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Local Indivisible groups build and wield power in ways that individuals can’t. To create change, you need the collective constituent power that comes with working together, as Indivisibles.

Indivisibles organize -- which means building power and flexing at key moments. Indivisible Groups take action in their communities, build collective purpose, and create change.

We make calls. We show up. We organize. And we’ve built lasting collective power across the country, in our home towns. We’re Indivisible.

We’re a grassroots movement of thousands of local Indivisible groups with a mission to elect progressive leaders, rebuild our democracy, and defeat the Trump agenda.

Why Democracy Reform Matters

Democracy reform is a racial justice issue. Our democracy is rigged to privilege the white and wealthy, and it has been from the start. Originally built to exclude everyone besides land-owning white men, our democracy today still works to exclude people of color, poor people, disabled folks, and immigrants. Recent elections have shown this play out in stark terms: thousands of voters—disproportionately low-income and people of color—have been systematically prevented from casting ballots because of strict voter ID laws, voter roll purges, and other suppressive tactics; millions in corporate and dark money has poured into our elections; and two Republican presidents winning the presidency despite losing the popular vote. 

Our other democratic institutions are also at risk. Gerrymandered districts restrict political representation, media conglomerates prevent accountability from our leadership, and the hijacked conservative Supreme Court enact rulings that benefit the wealthy and ignore the needs of the people. This situation is unsustainable and must be addressed with comprehensive and far-reaching legislation. 

In order to save our democracy, we need a bold day-one democracy agenda: we must pass legislation to democratize the Senate, institute voting rights for all, legitimize the courts, preserve a free and independent media, create fair maps and fair elections, and institute campaign finance reform. 

Our democracy isn’t working for ALL the people because of huge structural barriers that are inherent in the system. That means that Congress needs to recognize that passing strong democracy reforms through the Senate will require structural reforms—specifically, eliminating the filibuster. Keep reading to learn more about the reforms we want to see and the issues we’re focusing on right now. 

What Democracy Reforms We Want to See

  • Statehood for D.C. and self-determination for Puerto Rico and other US territories

  • Voting rights for all, including incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, and young people

    • Restoring the Voting Rights Act and overturning voter ID laws and other suppressive laws that target communities of color

  • Reform the Supreme Court, to set the course for a less hyper-partisan process for selecting and appointing judges

  • Ensure a free and independent media by breaking up media conglomerates and by investing in public broadcasting 

  • Support the For The People Act (H.R. 1):

    • Requiring members of Congress, Vice Presidents and Presidents to divest their assets and disclose conflicts of interest, and Presidents and VPs to disclose their tax returns

    • Instituting strict revolving door requirements to keep corporate lobbyists from moving back and forth into government

    • Plans to fight racial and partisan gerrymandering at all levels of government

    • Instituting public funding for elections to reduce the power of corporate money in government

All of these reforms are possible without amendments to the Constitution, and can be achieved through simple legislation. However, as the Senate’s rules exist today, conservative lawmakers have the power to block these priorities, even if they’re in the minority in the Senate. Republicans will use a procedural tool called the filibuster—which requires a minimum of 60 votes to advance legislation—to block everything we want to accomplish. That’s why we are calling to eliminate the filibuster to create a functioning Senate so that we can pass the democratic reforms we need.

What We’re Focused on Right Now

We believe our democracy is broken, and that’s why we’re calling on the next Congress to prioritize democracy and pass the For the People Act (H.R. 1), with an amendment to include D.C. statehood, in the first 100 days. In the meantime, there’s still a lot we can do to build a fair and equitable democracy for all.

Demand Your Members of Congress Pass H.R. 51 and Support D.C. Statehood

If we’re serious about building a democracy that works for the people, that conversation starts with D.C. statehood. D.C. statehood is a racial justice and democracy issue -- if D.C. is granted statehood, it would be the only state in the nation to have a plurality of Black residents. Despite overwhelming support in D.C. for statehood, the federal government has so far refused to grant the District of Columbia statehood.

The reasons for this are pernicious. D.C. is a historically-Black city and Black people still make up just under 50 percent of the population. That’s because President Lincoln signed a bill into law that abolished slavery in D.C. a full nine months before his national Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, so the District quickly became a popular place for recently-freed Black people to go. However, during Reconstruction, racist white politicians were loath to give recently enfranchised Black men more political power, a trend that’s continued to this day.  In fact, as recently as the 1960s, the Southern chairman of the House committee in charge of D.C. oversight sent a truckload of watermelons to the city’s Black mayor after the District submitted its annual budget to Congress.

Due to D.C.’s lack of statehood, the 700,000 Americans who live in D.C. lack equal voting rights compared to their neighbors across the country. In fact, D.C. residents lack a voting representative in the House and have no representation in the Senate at all. 

In addition, the lack of statehood means D.C. does not have control over their own affairs. Congress approves D.C.’s budget and can even override local laws passed by D.C. residents and its actual elected local officials. The lack of local autonomy in D.C. also meant that during the protest for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Black lives in June 2020, President Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr were able to order federal forces into the capital without the consent of the District of Columbia’s mayor or elected officials. Trump and Barr ordered federal law enforcement officers to clear out Lafayette Square by gassing and beating protestors, all so Trump could have a photo-op in front of a church. 

In June, the House passed H.R. 51. This is the first time that a D.C. statehood billl passed either chamber of Congress. This is a historic moment, but we still have a lot to do before D.C. becomes a state. Check to see if your Senators are cosponsoring H.R. 51. if not, call them and urge them to sign on as a sponsor.​

 

Demand Your Senators Cosponsor the DC Statehood Bill

Check to see if your Senator is cosponsoring the DC statehood bill. If not, call your Senators and demand they cosponsor and support D.C. Statehood. D.C. statehood is also a racial justice issue. Just under 50 percent of D.C.’s residents are Black. Historically, racist politicians have prevented D.C. from becoming a state to prevent D.C.’s Black residents from building political power.

Demand Your Elected Officials Ensure Safe, Secure Elections During the Covid-19 Outbreak

The COVID-19 crisis created an urgent need for democracy reform beyond our original Day One Agenda. Hours-long lines in the Wisconsin primary elections would have been an example of blatant voter suppression in normal times, but in a pandemic, crowded precincts are a matter of life and death. These scenes underscored the need for safe voting options during a pandemic, including expanded vote-by-mail options and safe in-person early voting. We’re calling for Congress to allocate at least $4 billion in election funding for safe, secure elections.

Call your Senators and demand they pass the Heroes Act!

We cannot risk Congress watering down this bill — lives are at risk. Call your Senators and demand they pass the Heroes Act immediately as it was introduced and oppose any amendments to water the bill down.

Recently, House Democrats passed the Heroes Act, a bill for the fourth coronavirus relief package. The Heroes Act includes:

  • An additional $3.6 billion in election funding to expand vote by mail and maintain safe in-person voting locations (for a total of $4 billion)

  • Allows any eligible voter in any state to request a mail-in ballot for any reason, and allows them to request them online

  • Bans states from throwing out ballots without giving the voter the opportunity to fix discrepancies

  • Requires mail-in ballots to include pre-paid postage

  • Same-day and online voter registration

  • Extended early voting days

  • Safety measures for in-person voting, including protective gear for poll workers

  • $25 billion in funding for the United States Postal Service

The Heroes Act will allow us to safely hold elections in the fall during the pandemic, but Senate Republicans are refusing to act. Majority Leader McConnell is already calling the bill a “Democratic wishlist.” That’s why we need you to call your Senators and demand that they pass the Heroes Act immediately without watering it down. We are running out of time to ensure safe, secure elections. 

State Democracy Work

On the state and local level, we’re asking state legislators or governors to remove any barriers to receiving an absentee ballot. Some states require you to have an “excuse” to request one—in light of this global pandemic, states should eliminate any need for an excuse. Call your state representative now (if you don’t know who your state representative is or how to contact them, use this tool from Open States). Or, click here to find your Governor’s website and use the contact form to send them a message.

In addition to expanding vote-by-mail systems, state and federal governments should also commit to the following:

  • Congress is the only institution with the power to change the date of the general election. Members of Congress should be on the record opposing any change.

  • The federal government should also install secure drop boxes for mail-in ballots in as many federal buildings as possible in the event that polling places need to close. 

  • If polling places do close or change, state election officials must communicate this change to voters immediately. 

  • States should universally allow voters to register online.

For more information on our COVID response, check out our Heroes Act summary.

Join the Growing Movement for Court Reform

The Republican Party has stacked the courts with extremely conservative ideologues, most egregiously in 2016, when Mitch McConnell stole a Supreme Court seat so that Donald Trump could fill it. 

Trump and McConnell have successfully confirmed 200 judges to the federal bench, including two Supreme Court justices: Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Trump’s judges overwhelmingly tend to be white, male, and very young. Many of them are unqualified. This is the legacy that will remain long after Trump is gone, since federal judges serve on the bench for life.

Every single issue we care about comes down to the courts. Unfortunately, Republicans have stacked the deck with ultra-conservative judges hand-selected by dark money groups.

Republicans understand how important the courts are in protecting conservative interests, and also how important they could be in blocking progress. That’s why judicial nomination proceedings—especially for Supreme Court seats—have become so politicized: Republicans want to get and keep control of the judiciary to ensure they can achieve their preferred outcomes in court.

Why does this matter? Because an overwhelmingly conservative judiciary has already led to unfettered money influencing our democratic process, the gutting of the Voting Rights Act which has led to historic voter suppression, rollbacks of critical environmental regulations, attacks on reproductive rights, and ongoing assaults on workers and immigrants. 

There are several court reform proposals that can address some of the issues facing the court, and all of them can be accomplished through simple legislation (no constitutional amendment needed):

  • Term limits for Supreme Court justices. The Supreme Court in particular has become a victim of extreme partisanship, largely because there are so few vacancies. Senators on both sides of the aisle understand how critical the ideological makeup of the court is, so every vacancy is treated like an all-out war. The nomination process could be depoliticized by term limiting justices, ensuring that every president would get at least two Supreme Court picks per term. 

  • Court expansion. There’s nothing magic about the number nine. Throughout history, the total number of justices has fluctuated. In order to undo the damage that Republicans have done, we need to get serious about reforming the highest court. There are multiple proposals on the table to achieve this (from a 15-justice Supreme Court panel that operates like every other appellate court to a straightforward expansion from 9 to 13), but doing nothing and hoping for the best is simply not an option. 

  • Expand the lower federal courts. Not every case makes its way to the Supreme Court. Most cases are decided in the lower courts—but they’re a mess, too. Because of Republican’s wholesale obstruction of Obama’s judicial nominees, Trump has been allowed to stack the courts with dozens of extreme, unqualified judges. That means we need to add seats to the lower courts, too. 

  • Supreme Court Code of Ethics. Every single federal judge has to follow a code of ethics, which requires reporting of speaking engagements and paid travel to events hosted by outside groups. Except Supreme Court justices. They are not required to disclose speaking engagements, travel, interactions with outside groups, or sources of income. Because of this, we have no idea of the existence or the extent of the justices’ conflicts of interest with individuals, groups, or corporations with business in front of the court.

Interested in learning more? Watch our Courtbusters video series where Indivisible's Director of Democracy Policy Meagan Hatcher-Mays walks us through some of the problems facing our judiciary—and how we can reform the courts right now through simple legislation.