All posts in Voting Access
As we prepare to close up shop at the Kapor Foundation and celebrate our debut in our new skin as the Kapor Center for Social Impact, we wanted to conduct a thorough analysis of what we’ve learned from the terrific community of organizations we’ve worked with since our program areas launched in 2007.
Attached please find our Green Access and VoICE retrospective papers. Many thanks to Judi Powell of Seven Hills Philanthropy for her meticulous work in shaping our learnings, which were gathered from final reports, internal analysis, and interviews with community leaders. We are distributing the reports through our professional affinity associations: Funders Committee for Civic Participation, Bay Area Justice Funders Network, and Neighborhood Funders Group. We hope that you, as funder peers and community colleagues, will find them to be instructive and even inspiring!
Download the Green Access Program Retrospective here.
Just in case you missed this announcement on our home page, we’re excited to share news of our next iteration!
On a related note, we’ll continue sharing news here on the mkf.org site until our changeover officially happens on May 15th.
For the past year, we’ve been keeping you abreast of an ongoing strategic shift here at the Kapor Foundation. We’re very excited to announce that we’ve arrived. As of May 15, 2013, the Kapor Foundation will have a new public face, the Kapor Center for Social Impact. Through a shared vision, set of values, and program activities, we’ll work more closely with Kapor Capital, our sibling venture capital microfirm focused on seed-stage tech startups.
The Kapor Center’s working mission is to “relentlessly pursue creative strategies that will leverage tech for positive social impact in underrepresented communities, primarily focusing on closing academic, political, health, and economic gaps.” This mission represents our deep belief in the power of information technology as a tool to accelerate social good, and fully aligns with the Kapors’ longtime involvement in the tech industry, stemming back to their days at Lotus Development Corporation in the early 1980s.
Just wanted to loop back around with everyone; we’ve received a few eager inquiries about our2013 grantmaking priorities. As we’ve mentioned before, we’re in store for some major changes as we shift our focus to tech-driven strategies and tools that further social justice/social impact. Once ready, we’ll announce the changes here on our website and Twitter account, so please check back with us in mid-February for updates.
I love that the Presidential Inauguration falls on the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday. Rather than pontificating on the vision and promise that these two leaders represent, I’m simply going to challenge myself to use this day as a jumping off point for the next year of social justice work, as related to Dr. King’s legacy, and the next four years of social impact efforts in the age of President Obama. What can we individually and collectively accomplish in the next year/four years? Let’s go! Best wishes for a powerful, peaceful, and (broadly defined) prosperous 2013.
Photo from theSoulPitt.com
We would like to recognize and congratulate our grant recipient, Oakland Rising for its voter engagement and mobilization efforts over the past year which culminated in big wins for Oakland, the larger Bay Area community, and California. Oakland Rising is a multilingual, multiracial collaborative building on Oakland’s rich history to advance smart, community-first solutions for a thriving city. Oakland Risings voter engagement victories this year included:
- Reaching 25,252 low-income, immigrant, and voters of color living in Oakland’s flatlands during their fall campaign alone
- Identifying 19,544 Oaklanders who support progressive tax policies to bring back public funding for schools and programs also during their fall campaign
- Providing 80 jobs for low-income, under-employed, or previously incarcerated residents through their paid “Daily Team” canvassing position
- Mobilizing 375 community volunteers to do precinct walks and GOTV
- Passing Proposition 30 as part of California Calls to safeguard funding for public schools by raising taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Californians
- Defeating Proposition 32 to ensure that big money interests will NOT silence the voices of workers and Unions in our political system
We salute Oakland Rising for its many achievements in 2012 and look forward to a new year of work ahead in the effort to bring about a more just, sustainable, and prosperous Oakland for all!
Photo courtesy of Oakland Rising
Our grant recipient, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law yesterday released a preliminary report of its findings from Election Protection 2012 to Congress urging them to take action to fix the persistent problems in our election system that make it difficult for many Americans to vote. The long lines endured by many voters this year were a problem, amongst several others that demonstrated the inadequacies of the election system. As the Lawyers’ Committee points out: “If we truly want an election infrastructure that lives up to the ideals of our democracy then we need to fix a lot of things.” Here are their suggestions: (more…)
The Palm Beach Post revealed this week that former Florida GOP leaders intentionally designed restrictive voter laws to limit votes from Democrats and people of color. Florida voters, as we saw in this year’s election endured long voting lines and other confusion as a result of reduced voting hours, voter purges, and voter registration restrictions pushed by Republican leaders. In this article, former GOP chairman, former Gov. Charlie Crist, and others revealed that prevention of voter fraud was not the underlying motivation behind voting restrictions; a GOP win was.
A new survey conducted by the Penn Schoen Berland National Post-Election poll reveals that the majority of Americans would like to see national standards for how people vote, including what hours polls are open, who is eligible to vote, and the type of ballot used. MacArthur Foundation President Robert Gallucci makes the point: “On the heels of an election that required some Americans to endure a long line to cast their vote and others to face confusing new requirements, the message from this poll is clear. Our democracy and our electorate deserve better rules and procedures for efficiently administering federal elections.” (more…)
Poll results say this election is too close to call and results will not come in for several more hours… but, we are already winning.
Groups from around the Bay have for months now been engaged in deep coordinated voter engagement work, from creating voter guides to forming paid and volunteer phone bank and field teams, reaching tens of thousands Oakland and San Francisco residents. [more on Oakland Rising and San Francisco Rising]
Because of this, we are already winning …
And, for that, we thank those individuals who hold the participation of those around them to be as important as their own.
We thank those organizations that are, to their communities, the place to learn and come together, that work to transform people’s own relationship to the governance of their communities and society, that center those on the margins.