The following is a list of priority issues for FCCP. This is a dynamic collection of topics that reflect the current interests of FCCP members at any given time.
Voter engagement includes non-partisan voter registration, public education and voter turnout. FCCP believes that the most effective way for organizations to engage in nonpartisan voter engagement is by integrating this work into their ongoing strategy of base-building, leadership development and policy work. This model, called Integrated Voter Engagement, helps to strengthen organizational infrastructure and build resources that can be used to win effective public policies.
Election Administration / Voter Protection
Election administration covers a broad area of work dedicated to improving how elections are run in our country. Recognizing that the right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy, FCCP is committed to promoting proper oversight of elections, to raise up best practices, to ensure fair and reliable elections and to prevent the manipulation of election rules, coercion and engrained systems that discourage or prevent segments of the electorate from exercising their franchise.
State-Based Nonprofit Infrastructure
A growing array of state non-partisan 501 (c) 3 organizations and state "tables" or coalitions are building a powerful state-based infrastructure in various places to carry out on-the-ground civic participation and policy work. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis is quoted as saying, "states are the laboratories of democracy," and indeed, many of the public policy victories we've seen in recent years have been won at the state level. Experiments and new models that maximize shared resources have energized this work in the past few years.
Ballot measures are a direct form of democracy where important policy decisions are taken directly to the voters via the ballot. The term includes initiatives, measures, propositions and referendums. The ballot measure process has strong proponents and critics even within the ranks of FCCP. However, regardless of your stand on ballot measures, no one can deny their tremendous importance and impact. FCCP is committed to protecting the integrity of ballot measures and in exploring how they are used to move public policy and mobilize voters to participate in elections.
Elections matter and we have a responsibility to ensure that our elections are effective and serve all of the American electorate. Election reform is an overarching term for the many and varied proposals and activities that are designed to improve the functioning of elections. The following are just some of the issues that fall within this category: reform of voting systems, ballot access rules, reform of the Electoral College system, ballot design and voting equipment.
The national census is conducted every ten years and is intended to count the population and collect demographic information about every person living in the United States. The census collects information on household composition in terms of age, sex, ethnicity, race, and home ownership and the data is used for planning, research and determining how much government money is distributed to states and cities for essential services, among other things. Census results are also used in apportionment, the process of dividing the 435 seats in the House of Representatives among the 50 states to draw new congressional and legislative districts. Census results have far-reaching impact and in recent years serious concerns have been raised about the census undercount and its disproportionate impact on poor people, people of color and immigrants.
Redistricting, the process of revising legislative and congressional district boundaries, usually occurs every ten years and is partially based on the results of the national census. Each state has its own standards for creating districts and the processes they currently use often lead to partisanship and noncompetitive races. There are a number of organizations working on redistricting reform guided by the following standards: compact, contiguous districts, respect for communities of interest and existing political and geographical boundaries, equal population, competiveness, Voting Rights Act guideline compliance and ensuring that boundaries are not drawn for purposes of partisan advantage or incumbent protection.
Campaign Finance Reform
Campaign finance reform is a comprehensive term used to describe various strategies for reducing the influence of money in politics and expanding opportunities for participation in the political process. Two main strategies, which can be complementary, are public financing of elections and contribution limits. Many believe that the concept of one person-one vote is undermined by the influence of money in politics.