Jewish Community Relations Councilof San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

Menu

Democracy Initiative

The American Jewish community has benefited from a strong and healthy democracy because democratic systems and norms provide proven protection against the discriminations that too often target racial, religious and ethnic minority communities. But those systems that have provided us haven are currently under duress.

Our political system – like many liberal democracies around the world – is experiencing a turbulent moment. With the country divided, a President lashing out at checks and balances, a Congress abdicating its basic legislative and oversight responsibilities, and a government failing to address the country’s pressing public policy challenges, it is all too easy to despair. And yet, America has gone through worse and emerged stronger for it. Our country’s political course can change quickly. We expect it will do so again."

–Protect Democracy, Roadmap for Renewal

 

Although thrown into sharp relief by current events, the fact is these challenges are not new. For years our democracy has been deteriorating. From our political to electoral to judicial systems, there have been cracks and decay that threaten the security of racial, religious and ethnic minority communities. That's why JCRC is launching a non-partisan democracy initiative and will be hosting Waging Democracy, a day-long forum on October 14, as well as Voter Registration Drives and other non-partisan, pro-democracy events and activities.


Day-long forum with seminars, sessions and opportunities for action.

Keynote Speaker: Aziz Huq, assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School and author of How to Save a Constitutional Democracy (2018).

Waging Democracy - Sun, Oct 14 | 8:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


Voter Registration Drives

We will engage unregistered voters via text with the help of exciting new software. This non-partisan activity, designed to reach underrepresented Californians, will empower community members to text potential voters in California counties with low registration rates.

Interested in joining this effort? All you need is to bring your phone, tablet or laptop to one of the events listed below. Sign up today! Light snacks provided. All ages welcome.

JCRC Voter Registration Drive for San Francisco - Wed, Sept 26 | 6:00 p.m.
JCRC Voter Registration Drive for the South Peninsula - Thurs, Oct 4 | 6:30 p.m.
JCRC Voter Registration Drive for the North Peninsula - Sun, Oct 7 | 3:30 p.m.

In California, the deadline to register to vote for any election is 15 days before Election Day, so please register early!

 


Civic Connection

Relationship building is essential to a healthy democracy and JCRC Civic Connection has for years been the banner under which we've done this important work. Please join us!

JCRC Civic Connection San Francisco - Tues, Oct 9 | 5:30 p.m.


How to Save a Constitutional Democracy

Democracies are facing multiplying challenges—from structural changes to geopolitical shifts to cultural transformations. Though the United States remains one of the strongest democratic nations in the world, it is by no means immune to democratic backsliding. As the American public becomes more polarized on issues such as the freedom of press and U.S.–Russia relations, will our institutions hold? Do the systemic weaknesses revealed by recent pressures on the U.S. Constitution require fundamental change in how the Constitution is interpreted and implemented? How likely is it that our democracy could erode? And what can be done to mitigate the risk? Join noted constitutional scholar Aziz Huq in a lunchtime talk at The Commonwealth Club to explore these and other questions.

Law Professor Aziz Huq: How to Save a Constitutional Democracy - Mon, Oct 15 | 12:00 p.m.