State Voices is a national network of permanent, nonpartisan, state-based coalitions working year-round to create a more accessible, inclusive, and representative democracy by ensuring that the voice of every American is heard. Through these coalitions, called “tables,” we fight to expand the electorate, strengthen grassroots organizations, and build the power of those whose voices have been silenced. We believe this the only way to bring about positive social change.
There is much work to be done to strengthen our democracy. Many states have passed laws making it harder for citizens to vote, disproportionately impacting communities of color. People of color are also registered to vote at lower rates than whites in every state. Widespread gerrymandering and the growing influence of money in politics have tilted the scales of our democracy, and voters have never been more disillusioned with our government. Those whose civic participation is being discouraged, distorted, and denied are the same people who are suffering the most from the inequities in our society, and this is no coincidence. In a democracy, voices that are not heard have no power.
Despite this bleak outlook, grassroots organizations embedded in underrepresented communities across our country are encouraging civic participation all year, every year. Many of these organizations are partners at State Voices tables.
Our tables connect these groups to one another and to other organizations from different sectors, creating multi-cultural, multi-issue coalitions that can leverage their collective power to transform our democracy. They engage in long-term planning – framed by the Integrated Voter Engagement strategy – to support and strengthen their partner organizations and engage local constituents, all to bring about a more open and just society.
Our approach is governed by these five objectives:
- We build state capacity to strengthen our democracy and advance the collective impact model.
- We promote collaboration and alignment between national and state-based strategies.
- We make cutting-edge data and technology accessible to grassroots organizations.
- We direct funding and resources to our tables.
- We support a community of innovation through research, experimentation, and shared best practices.