Our country’s population is 51% women and 40% people of color, yet political power rests mostly in the hands of white men. Why is that? Our research shows voters want government to reflect all the people, and our data prove that women and people of color are just as “electable” as white men. The problem isn’t voters, or candidates. It’s the system. Structured to preserve white male power, our electoral system throws up extra barriers to diverse candidates, making it much harder for women and people of color to run for office and win.
To make our elections fair and equitable, we’re funding and organizing a movement with new strategies, clear points of intervention, and an ambitious plan.
Building Community Power
In Michigan, Texas, and Minnesota, our model for grassroots leadership development is yielding electoral victories for underrepresented communities, and scaling nationally. Our Community Power Building model positions grassroots groups as the new gatekeepers, replacing major donors and party officials as the power brokers who shape our elections.
Re-imagining the Role of Political Gatekeepers
Political gatekeepers protect incumbents, promote hand-picked candidates, and block the flow of resources and support to unwelcome challengers. In this system, gatekeepers support the status quo of white male over-representation. Even progressive gatekeepers committed to advancing women and people of color are guided by outdated assumptions about voters and candidates that make them resistant to change.
RDC is working to re-imagine the impact of political gatekeepers, organizing our gatekeeper allies into bold advocates for change and investing in the capacity of grassroots groups to build their own gate-keeping power.
Advocating for Policies to Accelerate Progress
Building reflective democracy requires ending voter suppression, gerrymandering, and all the systemic barriers that block women and people of color from elected office. In partnership with organizations on the ground, we are creating a Policy Action Plan to topple these systemic barriers by transforming how elections are structured & funded.
Next, we will fund nationwide activism convincing state and local leaders to adopt the Policy Action Plan and implement districting, voting, and funding systems to make elections fair and equitable, and support reflective democracy.