American Democracy Summit: Tackling The Crises in American Democracy

Created: 24 September, 2023
3 min read

Leaders in the nonpartisan reform space are set to gather in Los Angeles on September 27 for the American Democracy Summit – a 3-day event featuring A-list celebrities, high-profile public officials, and inspiring innovators committed to giving voters better elections and a more accountable political process.

The American Democracy Summit, formerly known as the Unrig Summit, was started by the national anti-corruption group, RepresentUs. The event spotlights the “disruptors” to a duopolistic political system that caters to the self-serving interests of two private political corporations over the needs of the American people.

The first event was held back in 2018 in New Orleans during the biggest year in across-the-board reform to elections and the political system in modern US history. Voters in several states changed how public officials were elected, how electoral maps were redrawn, and how politicians were held accountable to the people over special interests.

The summit held the following year in Nashville celebrated these successes, and the everyday citizens that organized these campaigns – whether the efforts spawned from a single Facebook post or were led by a team of “badass grandmas.” The people involved had a chance to share their experiences and teach others how they could organize their own campaigns.

“This was a special moment for everyone, because it really acknowledged who the most important people are,” said RepresentUs Co-Founder (and now CEO) Joshua Graham Lynn in an interview for IVN after the summit.

READ MORE: 2019 Unrig Summit Celebrates Historic Victories Over Two-Party Duopoly

The 2023 American Democracy Summit (ADS) will be the first time since Nashville that the event will be held in person with the rebranded ADS title. The event’s theme is “Demand A Better Democracy,” with each day focusing on specific sub-themes to dive deep into the most dire issues facing the US political process.

  • Day 1 will focus on the current state of the country, the threats to elections and voters, how the country got to where it is now, and the current state of nonpartisan reform movements.
  • Day 2 will focus on what a better democracy looks like and new ideas that have emerged to solve the country’s biggest problems.
  • Day 3 will focus on how public officials, organization leaders, activists, and citizens can work together to win.

Much of the event will be reserved for ADS ticket holders. However, RepresentUs will have a livestream for select panels during the event, including discussions on gerrymandering, democracy vouchers, fighting voter suppression, and more.

Presenters at the 2023 ADS include Actors Michael Douglas and Ed Helms, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, US Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Harvard Professor Danielle Allen, Forward Party Co-Founder Andrew Yang, and civil rights leader Desmond Meade.

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Like with past summits, panels, discussions, and breakout sessions will include current and former elected officials, authors, campaign and organization heads, business leaders, philanthropists, former presidential advisors, and a diverse array of activists because in RepresentUs Marketing Director Casey Shea’s words “a crisis this big is going to take all of us.

Nonpartisan reform efforts have made great strides over the last few years, but US democracy is in crisis. The party members in charge of making the rules for the US political machine are changing them further to serve their own interests, hyper-partisanship has never been worse, and the American people face challenges that the current system is failing to address. 

Voters want better elections, they don’t believe either major party is serving their interests, and most people don’t believe our current political path is sustainable. The point of the ADS is to educate voters on the source of these challenges and what they can do to amplify their impact on the problems and the solutions.

Get more information on the 2023 ADS here.

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