America Votes leads coordination of the progressive community in 20 states across the country. With over 400 state and national partner organizations, as well as a robust range of data and targeting tools, America Votes coordinates the progressives' issue advocacy efforts and independent voter mobilization to most effectively advance progressive policies, lead strategic planning, maximize efficiency, and protect voting rights, with the overarching goal of building the long-term capacity of our partners and the progressive movement.
With the overall goal of maximizing voter participation in 2014, 2016, and beyond, America Votes is taking the lead in many vital state-based voter protection and election reform efforts in key states across the country. By developing strategy from the ground up and helping to coordinate each partner's activities, we ensure that national resources and programs are effective and build strong, permanent in-state capacity across all issue areas, including voter protection.
Common Cause Texas
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard in the political process. Common Cause Texas in 2012 worked with partners to develop a grassroots team of volunteers dedicated to protecting the right to vote for everyone and will continue these efforts in 2014.
Fair Elections Legal Network
The Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN) is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and election reform organization whose mission is to remove barriers to registration and voting for traditionally underrepresented constituencies and to improve overall election administration through administrative, legal and legislative reform as well as provide legal and technical assistance to voter mobilization organizations. FELN employs a staff of attorneys and advocates whose mission is to eliminate barriers to voting and improve election administration across the United States. Working alongside other national and state groups, FELN works to make the processes of voter registration, voting and election administration as accessible as possible for every American, with a special focus on student and minority voters. To this end, FELN produces state-specific guides, reports and testimony, conducts trainings and webinars, and works directly with election officials to ensure that elections are fair and accessible and that voting rights are protected.
People For the American Way Foundation
People For the American Way Foundation was founded in 1981 to promote the values and ideals that sustain a free and diverse society, to safeguard the constitutional principles that undergird American democracy, and to strengthen the public institutions that are charged with making those values and ideals real in the lives of all Americans. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry. We believe a society that reflects these constitutional principles and progressive values is worth fighting for, and we take seriously our responsibility to cultivate new generations of leaders and activists who will sustain these values for the life of this nation.
Rock the Vote
Rock the Vote's mission is to engage and build political power for young people in our country. Founded in 1990 at the intersection of popular culture and politics, Rock the Vote has registered more than five million people to vote and has become a trusted source of information voting. We use music, popular culture, new technologies and grassroots organizing to motivate and mobilize young people to participate in every election. The Millennial Generation, diverse and huge, constituted nearly 1/4 of the entire electorate in 2012. This is both the challenge and the opportunity. Rock the Vote is dedicated to building the political power of young people by engaging them in the electoral process, urging politicians to pay attention to issues that matter to young voters, and protecting their fundamental right to vote. Our goal is to reinvigorate our country's democracy and redefine citizenship for a generation in 2013 and beyond.
Donald M. Saunders has dedicated the past 34 years to the delivery of quality legal services to poor people, nationally as well as on the local and regional levels. Since February 1995 he has served as Vice President of the Civil Legal Services Division at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, having previously served as Legislative Counsel for NLADA and the Project Advisory Group. Don formerly served as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Legal Services Resource Center in Raleigh, NC. In that capacity, he actively engaged in legislative advocacy and appellate work covering a broad range of issues including civil rights law. Before then Don was a staff attorney in the legal services program in Wilmington and the executive director in Boone, NC. Don received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law and his A.B. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina.
Student Debt Crisis
Student Debt Crisis (SDC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to fundamentally reform the way America pays for higher education. Central to this mission is the belief that a well-educated citizenry is essential to our success in the global economy. Our nation’s future is dependent upon Americans developing the critical thinking skills necessary for innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity. SDC has defended this belief by taking on the issue of growing student loan debt, which has made higher education inaccessible and unaffordable. Their efforts include petitions, outreach, and providing a platform for borrowers seeking relief. SDC has gained an almost one million-membership base who have proven their eagerness to engage in higher education reform. By creating a dialogue between borrowers and advocates, Student Debt Crisis has the unique ability to offer information and resources that many believe are inaccessible to borrowers by traditional means.