The CWA News | Critical Time For Our Democracy

Volume 75, Issue #4 | Winter 2015

Critical Time For Our Democracy

Democracy Initiative intensifies push for mass movement for Democracy

This booklet outlines a path forward to reaching the goals CWA members care about: secure jobs, health care, retirement security and bargaining and organizing rights. Download it at http://bit.ly/1XNRPly.

This booklet outlines a path forward to reaching the goals CWA members care about: secure jobs, health care, retirement security and bargaining and organizing rights. Download it at http://bit.ly/1XNRPly.

The inspiration for the Democracy Initiative (DI) was extreme frustration that the path to achieving CWA's goals of secure, sustainable jobs, health care, retirement security and bargaining and organizing rights was blocked by a concerted attack on our democratic process. Workers' rights were eroding and contract bargaining was harder than ever.

Our progressive allies also were blocked from achieving climate change legislation, student loan reform, forward progress on civil and human rights and much more.

The excesses of the 2012 elections, where Republican and Democratic candidates, parties and outside groups spent a total of $7 billion was another trigger, as well as the fact that more than 30 states had passed voter suppression legislation specifically designed to lower turnout among African-American and other minority voters, young and older Americans, and lower-income votes.

In 2013, four organizations -- CWA, NAACP, Sierra Club and Greenpeace -- came together, pledging to unite and fight together for our democracy. Three years later, the Democracy Initiative has an amazing core of board members -- CWA, NAACP, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Common Cause and the AFL-CIO --

and 60 endorsing organizations with 30 million member activists.

"Together we can build a democracy where our members' dreams are imaginable and not blocked by a system with abysmally low voter participation and outrageously high spending that's considered by many to be 'business as usual.' We can't accept that and we won't accept that. But changing it will need all of us working together," said Democracy Initiative Chair Larry Cohen, past president of CWA.

The Democracy Initiative has a strategic plan for 2016 and beyond, one that combines coordinated state actions and dramatic direct action in Washington, D.C. We're aiming high, and we're committed together to mobilizing millions of activists to build this movement for a 21st century democracy. Without it, none of our dreams will be realized.