Welcome to the Democracy Movement!

If you’re worried our democracy is in big trouble and are eager to defend and further it, you landed in just the right place. Here you can explore the campaigns, actions, and players of the rising Democracy Movement. You’ll discover underreported stories of states, counties, and cities on the frontier of change—already achieving democracy reforms making a difference in our lives. You’ll find ways to put despair aside and stay inspired, meet new allies and friends, and make a difference on the “mother of all issues,” democracy itself.

We have developed this Democracy Movement website because we believe democracy is not a choice. It is essential. Only with real democracy can we secure the right to good jobs, decent pay, safe drinking, racial justice, environmental care, and more—all conditions for human dignity.

This movement has a lot going for it. While we may disagree on certain things, Americans come together on the basis that our elected leaders must be accountable to the American citizenry, not corporate or wealthy interests. 85 percent of the American public believes our campaign finance system needs major overhaul. Plus, almost 60 percent agree that our government must do “everything possible” to ensure the right to vote for all. We also agree that each vote must carry equal weight. Here, you will find powerful ways democracy can/has been used to enact big change.

We welcome your help in making the Democracy Movement website into an interactive hub that spurs, feeds, and fortifies an ever-stronger movement towards achieving a truly representative democracy. We’re excited that you’re here to bring your commitment to democracy to life through action.


Charly Carter, Executive Director, Democracy Initiative

Frances Moore LappĂ©, Co-author Daring Democracy, Co-founder, Small Planet Institute

The Democracy Initiative is a coalition of over 75 organizations with over 45 million members, launched in 2013 with the goal of creating a bright future in which all Americans participate fully and freely in the democratic process. We believe that the voice of every citizen should be heard and counted, so all of us have an equal say in a democracy that is of, by, and for the people. Our partner organizations pursue a diverse range of progressive goals, including civil rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights, and climate justice, but we know that success in any of these areas depends on reforming our democracy.

United by a shared vision for a political process that counts every voice and every vote equally, we are mobilizing members of Democracy Initiative organizations to ensure that all Americans can vote, diminish the influence of corporate and special interests, and halt the obstruction that has thrown our Congress out of balance. Together, we can break down these barriers and protect our democracy from the systematic effort to shift power from the many to a wealthy few by silencing our voices in the workplace, in the ballot box, and in the offices of our elected officials.

The Small Planet Institute, founded in 2001 by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé, uses its books, speeches, blogs, videos, and social media to spread an empowering understanding of democracy as the wide dispersion of power, transparency in public affairs, and a culture of mutual accountability. We call it Living Democracy, enabling each of us to act effectively on emerging solutions from electoral politics and economic life to the environment, hunger, agriculture, and beyond. Our goal is thus a future where all communities are thriving with dignity as Living Democracies, fulfilling our essential needs for personal power, meaning, and connection.

At the Small Planet Institute, we believe that ideas have enormous power. So we seek to identify core, often unspoken, assumptions—economic, political, and psychological—now driving humanity to take our planet in directions that none of us individually would ever choose. In addressing this tragedy, Small Planet focuses on solutions: From the crisis of needless hunger to that of democracy itself, we offer evidence-based, life-serving frames of understanding and stories of possibility to enable all of us to perceive and join in solutions emerging everywhere.