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Democracy Initiative: Political System, Unions Under Attack by Same Force

Author: Jeff Powers
Created: 15 February, 2018
Updated: 21 November, 2022
2 min read

Democracy Initiative is a coalition that has 64 member groups representing nearly 40 million workers.

Launched in 2013, the Democracy Initiative's website says its fundamental mission is to ensure that the voice of every citizen should be heard and counted, so all of us have an equal say in a democracy that's reflective of the constitution.

Executive Director Wendy Fields joined our IVN LIVE broadcast at the Unrig the System Summit in New Orleans and shared her views on the ever changing political landscape in our country and how that impacts her groups.

Fields was critical of the current administration and said labor unions are "under deliberate attack" by corporations that flood the system with money.

She noted the organizations efforts during the civil rights movement, the campaigns to champion voter rights, and the everyday "kitchen table" issues that impact Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike.

Click below to watch the interview:

Democracy Initiative 

"We are a 64-member coalition, groups from labor, civil rights, environmental community, the democratic community, very committed to bringing issue groups to the field of democracy to bring reforms, like money in politics, expanding voting rights and defending them, so really it's about a proactive vision for the country and we serve approximately 40 million members."

Labor Unions Under Attack?

"We all know that unions built the middle class in this country and when it was at 35% in the country in '63, we passed civil rights change. We've won major voting reforms and bringing significant checks and balances to corporations.

But really it's about the right to organize and that is why you're seeing a shrinking base of unions in this country, and it's a deliberate attack by the same corporations that flood the system with money."

Independent Voices Impacting Labor Unions?

"I think independent voices are being encouraged. There is the Working Family Party as part of the Democracy Initiative coalition. I think we're seeing candidates when they come from labor running on third party lines. I think in this moment what we're seeing is a resurgence of advocacy and people are typically interested in building power and winning on the issues. That's why the Democracy Initiative is focused very strongly on 'kitchen table' issues. That's where we start our narrative and that crosses all political lines, Republican, Democrat, Independent."

Photo Source: Democracy Initiative