The most basic way citizens participate in civic affairs and strengthen America’s democracy is by voting. Throughout the United States and California, a significant gap exists across populations between those eligible to vote and those who actually do so. More striking is that low-income communities and communities of color in California, as a whole, are considerably less likely to vote compared to the rest of the population. Improving voter participation rates among these groups depends on year-round, nonpartisan strategic initiatives that will connect to citizens’ everyday life, create pipelines and new issue environments for progressive candidates, generate concrete policy changes, and, ultimately, create a large and active progressive base.
The Color of Democracy Fund (CDF) aims to promote a more just society in California by ensuring that underrepresented communities can fully participate in the political process.
CDF supports the empowerment of communities of color and the increase of their electoral engagement by supporting and partnering with nonprofit organizations through provision of technical and financial resources, capacity building support, and access to electoral tools and strategies. CDF’s goal is to expand Californians’ progressive values and policy positions. To achieve this goal, CDF will partner with anchor groups, state and community-based organizations, networks, and coalitions.
Strategic initiatives – e.g. ballot initiatives and legislative campaigns – will center around issues such as minimum wage increases, affordable housing development, and land use/zoning policies. These strategic initiatives will harness political opportunity, consolidate progressives, and generally provide focused learning moments to change the values and issue positions of mainstream voters as campaign cycle begins.