Friday, September 29, 2023, 1:59 a.m
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — With the United States more politically divided than ever, it is easy to forget that democracy itself, free and fair elections, and voter registration should not be partisan issues. At this week’s American Democracy Summit in Los Angeles, the threats to our democracy and the ways to defeat them will be on full display.
“A strengthened democracy strengthens itself and strengthens its principles and pillars through citizen participation, and that is exactly what you are seeing here at this conference,” said Eboo Patel, the founder of Interfaith America.
“76 percent of young people believe they can do something that will change the world. So the divide is whether they believe democracy is the way to achieve this. As long as we improve democracy, that is the value proposition we give to young people,” said Lucille Wenegieme, executive director of HeadCount.
The goal of this summit is to bring every single group together in one place to protect and improve our democracy, share ideas and tactics, and then bring those solutions to communities across the country.
One of the threats to democracy currently under investigation: the leaked Los Angeles City Hall audio scandal last year and the redistricting process used to secure power.
“Aside from the horrific racism evident on these tapes, the self-serving nature of this process was clear to see in that moment. As a result, my district came under heavy scrutiny because of the maps we passed two years ago.” “I wasn’t considered an ally of the political machine here. Every other district had very limited change and mine changed by more than 40%,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman.
“Culture happens in Los Angeles and it is so important to make democracy something that we as the American people care about and will take action about,” said Joshua Graham Lynn, CEO and co-founder of RepresentUs.
These threats are not new and have caused Americans to lose trust in government. But the hope is that restoring that faith by improving democracy will lead to less corruption and stronger leaders.
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