What Values Should We Promote for our Democracy?
The Hub went through a two-month survey process within the reform community to develop a crowdsourced set of values for our movement. Movement members were given three optional value sets with guided questions and space for open feedback. Twenty-five people responded with wide-ranging ideas for our values. The following list, the 4Es of Democracy, serve as a framework to view individual democracy efforts in a larger framework. These values shape the Hub’s work in the coming years. We hope you’ll see your work and passions in the following list of values.
Our democracy should be:
Equally Representative – Elected officials are fully reflective of and responsive to our communities. Our elected representatives and government should work for the districts and communities they represent. Each vote should be counted equally, and each representative should be elected fairly and as a result of the will of the people. This value forms the very basis of our democracy.
Empowering – People actively exercise their civic duties including and beyond voting; for example – registering, voting and serving for jury duty. People feel they impact policy change and have the confidence that our voices eclipse the needs of wealthy special interests. The responsibility must be on our government and elected leaders to foster that confidence through the passage of laws, programs, and systems that seek to equalize the power between powerful wealthy interests and everyday residents. This value defines why people choose to participate in our democracy.
Equitable – All branches of government are just, fair, and prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized communities. Institutions and laws are trusted as fairly created and implemented. Our laws create shared economic opportunity and provide paths to a truly equal society. This includes looking at data with an equity lens to close all current gaps on voter registration, voter turnout, elected representation, and equal access to public institutions and influence. This value clarifies how our system of democracy should function for “we the people” to truly become a reality.
Expansive – Democratic values are strong and promoted in all forms, functions, and systems of public life. Democracy is viewed beyond the act of voting, but in the democratic practice and experience within our public institutions. We celebrate democracy, inclusion and participation through: respectful debate, listening sessions, and participatory decision making work, which betters not only our government, but our society as a whole. Infusing these values into all walks of life fosters understanding, dialogue, and solutions that take into account the needs of the majority of people impacted. This value cements our commitment to a thriving and active democracy.