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DEMocRACY ALLIANCE @ INVESTMENT STRATEGY AND RECOMMENDATIONS Spring 2019 Investuent RECOMMENDATIONS | spRinc2019 A NOTE TO THE DEMOCRACY ALLIANCE COMMUNITY Nearly 15 years ago, the Democracy Alliance (DA) helped fuel a progressive resurgence. Through catalytic and collaborative funding, DA Partners helped to establish and scale the infrastructure needed to develop bold and effective policy ideas; monitor and challenge the barrage of misinformation promoted and distributed through the Right's extensive communication networks; and coordinate the independant civic engagement infrastructure needed to win elections. ‘As 2020 approaches, the DA is being called to lead again, At a moment when our progressive: Ideals, fundamental democratic institutions, and values are under attack, the DA must evolve its Investment strategy and focus on a forward-leaning plan for progressive power building and ‘governance—for 2020 and over the long run. Fortunately, we are not starting from scratch. As dire as this political moment is, the DA has 2 vision (see accompanying book) that serves as our statement of values and articulates what we seak to bull: a fair democracy, inclusive economy, safe and sustainable planet, and just and equitable nation. Over the past five years, the DA pursued a path of building progressive political power through the states and prioritized investment in chronically under-resourced New American Majority communities. The 2018 midterms added strong political momentum and demonstrated that there is potential to build a larger and more endluring progressive coalition, Our job over the next two years is to think ambitiously and move quickly, marshaling greater resources towards a collective plan for action ‘What follows is an investment strategy and intial set of investment recommendations that the DA donor community can uniquely accomplish together. After @ year-long, highly consultative process (seven sessions with Partners via conferences, webinar, and regional meatings and more than 120 interviews with progressive movement organizations), plus careful consideration of the best way to leverage the power of this community, the Investment Committee (Daalyah Bil Threats, Farhad Ebrahimi, Joan Huffer, and Shekar Narasimhan) and staff (myself, Dominic Lowell, {and Secky Fascione) prosented the strateay and initial recommendations to the DA Board at its ‘meeting in late-February, where they were enthusiastically approved. The resource needs ofthis uniaue political moment are considerable—pethaps more so than at any point in our nation’s history. And yet, with impact as the overriding imperative, the DA's Board, Investment Committee, and staff heard a clarion call for focus—even if it means that not every important (or even Partner-preferred) organization, issue, oF approach would be Included In the DA's funding recommendations. We look forward to discussing the strategy and recommendations with you over the next few ays at the spring Partner retreat and working together as 3 community to bulld the progressive ower needed at this unique political moment. Sincerely, Gee Lorber JULIE KOHLER Senior Advisor, Democracy Alliance PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL TO DEMOCRACY ALLIANCE © nwvestnenT RECOMMENDATIONS | SPRING 2012 INVESTMENT STRATEGY AND RECOMMENDATIONS ‘The stakes are clear and have never been higher. In the short term, progressives must win in 2020, and over the long term, we must combat the root causes of our current politcal criss ‘The following stretegy is our attempt to focus resources on a finite set of goals and priorities to accomplish both, Over the course of our year-long consultation process with Partners and movement leaclers, there was a clear consensus that the DA's “sweet spot”—where we have historically enjoyed success—Is in raising catalytic funding to fll gaps in the progressive infrastructure. itis that focus on gaps that guided the Board and investment Committee's work, helping us identity three goals and five funding priorities that Partners anc movement leaders believe ‘re critical and achievable with the collective resources that the DA could collectively, invest, Moreever, our goals and funding priorities are collectively oriented towards solving ‘2 common problem: the concentration of power in the hands of a few and the detrimental ‘tfects of this power imbalance on the vast majority of Americans. ‘Changing the laws and policies that maintain and perpetuate this concentration of power |s the only way that the DA\s viston for an inclusive economy, fair democracy, safe and sustainable planet, and equitable and just nation will ever be realized. Consequently, what unites the funding priorities and specific investment recommendations isa focus on building independent political power—political power that Is grounded in the priorities of a Drogressive, multi-racial, multiclass base; independent from dominant partisan, candidate, {and corporate control; and oriented towards changing the rules of our democracy and, economy (for a full operational definition, see Appendix A), ‘The intial investment recommendations seek to bulld independent political power by investing in the necessary building blocks: base-building; mobilizing progressive constituencies; supporting networks of collaborative organizations: guiding people and ‘ideas through connected pipelines: and investing in campaigns that address the “rules of the game" in order to increase participation and combat inequality, Although focus is needed, itis also true that achieving our vision is @ multi-faceted ‘endeavor that requires the work of many organizations and efforts operating outside of the DA's teilored investment approach. At this perilous yet promising political moment, there must also be continued Investment in progressive thought leadership and policy think tanks, the development ofa strong progressive legal infrastructure, and robust policy advocacy. The Trump Administration must be held accountable for its corruption, ethical, {and legal violations through strong and robust investigative journalism, legal action, and ‘congressional oversight. 2 PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL TO DEMOCRACY ALLIANCE