Deepening Democracy in 2022
As we wrap up the year, I first wanted to send along my sincere gratitude to everyone who engaged with the Democracy Policy Network this year. From the beginning, we have designed ourselves to be more like an open platform than a closed bureaucracy, relying on networks of state leaders, policy experts, and passionate volunteers to advance our mission of raising up ideas for deepening American democracy. We've only gotten this far because folks like you chose to write and read kits, send us ideas and learn about ideas from us, and participate in and attend policy briefings. We can't thank you enough.
Here's a roundup of some of our favorite advances this year:
- DPN organizer Mark Histed had a great essay in In These Times about a promising new way to publicly fund local journalism.
- The American Prospect ran a story on our efforts in Maryland, spearheaded by Del. Vaughn Stewart to spread the public advocate model.
- DPN organizer Micah Hicks wrote up a policy kit on the state of Social Wealth Fund policy, sharing how states can establish state-owned investment funds to build public wealth and distribute public dividends to their citizens.
- DPN organizer Michael Swerdlow wrote up a policy kit on the state of Antimonopoly Reform policy, sharing how states can empower workers, consumers, and community businesses to combat monopoly power
- DPN organizer Tom Latkowski wrote up a policy kit on Foreign Investor Electioneering Bans, sharing how states can prevent foreign investors from using corporations to influence American elections.
- We also spent much of the year helping raise up the idea of Public Pharmaceuticals — an idea gaining steam across the country for how states can break Big Pharma monopolies on essential medicines with public manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceuticals. In May, we held a briefing with experts, advocates, and legislators from three states about the topic (covered by the Deseret News) — and earlier this month, Dana Brown of the Democracy Collaborative and DPN organizer Tom Latkowski — in partnership with T1International — published a full policy kit on the topic.
- And in July, alongside the Ballot Initaitive Strategy Center and Run for Something Action Funds, we hosted our second annual Statehouse Futures summit. With over a thousand state leaders, staffers, and advocates representing all 50 states (+DC and Puerto Rico) participating, it was one of the largest state policy and strategy gatherings this year. See a round up of panels here.
We are excited to continue this work raising up state policies for deepening democracy in 2023. Stay tuned early in the New Year for new kits on public funding of news, democratizing entrepreneurship, social housing, cooperatives and more!
As always, there are three big ways to support DPN's work:
- If you want to help gather, package, organize, or amplify policy with us, reach out and join up. (We need all kinds of folks: researchers, advocates, writers, video briefing planners, etc.)
- If you are a state leader interested in championing DPN policies in your state, reach out and join up.
- And if you want to help chip in to help keep DPN financially sustainable, donate through ActBlue or Ghost.
Thanks again — and onward to a deeper democracy in 2023!