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Roundup: The Wisconsin Voter Purge, Debt-Free College, and other must-reads

Fresh research and writing for the start of 2020.

Happy New Year from all of us at Demos! Here are a few things we’re thinking about as 2020 begins:

 Democratic Reform 

Black couple hugging and looking off into the distance
  1. A conservative group is suing to force the state of Wisconsin to purge 234,000 voters from voter rolls. We find that the purge will disproportionately target Black voters.
  2. Such inconsistencies in voting rights across the country point to one solution: a right-to-vote constitutional amendment.
  3. In the meantime, we just joined other voting rights advocates in obtaining a legal settlement with the state of Arizona to improve statewide access to voter registration.
  4. Also in Arizona news, our partner LUCHA (Living United for Change in Arizona) tells their story in the New York Times. The lessons they share of how Arizona became a model for democratic reform makes this a must-read for the movement.

“Folks who benefit from having fewer people participate are constantly looking for new ways to suppress turnout.” 

— Stuart Naifeh, Demos Senior Counsel on the Wisconsin purge, quoted in The Guardian

Economic Justice 

Multiracial room applauding and laughing at speaker off frame
  1. Some presidential candidates who critique free college promote unhelpful assumptions about who tuition-free and debt-free college would really serve. (Spoiler: it's not millionaires and billionaires.)
  2. The sharp imbalance between the wealthy and the rest of America affects how public policy itself is formulated and what it looks like. Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman, Roosevelt Institute’s Felicia Wong, and Community Change’s Dorian Warren speak to how and why we need to democratize economic power.
  3. January 1 marked the 216th anniversary of Haitian Independence. The world could learn from Haiti and her people not only for their struggle, but also for their ingenuity, resolve, and courage. 

 We're Hiring! 

  1. We’re looking for the right person to lead our national policy development and research efforts for a democracy and economy rooted in racial equity. Apply to be our next Director of Policy and Research.