Beginning in August of 2021 Democracy Rising has incubated The Collective of Organizers for Reformed Elections (C.O.R.E.). Across the nation, campaigns and volunteers are working to expand the franchise, and ensure voters have a greater say in who represents them but far too often they, and the institutions supporting them, do not represent the diversity nor have roots in the communities they’re trying to organize.
C.O.R.E. seeks to break down barriers by ensuring the democracy space has seasoned talent, with existing relationships, and boots on the ground that better reflect the diversity of those impacted by the work of the movement.
Building upon the model of the Truman National Security Project, C.O.R.E., will serve as a think tank on how to best message to communities of color, training ground for experienced organizers, and provide organizing support to bring the next generation of leaders of color into leadership roles within the democracy space.
In recent years, as democracy initiatives have gained traction across the country, there has not been nearly enough attention paid to the motivations and concerns of voters of color. C.O.R.E. will seek to determine the issues and messages that motivate voters of color and determine the best methods for voter education and engagement in these communities.
Issue advocacy tends to be siloed and competitive in nature. Advocates become experts in a core issue, creating a lack of connection and cooperation with other advocates. C.O.R.E. seeks to break down these siloes by bringing advocates together to learn from one another and gain expertise in how our democracy is built, is flawed, and can be strengthened.
The democracy reform space has an abundance of thought and policy leaders but lacks experienced local leadership and organizing expertise. C.O.R.E. will develop new leaders and champions to foster successful initiatives, and provide continued opportunities to engage the expertise and talent of local organizers that are developed through its programs.
Sean Dugar, Director
Sean is an organizer, advocate, and champion of democracy. He has worked for and consulted with organizations like the NAACP, FairVote, Common Cause, More Equitable Democracy, MapLight, and numerous issue and candidate campaigns. This year in NYC, with Rank the Vote NYC, Sean led an outreach and organizing campaign that reached 1.5 million New Yorkers, mobilized a coalition of over 750 organizations, conducted 600-plus educational events, trained 250 candidates and campaigns, and knocked on 55,000 doors. He is also a founding member of the first chapter of the New Leaders Council (NLC) helping to create their structure and curriculum, and co-founder and the first Chair of the California Young Democrats Black Caucus where he grew the organization to multiple chapters and more than 5,000 members in a year. Sean has crisscrossed the nation providing his voice and more than a decade of experience as a voter, campaign consultant, and all-around supporter of reforms like ranked choice voting.