5 Organizations Working To Improve The U.S. Political System

Democracy is one of the founding principles of the United States, and many Americans take pride in having a government run for and by the people. Unfortunately, the political system doesn't always treat everyone equally, and some people feel like their voices aren't being heard. That's why organizations like the ones listed here work to improve U.S. politics and promote equality, justice, and liberty for all. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Groups Dedicated To Advancing American Politics

Organization Headquarters Location Mission
Brennan Center for Justice New York, NY Work to build an America that is democratic, just, and free for all
Emerge America San Francisco, CA Increase the number of Democratic women in public office through recruitment, training, and providing a powerful network
Network Washington, DC Organize and lobby for economic and social transformation
American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia Atlanta, GA Preserve the civil liberties enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights through litigation, lobbying, and communications
Advancement Project Los Angeles, CA & Washington, DC Fulfill America's promise of a caring, inclusive, and just democracy by using innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change

Issues With American Democracy

Voter Turnout In Presidential Elections

According to the United States Census Bureau

Year Total Voting Age Population (V.A.P.) Votes Cast Percentage of V.A.P. That Turned Out
1972 140,777,000 77,625,000 55.1%
1976 152,308,000 81,603,000 53.6%
1980 163,945,000 86,497,000 52.8%
1984 173,995,000 92,655,000 53.3%
1988 181,956,000 91,587,000 50.3%
1992 189,493,000 104,600,000 55.2%
1996 196,789,000 96,390,000 49.0%
2000 209,787,000 105,594,000 50.3%
2004 219,553,000 122,349,000 55.7%
2008 229,945,000 131,407,000 57.1%

How The Electoral College Works

In Depth

Since the earliest days of our country, America has governed itself with strong ideals of equality, justice, and freedom. Though Americans may disagree on a number of issues, the rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" still remain central to our country's identity and core values. Today, there are many organizations working hard to uphold these ideals, and to fight off threats to our democratic institutions. Here, in no particular order, are five groups working to keep our democracy healthy for all Americans.

Up first, in the #1 spot, is the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to reform and defend our country's systems of democracy and justice. Since its launch in 1995, this organization has grown from a small startup to one of the nation's leading legal and policy institutions. Today, it has honed a distinct model, combining the elements of a think tank, a legal advocacy group, and a communications hub.

It focuses on democracy, criminal justice, securing the balance of power, and protecting fundamental freedoms while keeping Americans safe. This group is hard at work making sure that our elections are accessible to all. Its website has resources for becoming an informed participant in democracy. To support the Brennan Center for Justice, you can make a donation or attend one of its free public events in New York and D.C. throughout the year.

To support the Brennan Center for Justice, you can make a donation or attend one of its free public events in New York and D.C. throughout the year.

In the #2 spot is Emerge America, a unique national organization that provides training and resources for aspiring woman leaders who want to run for office. This group's signature program is an in-depth, six-month, 70-hour training program that inspires female candidates to run, and gives them the tools to win. Emerge also hosts boot camps for women who want to run for office this election cycle, and half-day trainings to help women begin their political journeys.

Since 2002, Emerge has trained over 4,000 women to run for office, and in 2018, four hundred and fifteen program alumnae won seats across the country. The group's signature training program is currently offered in twenty-four states, and the organization is currently in the process of expanding its programs to more locations. You can apply for Emerge's training programs online, or you can make a financial contribution to support this work.

At #3 on our list, we have Network, a faith-based organization lobbying for economic and social transformation. Since 1971, it has been a leader in the global movement for justice and peace. Network's mission and values arise out of the long and rich tradition of Catholic Social Justice. It focuses on promoting policies that mend the gaps and bridge the divides in our country, with a special focus on the policies that disproportionately impact women and people of color.

Since 1971, it has been a leader in the global movement for justice and peace.

The group's outreach program, Nuns on the Bus, takes to the open road, traveling thousands of miles to speak for justice and advocate for adequate federal policies across the United States, focusing on a different theme each year. Its website provides an advocacy toolbox with resources to educate, organize, and lobby to affect change on a federal level. If you would like to support Network, you can make a donation or become a volunteer.

#4 on our list is the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that reaches out to and represents anyone whose fundamental freedoms have been violated. Through litigation, lobbying, and communications, this group works to preserve and enhance the rights of all citizens of Georgia without political partisanship. Foremost among these rights are freedom of speech and religion, the right to equal treatment under the law, and the right to privacy.

The ACLU of Georgia is part of a network of affiliates defending civil rights and liberties across the nation. The ACLU's work is sustained by more than 1.6 million members and supporters who play an active role to help combat voter suppression, support criminal justice reform, defend women's rights, and more. To support the ACLU of Georgia, you can join as a monthly donor, or volunteer in a variety of ways.

To support the ACLU of Georgia, you can join as a monthly donor, or volunteer in a variety of ways.

And finally, in the #5 spot is the Advancement Project, a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization working locally in California, as well as nationally, to fulfill America's promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. In California, this organization champions the struggle for greater equity and opportunity for all, fostering upward mobility in communities most impacted by economic and racial injustice. It uses policy advocacy, data research and power building to advance the needs of marginalized communities.

This organization works to expand educational opportunities and ensure appropriate school facilities for low income and disadvantaged children from birth through high school graduation. It partners with communities of color to equip them with the budget and advocacy tools necessary to win sustainable investments that help all Californians thrive, and it works to make state and local governments more participatory and representative of the communities they serve. Those who would like to support the Advancement Project, nationally or in California, can donate online.