May 18, 2020
While we worry about how to restore our democracy, Jonathan Mehta Stein knows that in disenfranchised communities, many people feel that democracy has never worked for them. This is the starting point that Jonathan, the newly appointed executive director of Common Cause California, embraces. He is a civil rights attorney who believes that at this moment in time, relying on litigation and legislation alone is not enough. He argues that we need more community organizing to inspire those who have been left behind to believe that voting can make a difference for them. The stakes are high as we head into the most consequential election of our lifetime. While voting in America is a constitutional right, the election process varies wildly across municipalities and is comprised by under-resourced bureaucracies, entrenched party politics and racism. And a devastating global pandemic raises deep concerns about how to carry out fair elections in 2020. California has raised the bar on lowering barriers to voting. Now the challenge is to motivate people to mail in ballots and turn out to polls. Jonathan talks about tackling the Common Cause mission and the transformational power of participation.