As the League enters our second century of work, we are at a moment of truth in our country. President Biden referred to the current assault on voting rights as “the most significant threat to our democracy since the Civil War,” and he’s right. The recent wave of anti-voter laws, which disproportionately disempower Black, brown, female, seniors, the disabled, and young Americans, undermine the very ideals of democracy.
That’s not all. The rampant spread of mis- and disinformation is breaking down Americans’ trust in our government. The redistricting process is being manipulated to allow politicians to choose their constituents rather than the other way around. Barriers are being put in place to decrease voter participation based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender, among other factors.
This is a direct threat to what we stand for.
How the League is Tackling These Issues
The League was founded to empower women to fully participate in our democracy, and today, we continue that work alongside our allies who focus on empowering other marginalized communities. While our primary focuses may be different, we share a common goal: to create a more inclusive, equitable democracy.
To that end, we’re rising to the challenges facing our country. The League is investing more than $5 million this year alone into a new programmatic focus — Women Power Democracy — to support initiatives that will help us realize a stronger, more representative American democracy.
Through a 4-pronged approach, we will build upon members’ organizing work in 2020 to empower voters and defend our democracy ahead of the midterm elections in 2022, as well as those that follow.
The four components of our Women Power Democracy work are:
- Democracy Truth Project, to counter mis- and disinformation and advance better public understanding of the democratic and electoral processes. With trusted partners, including leading scholars, we will target the voters and communities that are most commonly the focus of mis- and disinformation campaigns with trusted and accurate information.
- Expand the Franchise, to increase voter participation through our Education Fund’s VOTE411.org platform and voter registration, education, and mobilization programs, with a focus on underrepresented populations and/or infrequent voters. We will work on expanding registration and participation for voters with limited incomes, communities of color, non-college youth, unmarried women, and new citizens.
- Democracy Defense Fund, to protect the right to vote and advance a more equitable democracy through organizing, advocacy, and voter protection efforts, including in the courts. Hundreds of restrictive voting bills nationwide focus on implementing stricter voter ID laws, restricting votes by mail, limiting voter registration availability, and purging voters from the rolls more aggressively—all of them disproportionately targeting Black, brown, and female voters. We will support local Leagues in educating the public about anti-voter bills in their states, mitigating the impact of new laws, and bringing legal battles as necessary.
- People Powered Fair Maps™ (PPFM) to create fair, transparent, people-powered processes and eliminate partisan and racial gerrymandering. PPFM is our national redistricting reform program focused on creating fair political maps in all 50 states and DC. Redistricting is often perceived as a complicated and inaccessible process; we will demonstrate the impact of redistricting on issues of concern to community members – such as health care, transportation, city resources and services, and infrastructure – and empower them to get involved.
This investment is our commitment to ensuring fair representation, expanding the electorate for future elections, and helping shape what democracy looks like at the community level.
Women Power Democracy and You
We believe in the power of women -- and our allies -- to make these changes. While the program is named “Women Power Democracy” to reflect both our widely-recognized name and our history of tackling misogyny, we are mindful of the work so many male and nonbinary people have done to safeguard our freedoms. Just as they have lifted our voices, we are committed to uplifting the essential, inclusive work of our allies of all gender identities.
The truth. Voter participation and protection. Fair representation.
Through Women Power Democracy, we’re backing these values with action. And we know we’re not alone. We’re standing in solidarity with all the people who are being threatened by recent political developments – Black and brown women, transgender and nonbinary voters, those outside of the 1% of wealthiest Americans, and more. It will take all of us to combat anti-voter, anti-democratic laws.
Will you join us?