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Democracy South
304 B 49th St.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Democracy South Mission

Working for Justice and Democracy in the South

Democracy South is a non-partisan, non-profit regional network of state-based and regional organizations in the Southeast. We are dedicated to helping build, strengthen, and link progressive, multi-issue, multi-racial coalitions that can address economic, social, and environmental justice issues at the state level, and to collaborate on regional strategies.

We strive to accomplish this in large part by focusing on the core underlying issues of money-in-politics, and how wealthy special interests subvert the development of genuinely democratic institutions. Money and politics research and advocacy for real campaign reform represent fertile ground for coalition development and uniting diverse constituencies. The spirit of our mission is resonating all over the South.

Democracy South was founded as an independent organization on New Years Day, 1997. It began as the Democratic Reform Project of the Institute for Southern Studies, which used money and politics research, media education, and grassroots organizing to advocate for progressive changes in policy and the reform of electoral structures in North Carolina. Much of the organizing and energy continues in North Carolina. Building on that work, Democracy South has built a network that extends into 11 southern states.

Democracy South's Mission includes:

  • Working to help develop and strengthen progressive, multi-issue, multi-racial state coalitions;
  • Assisting state organizations in the construction and use of state-based campaign finance databases, and employing those databases to develop reports, analyses, and campaigns.
  • Collectively studying and further developing democratic theory and practice, and becoming a regional resource on democracy issues;
  • Assisting state organizations in the development of public education and policy initiatives around democratic reform issues.
  • Strengthening partner organizations and the network as a whole through technical support, research, and information technology;
  • Assisting across the region in the organization of working groups around key policy issues;
  • Convening regional working group conferences, and regional training initiatives; and
  • Developing and channeling financial resources to partner organizations in the network.

In the spring of 2004, the Board acknowledged that a government more responsive to the needs of all Americans can be attained only when more Americans, especially those who have historically been politically under-represented and under-served, begin turning out in strength at elections. The Board subsequently approved an amendment of its Mission Statement to include among the organization's programs:

  • A technical research service that will precisely locate concentrations of unregistered or low-turnout voters for non-partisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns conducted by our partner organizations and other non-profit and non-partisan organizations dedicated to increasing civic participation.

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[DemSouth logo]Democracy South : About Us: Mission Statement
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