Throwing money at stopping the next coup
January 6, 2022 7:02 AM   Subscribe

I'm worried sick about the next US presidential election. Who is doing good work on this?

The January 6 anniversary news is really stressing me out. All I can do is give money, and I want to know who to give it to. Previous questions I'm finding are from fall 2020, and I'm thinking that's enough time for things to change. Those questions are also more specific in terms of action, and I really don't know what the best strategy is.

(Please save doom and gloom for someplace else - just want to know what organizations are doing something useful. Bonus points if you explain the thinking behind your recommendation.)
posted by FencingGal to Law & Government (12 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I like the Brennan Center. They're a voting rights group of wonks centered on NYU School of Law. They do a lot of analysis and write legal briefs and white papers, behind the scenes judicial stuff that is often effective. I started donating money to them a few years ago to support their work preventing voter suppression.

Here's a couple of examples of their writing: Purges: A Growing Threat to the Right to Vote (2018) and How to Protect the 2020 Vote from the Coronavirus. During the crisis of vote counting in late 2020 they were doing a lot of coordinating and collecting information; as a donor I saw some of their summaries and was grateful for the work they did.

I'm worried sick too. And folks like the Brennan Center are operating within the American system; their work only matters as long as courts and the rule of law are meaningful. What makes me sick is the fear that may no longer be enough.
posted by Nelson at 7:11 AM on January 6 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I would suggest The New Pennsylvania Project. They are modeled on Stacey Abrams' New Georgia Project and are doing amazing work registering new voters in PA -- with an emphasis on young people and communities of color. I have done some organizing work with the founder and am incredibly impressed with her vision, drive and connections.
posted by mcduff at 7:33 AM on January 6 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Just to be clear, what worries me the most is that it won't matter if the nation elects a Democrat if a violent mob in cahoots with Republicans in power decides to overthrow the election. Or Republicans in power try to overthrow it without the violent mob. That is what's keeping me up at night. So I'm especially interested in organizations working toward making sure the results of the next presidential election are honored.

But I'm appreciative of all ideas and will stop threadsitting now.
posted by FencingGal at 7:46 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]

My first suggestion is donating to Swing Left. But now that I understand more about your concern, I will try to think about other groups I know that seem to be doing more of that type of work.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:48 AM on January 6

Best answer: The lawyers committee for civil rights is also working to protect voting rights by filing lawsuits against Georgia, for example, for a new restrictive voting law. (Honestly, I think the best way of making sure the results of the next election are honored is to enroll as many new Democratic voters as possible but that’s not what you’re asking about.)
posted by Bella Donna at 7:59 AM on January 6

Take a look at Protect Democracy. Under "Our Work," they categorize how their efforts fight each of the six steps of the authoritarian playbook.
posted by jocelmeow at 9:12 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Personally, I think the biggest threat is in state legislatures. Support Democratic candidates fro state house and senate. And your local newspaper.
posted by SemiSalt at 12:01 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]

fwiw, I think the Dems are going to hold the House and expand their Senate advantage in November, and I think there's an even chance that they pass voting rights. A lot of good things are happening right now that aren't really getting the kind of coverage they merit. Also, more people are aware of what's at stake than at any time in history. This is our time. Go with your heart full and find your people: they're out there, because we're the majority.

This might not be your cup of tea, but I carry voter registration forms in envelopes wherever I go. I feel people out on their views, and if they're progressive, I ask people The Question: Are you registered to vote? The feeling when they take that envelope from you crushes despair. The sacred fire of liberty is lit with a single, tiny spark. You can be that spark. Anyone can. REGISTER VOTERS!
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 2:57 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]

Best answer: NAACP LDF. Here is there recent political participation work. For that space between when the votes are cast and when the counting is finalized.
posted by Gotanda at 3:03 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I checked the COVID section of Protect Democracy (because anymore that's how I decide who is worth listening to), and it's all about Trump and refers to him as "President Trump." I'm concerned that their website is that out of date. It seems a great organization in theory, so if anyone knows what's going on, please share.
posted by FencingGal at 6:04 AM on January 7

Pay for subscriptions to news organizations that you trust to cover the election accurately and not be wishy washy about "maybe some ballots are invalid".

Include a note with your subscription about why you trust this organization. Editors definitely read these.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 10:34 AM on January 7

The News & Updates section at the website of Protect Democracy has material from the current and prior month.
posted by NotLost at 11:03 AM on January 8

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