“Democracy is a process, not a static condition. It is becoming rather than being. It can easily be lost, but never is fully won. Its essence is eternal struggle.”
– William Henry Hastie
Is America possible without a free fully democratic process equally accessible to all citizens? Our three-pronged approach is geared to honor the past, celebrate the present, and challenge the future. It is aimed at changing the culture of voting from a chore to a joyful celebration.
Honor the Past.
Voting Vanguards brings to light the names of the hundreds who worked at great personal peril to obtain and maintain the right to vote and have their vote count. We celebrate voting as the centerpiece of creating and maintaining a healthy democracy.
Celebrate the Present.
The city-to-city Votingest City Challenge will encourage cities to enter into a lighthearted competition to see who gets the highest percentage of eligible voters to vote and which city is the most improved. The first national contest is scheduled for November 2020. Guidelines will be offered to cities to improve turnout. The prizes will be trophies that name those who fought for voting rights and using the Stanley Cup model, will be held by the cities until the next national voting happens.
Challenge the Future.
Early education and participation in schools can breathe life into the phrase “We the People” and strengthen the democratic foundation of our country. With the By a Show of Hands Student Voting Project, kids are registered to be student voters, create ballot initiatives, campaign, vote, and review the process in a fun, engaging year-long program.
Meet our founder.
Jeff Furman served on the Ben & Jerry’s corporate board for almost 40 years, providing in-house legal counsel and fostering many of the company’s social initiatives. Jeff’s current role is Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors Emeritus, a role he is happy to do alongside being President of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation. Jeff resides in Ithaca, New York where he is the president of Social Ventures, as well as a co-founder of the Community Dispute Resolution Center and a community micro-finance program. In addition Jeff has also served on the local school board, working to eliminate race and socio-economic status as a predictor of student success, and is an advisor to the Dorothy Cotton Institute, Alliance of Families for Justice, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Alongside his other commitments Jeff is on the Board of the Oakland Institute and currently he is helping with the Poor People’s Campaign and developing Rejoice the Vote.