Next month, Demos will release a platform of state policies that community members, grassroots organizations, and lawmakers can move to create a democracy and economy that work for all of us— not just wealthy special interests. In Everyone’s America: State Policies for an Equal Say in Our Democracy and an Equal Chance in Our Economy, Demos lays out race-forward economic and pro-democracy policy agendas, centering the working class and people of color, and building on the success of Everyone’s Economy: 25 Federal Policies to Lift up Working People. Each of the 28 state policy briefs includes information about the underlying problem, polling data, messaging guidance, an array of recommended policy solutions, examples of how similar policies create change or build power, and additional resources.
Today, state and local governments must lead on political, economic, and racial justice, to counteract national politics tangled in scandal and stalemate. At the national level, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney, a former Congressman, recently flaunted how access to congressional offices can be purchased with financial contributions, and called on a room full of bankers to help him undermine the bureau’s objective of protecting consumers. Against this backdrop, states can lead by example, by establishing state partnership banks that put the needs of communities and consumers first, and passing laws to reduce the corrosive influence of big money in politics and increase democratic participation by people from all walks of life.
Similarly, state investments in climate justice, education equity, and health care can help show that a better future for all Americans is possible— even as the federal government retreats on climate change, appoints a major party donor to head the Department of Education and starve public schools, and celebrates the thought of slashing healthcare access for millions of people. And innovative state policies to transform the criminal legal system and guarantee fair employment and voting rights for all can help counter a federal administration that is aggressively rolling back advances on LGBTQ rights and racial justice.
We are so excited about Everyone’s America that we’ve released this preview, which features some of the transformational state policies set forth in the full book.