We can’t give up on building a nation where all of us have an equal voice in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. As Demos Legal Director Chiraag Bains points out, the legal record of Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh “raises grave questions about whether he will ensure the equality and dignity of all Americans, including people of color and working-class individuals.”
At this crossroads for the nation, it’s more critical than ever that working people of all races and ethnicities stand together for a more equitable America. In states across the country, we can—and must—build power and implement policies that will advance racial equality, make a concrete economic difference in the lives of all working people, and break down barriers to meaningful democratic participation and representation. That’s why Demos is releasing our new state policy briefing book, Everyone’s America.
In the face of the phony, fear-based populism used by wealthy special interests to divide, distract, and disempower working people as they rig the rules to increase their own power, Everyone’s America offers a multiracial, populist vision of a nation that truly represents all of its people—and a concrete policy agenda to inspire and activate the new American Demos to get us there.
The new state briefing book is a resource for policymakers, grassroots organizations, and community members. Building on the success of our federal briefing book, Everyone’s Economy, the state book provides 26 policy briefs summarizing the underlying problem, a range of policy solutions that can be tailored to the needs of different states, polling data on these policies, messaging guidance, and concrete examples of how the policies have succeeded in other states. We also include links to further resources from experts who specialize in the area.
Leaving behind tired debates over the primacy of race or class, Everyone’s America puts both racial equity and economic justice at the forefront, illustrating in each policy brief the ways that race and class are interconnected. As an example, for many workers of color and working women of every race, workplace laws were never fair. Today, as women and people of color make up a growing share of America’s working class, greedy corporations and their political enablers are using strategic racism to undermine support for improving job standards (like a minimum wage that reflects a basic respect for people’s real contributions on the job) that would benefit all working people. Identifying this strategy of strategic racism is an effective way to build power and political will for the policy change that polls show a majority of Americans already favor.
Today the Supreme Court hangs in the balance. Yet whatever its fate, 2018 has tremendous potential for real change in states across the country. We are excited to offer Everyone’s America, available for free download, as a tool for making that change a reality.