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Founded by former NBA player Adonal Foyle and his adoptive parents, professors Joan and Jay Mandle, Democracy Matters is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, non-partisan organization fighting for a more inclusive democracy—primarily by getting big money out of politics and people back in. Our goal is to create a democracy in which everyone—regardless of wealth—has a voice in our political process.

Democracy Matters has a unique focus on grassroots organizing to empower and activate college students to lead the fight for political equality. Democracy Matters’ internship program on college campuses throughout the country offers students individually crafted training in political organizing, theory, and communication. DM interns establish and grow active Democracy Matters chapters on their campus.

Since 2001, Democracy Matters has sponsored more than 800 paid “organizing” internships in 32 states. These interns and their DM chapter members have brought thousands of other students into the fight to deepen our democracy. DM chapters have flourished at Harvard University, Des Moines Community College, San Diego State University, Vassar College, University of Minnesota, Rice University and so many more. Students have organized teach-ins, discussion groups, petition and letter-writing campaigns, and voter registration drives. They’ve written articles for their school papers and hosted “Democracy and You” radio shows, and gotten creative with poetry slams, inprov theater, poster-making contests, and DemROCKracy concerts. And they have also built coalitions on campus and off with environmental, civil and human rights, and women’s advocates, and have been part of state and national efforts to win money in politics reform, including the successful struggles for public campaign financing in Maine, Arizona, and Connecticut.

Bernie Sanders endorses DM

Senator Bernie Sanders with Democracy Matters Interns in Iowa

For over a year, Democracy Matters students has been running a campaign to make money in politics a major issue in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states with the earliest presidential primaries. In Iowa, we have chapters at University of Iowa, Iowa State, Grinell, DMACC and Drake. New England area chapters include University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, Keene State, St. Anselm, Northeastern, Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, Simmons, Emerson, Suffolk, Mt. Holyoke, Smith, Bennington and Champlain.  We look forward to adding more chapters in the lead up to election day.

Our students have questioned, talked with, and made clear to many of the Presidential candidates – including Bernie Sanders, Scott Walker, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Martin O’Malley,  Donald Trump, Chris Christie, and Bobby Jindal — that America cannot tolerate a political campaign system dominated by the few over the many.

This blog will detail both the successes of our organization as well as public questions we would like the candidates to answer.

Our website is democracymatters.org. To contact us, please send an email to joanm@democracymatters.org


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