consortium in New Jersey which could expand access to news and information for the state’s residents.

We believe that if a portion of the the income generated from the spectrum auction is redistributed with a focus on journalism in the public interest, then it could create a powerful new source of revenue for local news and serve as a model for other places.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Civic Information Bill?

Democracy Fund Voice approved two grants totaling $510,000 during 2016 and 2017, and a grant of up to $50,000 in 2018 to the Free Press Action Fund to lead a campaign that will work to ensure some of the funds raised from the incentive auction go towards sustaining local journalism. In the summer of 2018 Free Press Action Fund was successful in getting the Civic Information Bill passed with broad bipartisan support, securing $5 million for civic information and local community news in New Jersey.