Posted on September 16th, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Hey, the Founders of the US tell us that everyone's equal in the eyes of the law, meaning that citizens have the right to vote. However, there are politicians who don't like that, and they're attacking the integrity of the election by making it hard for people to vote. Fortunately, there are some organizations doing really good work to ensure that any barriers to voting are removed for everyone who's got the right to vote.
We also gotta vote and make sure the politicians hear our voices and know we count and we matter.
I'd like you to help out all Americans fulfill what I feel is an actual duty to our families, neighborhoods, and the country. Check out these organizations, register to vote, and maybe ask your neighbor if they're registered, too. It's pretty simple to vote by mail, nowadays, if allowable. (I've done so for most of the last twenty something years.)
5 voter rights orgs you should follow, in no particular order:
1. Voto Latino (disclaimer: I'm on their Advisory Board)
Voto Latino is a nonpartisan organization that empowers Latino Millennials to claim a better future for themselves and their community. United by the belief that Latino issues are American issues and American issues are Latino issues, Voto Latino is dedicated to bringing new and diverse voices to develop leaders by engaging youth, media, technology and celebrities to promote positive change.
Why it Matters:
• There are roughly 15 million American Latino youth in the U.S., but only a small fraction vote.
• 50% of all eligible Latino voters are under 40 and 33% are between 18 and 34.
• By 2050, Latino youth are expected to comprise 29% of the U.S. youth population.
• 66,000 American Latinos turn 18 every month.
• 90% of American Latinos under 29 consume information in English.
• Latinos make up more than 10% of the electorate in 11: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada and Texas.
2. League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters is a citizens’ organization that has fought since 1920 to improve our government and engage all citizens in the decisions that impact their lives. They operate at national, state and local levels through more than 800 state and local Leagues, in all 50 states as well in DC, the Virgin Islands and Hong Kong.
Formed from the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the centerpiece of the League’s efforts remain to expand participation and give a voice to all Americans. They do this at all three levels of government, engaging in both broad educational efforts as well as advocacy. Their issues are grounded in our respected history of making democracy work for all citizens.
3. The Brennan Center for Justice
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. They work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from racial justice in criminal law to Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. A singular institution — part think tank, part public interest law firm, part advocacy group, part communications hub — the Brennan Center seeks meaningful, measurable change in the systems by which our nation's governed.
4. Rock the Vote
Rock the Vote is the largest non-profit and non-partisan organization in the US driving the youth vote to the polls. Fusing pop culture, politics, and technology, Rock the Vote works to mobilize the millennial voting bloc and the youth vote, protect voting rights, and advocate for an electoral process and voting system that works for the 21st century electorate.
Since 1990, Rock the Vote has revolutionized the use of pop culture, music, art and technology to inspire political activity. Now, for almost 25 years, Rock the Vote has pioneered ways to make voting easier by simplifying and demystifying voter registration and elections for young adults.
They were early advocates for states allowing voters to register by mail and were the first organization to use a toll-free number to register voters over the phone. They were also the first organization to create a voter registration tool to register voters online.
5. Fair Elections Legal Network
The Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN) is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and legal support organization whose mission is to remove barriers to registration and voting for traditionally underrepresented constituencies and improve overall election administration through administrative, legal, and legislative reform as well as provide legal and technical assistance to voter mobilization organizations.
Thanks! And please comment with other groups doing good work…My team and I will check 'em out, and maybe add them to this Resource List that we're compiling.
Posted on September 12th, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Craigbert, or a really accurate portrait
During my IBM and Charles Schwab years (1976-95) I lived La Vida Dilbert [dilbert.com], seriously hardcore.
Dilbert really captures the truth of much corporate life, and does so perfectly from the software worker's perspective. It's also a brilliant commentary on organizational behavior.
Personally, I have to always commit to the Dilbert attitude, that things can be better, and that can be very trying when I spend time in Washington or in the nonprofit world.
It'd be too easy to lose hope, and then to work the system much like Wally, or many of the lobbyists of K Street. (There are genuine public service lobbyists, but not a lot.)
Anyway, Scott Adams lives in the Bay Area, not far away, and I tremendously appreciate what he does. I read Dilbert each and every day, not only new strips, online, but on paper.
Posted on September 9th, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Folks, we're only 2 weeks away from National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), on September 23. In 2008, 6 million Americans didn't vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn't know how to register. In 2014, NVRD's continuing their efforts to make sure everyone has a fair chance to vote.
And please remember that the Declaration of Independence reminds us that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes voting rights.
You may wonder what NVRD will actually accomplish, and according to their site, the purpose of this day is to:
- Register Voters: A network of a thousand orgs operating on the ground and through social media will register tens of thousands of voters in the ﬁeld and tens of thousands more online while also receiving pledges to vote from those already registered.
- Mobilize Volunteers: By partnering with nonproﬁts not usually engaged in voter registration drives, and amplifying existing drives through event-based recruitment and cultural outreach, National Voter Registration Day will bring together thousands of volunteers across the nation to register voters.
- Educate Eligible Voters: Millions of voters need to register and re-register every year. By utilizing new technology and leveraging partners, we'll educate more Americans than ever before, bringing new voters into the fold.
- Change the Conversation: National Voter Registration Day will be an opportunity to put our differences aside and celebrate the rights that unite us as Americans; democracy.
I also want to acknowledge all the folks who really have their boots on the ground. National Voter Registration Day has been made possible in part by a working group of orgs providing coordination and support. These organizations include, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, Bus Federation Civic Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, League of Women Voters, Nonprofit VOTE, Rock the Vote, and Voto Latino.
They've also created a Partner Toolkit, which is a collection of resources for you to use in an effort to organize events and activities leading up to National Voter Registration Day 2014.
The Toolkit includes a field guide, communications guide, graphics, and legal guides by state, please check that out. Make sure to share this stuff, and use the hashtag, #CelebrateNVRD.
And, if you're planning an event, make sure to add it to NVRD's event directory so others in your community can be aware and get involved.
In the past, I created a list of reasons I think it's important to vote. Check it out, and let me know if you have anything to add.
Are you registered to vote?
Posted on September 2nd, 2014 by Craig Newmark
- Craig and the Mrs are ok with our four 2am visitors…they hang out in the birdbath that the pigeons dominate in the day.
- It's imperative to photograph home office visitors. A recent visitor to my home office, right from The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill….
- Always use the Squirrel-resistant Suet Palace, or risk full takeover from the squirrels. (note to self: refill the Palace)
- New bird alerts are included in my list of important news. For example, recently spotted a Swift, possible a Vaux's. Will assign spouse to get a photo.
- Home cooking at Eileen and Craig's place:
- So, I'm walking through Union Square, and I see this hawk flying to the roof of a clothes store, and the hawk is helping the city with its rat problem, if you know what I mean…
- You don't need a rainmaker when you have this sorta backyard:
- Some days spent working to identify the Cole Valley mystery tree! Could be New Zealand Christmas Tree or maybe Red Flowering Gum. Do you know? Thanks!
A reminder: if the photo's a good one, probably taken by Mrs Newmark
Posted on August 27th, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Good news, according to a report released by the Center for American Progress:
- the number of women-owned firms in the US grew by 59% from 1997 to 2013—1.5x the national average.
- Women of color are the majority owners at close to 1/3 of all women-owned firms in the nation.
- African American women are both the fastest-growing segment of the women-owned-business population and the largest share of female business owners among women of color, at 13%.
Here are 6 women-run startups you should check out:
1. Love With Food - Aihui Ong, Founder and CEO. Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Their subscription membership starts at $10/month. For every box sold, they donate a meal to several food banks, like the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry.
2. TurboVote - Kathryn Peters, Co-founder & COO. A reminder system for voters so that you don't miss an election. They make voting easy by helping you register to vote (or updating your voter registration), helping you get absentee ballots and vote by mail, and by sending you reminders so you never forget to vote.
3. CakeHealth - Rebecca Woodcock, Founder and CEO. A free way to manage health care. CakeHealth brings all your health care plans together online so you can easily track your health spending — without the paperwork.
4. LearnUp - Alexis Ringwald, Co-founder & CEO. LearnUp solves the skills gap by empowering entry-level job seekers to learn the skills needed to get hired. They develop online trainings in partnership with employers that enables job seekers to practice real life situations of a particular job. By completing the training before they interview, job seekers are prepared for the job and increase their chances of getting hired. LearnUp is building the education-to-employment pathway for those looking for work, while helping employers hire qualified talent.
5. Samahope - Leila Janah and Sivani Garg Patel, Co-founders. Samahope was one of the first nonprofits to apply the crowdfunding model to the challenges of global health. They support doctors to fund the patient outreach and transportation, food/board, medicines, treatment (personnel and facilities), training, equipment/supplies. They also focus on women and children — The medical treatments they fund, in most cases, disproportionately affect women and children living in the poorest parts of the world. By connecting you directly with the doctors in the field, Samahope closes the gap between the donation, itself, and the impact it has on someone’s life.
6. MoolaHoop - Brenda Bazan and Nancy Hayes, Co-founders. MoolaHoop is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform that enables women entrepreneurs seeking to raise funds for their small business. MoolaHoop enables women-owned, -managed and –led small businesses to easily engage their "crowd" of existing customers, potential customers, family and friends in order to raise funds for their business.
What are your favorite women-led startups? And who would you add to a 2.0 version of this list? More to come…