Activism

Many of our America at a Crossroads audience members have repeatedly asked what they can actually DO to help protect our democracy. We have researched and vetted a number of non-partisan, non-profit organizations that are immersed in issues aligned with JUDJ’s mission. Voting rights, voter suppression and other pro-democracy ideals lie at the heart of the organizations we have included below. In many cases, these organizations have volunteer opportunities, including internships and special opportunities for high school and college students. We encourage you to connect with and support these organizations and actively engaged in protecting our American democracy.

Anti-Defamation League is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is a global leader in exposing extremism and delivering anti-bias education, and is a leading organization in training law enforcement. ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

Learn more about ADL and volunteer opportunities.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism.

Learn more about the Brennan Center for Justice. 

The California Center for Civic Participation is a non-partisan, non-profit civic education organization, engaging high school students by sparking their interest with exposure to real excitement of the democratic process. We believe that youth hold so much untapped and unlimited power to change their communities and their world and we exist to expose and nurture that power.

Learn more about the California Center for Civic Participation and volunteer opportunities. 

The Center’s mission is to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy. The Center has reached more than 30 million students and their teachers since 1965.

The Center for Civic Education helps students develop (1) an increased understanding of the institutions of constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values upon which they are founded, (2) the skills necessary to participate as competent and responsible citizens, and (3) the willingness to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict.

Learn more about the Center for Common Ground.

The Center for Common Ground empowers under-represented voters through non-partisan voter registration and Get Out the Vote. It provide voter information through door knock canvassing, texting, phone-banking. It also provide free rides to the polls on Election Day.

Learn more about the Center for Common Ground and volunteer opportunities.

Center for Election Innovation & Research engages in cutting-edge work to build voter trust, increase voter participation, and improve the efficiency of election administration. Their work helps elections officials maintain accurate and complete voter lists and secure election technology infrastructure.

Learn more about Center for Election Innovation & Research.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to ensure open, honest, and accountable government; to promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and to empower all people to make their voices heard as equals in the political process. Common cause works across four major issue areas: voting and elections; money and politics; ethics, transparency and government accountability; and media and democracy.

Learn more about Common Cause and the Common Cause Education Fund

Democracy North Carolina is a nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to strengthen democratic structures, build power among disenfranchised communities, and inspire confidence in a transformed political process that works for all.

Learn more about Democracy NC and volunteer opportunities. 

ElectionDay.Org engages businesses to provide resources and tools to promote voting within their organizations including information on how to register, voting methods, and relevant deadlines. 

Learn more about ElectionDay.Org.

Equal Justice Works creates opportunities for lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service. Equal Justice Works is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization and is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. Equal Justice Works brings together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, legal services organizations, and supporters to promote a lifelong commitment to public service and equal justice. The organization believes that a community of lawyers committed to public service can fulfill our nation’s promise of equal justice for all. Following their Fellowships, more than 85% of Equal Justice Works Fellows remain in public service positions, continuing to pursue equal justice for underserved communities.

Learn more about Equal Justice Works and available volunteer opportunities.

The Election Official Legal Defense Network (EOLDN) is a project of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Election Innovation & Research. EOLDN connects licensed, qualified, pro bono attorneys with election administrators who need advice or assistance. Election workers from all over the country, at the state and local level, can contact EOLDN via this website or by phone (1-877-313-5210) at any time, to request to be connected to a lawyer who can help them, at no cost. This service is available regardless of the election official’s political affiliation, or whether they work in a blue or red state or county.

Learn more about Election Official Legal Defense Network and available volunteer opportunities. 

FairVote is a nonpartisan organization seeking better elections for all. They research and advance voting reforms that make democracy more functional and representative for every American. FairVote has a proven record since 1992 as a nonpartisan trailblazer that advances and wins electoral reforms at the local, state and national level through strategic research, communications and collaboration. Today, we are the driving force behind advancing ranked choice voting and fair representation in multi-winner legislative districts that will open up our elections to better choices, fairer representation and more civil campaigns.

Learn more about FairVote and volunteer opportunities.

Indivisible is committed to providing civic education, policy resources, strategic guidance, and targeted trainings for groups across the country. It educates and empowers civic leaders at the community level across the country. 

Learn more about Indivisible and volunteer opportunities available in several states.

Inspire2Vote supports nonpartisan efforts to promote voter registration among high school students. Inspire2Vote is a program of Project High Hopes, a 501(c)3 operating foundation which engages in innovative programs in the areas of civic responsibility. For more information about Project High Hopes,

Learn more about Common Cause.

The League of Women Voters of the United States encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Learn more about League of Women Voters.

The Lincoln Project is a leading pro-democracy organization in the United States — dedicated to the preservation, protection, and defense of democracy. The Lincoln Project launched with two stated objectives. The first was to defeat Donald Trump at the ballot box. The second was to ensure Trumpism failed alongside him. As we have seen, our fight against Trumpism is only beginning. We must combat these forces everywhere and at all times. Our democracy depends on it.

Learn more about The Lincoln Project and available volunteer opportunities. 

People For the American Way Foundation conducts research, legal, and education work on behalf of First Amendment freedoms and democratic values; monitors, exposes, and challenges the Religious Right movement and its political allies; identifies, trains, and supports the next generation of progressive leaders through its Young People For youth leadership programs and its Young Elected Officials Network; and carries out nonpartisan voter education, registration, civic participation, and election protection activities.

Learn more about People for the American Way. 

Project Vote is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded on the belief that an organized, diverse electorate is the key to a better America. Project Vote’s mission is to build an electorate that accurately represents the diversity of this nation’s citizenry, and to ensure that every eligible citizen can register, vote, and cast a ballot that counts.

Learn more about Project Vote. 

Project Vote Smart offers services and programs for political journalists to enhance their coverage of politics and elections. The Project partners with more than 300 national, state, and local news organizations, all endorsing Project programs. In addition to comprehensive databases on more than 40,000 candidates and incumbents, the Project provides journalists with special research services and publications. We devote considerable effort to researching information about all candidates for presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative office and elected officials. Voters thus have access to unbiased information on candidates as well as those serving in elected positions.

Learn more about Project Vote Smart and available volunteer opportunities. 

The Public Citizen Foundation supports Public Citizen’s education, litigation, research, and public information activities. Public Citizen is a national consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts. Public Citizen fights for openness and democratic accountability in government, for the right of consumers to seek redress in the courts; for clean, safe and sustainable energy sources; for social and economic justice in trade policies; for strong health, safety and environmental protections; and for safe, effective and affordable prescription drugs and health care.

Learn more about Public Citizen and available opportunities. 

Reform Elections Now works to reduce partisanship in government through electoral reform. It believes that election reform is the most systematic way to reduce partisanship in government. To this end, we pursue our mission by providing our members and audience with insightful analyses, high-return solutions, and opportunities for targeted engagement with like-minded organizations. Led by a team of non-partisan business people, we focus on pragmatic election reform initiatives that are achievable, constructive, and measurable.

Learn more about Reform Elections Now. 

Rideshare2Vote was created to increase the voice and power of people by expanding their civic engagement and voting rights. We have created a voter touch outreach field program that includes our transportation service specifically for Democratic and progressive voters. Rideshare2Vote focuses our work in disenfranchised communities; voting for the first time; who are not voting in every election; that are disabled; living in poverty and who are elderly.

Learn more about Rideshare2Vote and available volunteer opportunities. 

Rise mobilizes student voters to build our political power for change. Our vote is one of the most powerful ways we can change our communities and our county. Rise works to empower students with the knowledge, skills, and tools we need to get out the vote. 

Learn more about RISE and available volunteer opportunities. 

Fusing pop culture, politics, and technology, Rock the Vote works to mobilize the millennial voting bloc and the youth vote, protect voting rights, and advocate for an electoral process and voting system that works for the 21st century electorate. For almost 25 years, Rock the Vote has pioneered ways to make voting easier by simplifying and demystifying voter registration and elections for young adults.

Learn more about Rock the Vote and available volunteer opportunities. 

Spread The Vote helps members of our communities empower themselves to be heard at the polls: with IDs, registration, education, and turnout. 21 million Americans don’t have photo ID. If they live in a strict voter ID state, they can’t vote. Volunteer to help Americans win back their fundamental right to vote. We love our volunteers! Whether you live in a voter ID state or not, there are a lot of ways that you can help us fight voter suppression. 

Learn more about Spread The Vote and available volunteer opportunities. 

Students for Justice is a non partisan organization created to empower underrepresented voters in voter-suppression-states. Students for Justice engages young people in the electoral process through paid internships; interns take on a variety of projects –- communications, outreach, and community organizing— all aimed at getting out the vote. Interns develop paid social media campaigns to increase voter registration and turnout. They recruit, train, and motivate volunteers to use postcards, phone calls, and texts to contact some of the 16.5 million Americans who have been purged from the voter rolls, helping them re-establish their voter registration, and get out the vote.

Learn more about how to donate and to apply for an internship. 

The Andrew Goodman Foundation makes young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy. Our ability to spark their passion — today — will result in change, tomorrow. The Andrew Goodman Foundation supports youth leadership development, voting accessibility, and social justice initiatives on campuses across the country with mini-grants to select institutions of higher learning and other financial assistance to students.
Our vision is that young people will become active, engaged citizens who ensure a just democracy and sustainable future. Join us during this critical time for American democracy and help shape the next generation of civic leaders.

Learn more about The Andrew Goodman Foundation and available volunteer opportunities. 

The Center for Public Integrity is dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The mission of the Center for Public Integrity is to protect democracy and inspire change using investigative reporting that exposes betrayals of the public trust by powerful interests. To pursue its mission, the Center generates high-quality, accessible investigative reports, databases, and contextual analysis on issues of public importance; disseminates work to journalists, policymakers, scholars, and citizens using a combination of digital, electronic, and print media; and educates, engages, and empowers citizens with the tools and skills they need to hold government and other private institutions accountable.

Learn more about The Center for Public Integrity. 

The Civics Center is dedicated to building the foundations of youth civic engagement and voter participation in high schools through education, organizing, and advocacy. We support student-led, peer-to-peer voter registration and pre-registration efforts in high school communities.

Learn more about The Civics Center and available volunteer opportunities. 

VoteRiders is the country’s leading nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on the issue of voter ID. Our mission is to ensure that no eligible voter is prevented from casting a ballot that counts due to voter ID laws, either directly from lack of acceptable ID or indirectly because of voter confusion. Founded ten years ago, our work has helped millions of voters successfully navigate and overcome the barriers that result from voter ID laws, which are currently in place in 36 states. As we head into 2022 and the crucial midterm elections, our far-reaching voter ID education resources, partnerships, and free ID assistance programs are now more important than ever before.

VoteRiders offers a wide range of virtual and on-the-ground volunteer opportunities for individuals looking to make a difference, including virtual letter-writing and text-banking events and in-person or virtual ID assistance opportunities to support voters in the states of Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Learn more about VoterRiders and available volunteer opportunities. 

When We All Vote is a leading national, nonpartisan initiative on a mission to change the culture around voting and to increase participation in each and every election by helping to close the race and age gap. Created by Michelle Obama, When We All Vote brings together individuals, institutions, brands, and organizations to register new voters across the country and advance civic education for the entire family and voters of every age to build an informed and engaged electorate for today and generations to come. We empower our supporters and volunteers to take action through voting, advocating for their rights, and holding their elected officials accountable.

Learn more about When We All Vote and available volunteer opportunities. 

JUDJ Newsletter

JUDJ regularly sends supporters newsletters highlighting upcoming events and a round up of important articles and news coverage related to our efforts and issue areas.

Dear Friend:

If you missed today’s program with Ambassador Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute in conversation with Warren Olney on the Ripple Effects of the Russo-Ukraine war,  you can watch the recording at THIS PAST EVENTS LINK.  It posts about three hours after the program completes, and remains at THAT LINK indefinitely with all of our 120 past programs. 

Next week, on August 1 @ 5 pm Pacific, Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chair of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee will be in conversation with the Los Angeles Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Patt Morrison.  Together they will explore extremism in America.  You can register for that program here.

1. NORMAN LEAR TURNS 100 AND SAYS THIS ABOUT AMERICA…
In this extraordinary essay, in honor of his 100th birthday, Emmy-winning TV producer and co-founder of People for the American Way, Norman Lear, compares and contrasts Archie Bunker of the ground-breaking 70’s sit-com “All in the Family” and former President Donald Trump.  He concludes that while Archie Bunker, most likely would have been a Trump voter, but, suggests Lear, “the sight of the American flag being used to attack Capitol Police would have sickened him. I hope that the resolve shown by Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, and their commitment to exposing the truth, would have won his respect.”  Lear’s analysis of the state of our democracy and what must be done to move our country forward is remarkably inspiring.  Happy Birthday Norman Lear!

2. ELECTORAL COUNT ACT REFORM: CONGRESS SHOULD PASS THE COLLINS-MANCHIN REFORM BILL
Rick Hasen’s Important Article
As is abundantly evident, and has been the subject of many America at a Crossroads programs, our presidential election process in the US is particularly vulnerable; the number of  steps which are required between the time of voting and the time that the winning candidate assumes office creates many opportunities for those unhappy with the election results to disrupt and even subvert the process.  In this article, one of the country’s foremost election law experts and frequent America at a Crossroads guest, Rick Hasen of UCLA Law, writes that “it’s pretty clear that one of the main pathways to subvert presidential election results is through manipulation of the byzantine and unclear rules of the Electoral Count Act of 1887 (ECA).”   The language of the ECA is, according to leading scholars, “opaque and contradictory…which in the hands of people acting in bad faith could provide a pathway to a stolen election.”  There is a bill pending in Congress, the Collins-Manchin Electoral Count Reform Act bill (ECRA), that would fix a lot of the ambiguities and contradictions in the  arcane law.  The ECRA would, with clear language, “confirm what we’ve already known—that a vice president has no unilateral power to accept or reject election results. It would also raise the threshold for senators or representatives to object to valid electoral college votes, eliminate the chance that a state legislature could rely on that ‘failed election’ language to send in alternative slate of electors, and provide a mechanism for federal judicial review of any action by a rogue governor to send in a fake slate of electors.”  While the ECRA doesn’t solve all problems which exist in our presidential election systems, it is close to having enough bi-partisan support to avoid filibuster and, according to Hasen and other experts, should be supported .

3. AMERICA’S SELF OBSESSION IS KILLING OUR DEMOCRACY: The U.S. still has a chance to fix itself before 2024. 

In this recent article in The Atlantic, Brian Klaas warns that our American democracy is in serious jeopardy and that concentrated action is required to save it.   “The basic problem” writes Klaas, “is that one of the two major parties in the U.S.—the Trumpified Republican Party—has become authoritarian to its core. Consequently, there are two main ways to protect American democracy. The first is to reform the GOP, so that it’s again a conservative, but not authoritarian, party (à la John McCain’s or Mitt Romney’s Republican Party). The second is to perpetually block authoritarian Republicans from wielding power. But to do that, Democrats need to win every election. When you’re facing off against an authoritarian political movement, each election is an existential threat to democracy. Eventually, the authoritarian party will win.”  Klaas writes that had the GOP denounced the January 6th insurrection in a sustained manner there would be more hope for our democracy; however, since the initial denunciations by McConnell, Graham and several others, most GOP leaders (with the notable exceptions of Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger) are firmly in the Trumpism camp. It seems, according to Klaas, that even a post-Trump GOP, unless it can be reformed, remains authoritarian, leaving us with “Trumpism without Trump”.  Klaas’ conclusion is that while our democracy’s death is not a foregone conclusion, without concerted effort to change the current status, the US may well settle into a “dysfunctional equilibrium”  reflective of a breakdown of our democracy. 

Donations to America at a Crossroads are highly valued and used solely to offset the costs of this series.  You can donate to Jews United for Democracy & Justice (JUDJ) at THIS JUDJ LINK or to Community Advocates Inc. (CAI) at THIS CAI LINK. 

PAST PROGRAMS: Access recordings of ALL of our past programs here

SIGN UP for the podcast edition of America at a Crossroads
Our programs are now available to stream on your favorite podcast platform. Visit Jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/Podcast to listen and subscribe.



SELECT ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDING RELIEF TO UKRAINIANS 
Go to this link for full listing and to donate


VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MANY VOTING RIGHTS VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:     
 www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/activism/

UPCOMING PROGRAMS (ALL TIMES ARE PACIFIC!!)

1.  Wednesday, August 3 at 5 pm Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chair Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee in conversation with Patt Morrison: A  Conversation on Domestic Extremism (Register Here) 
2.  Wednesday, August 10 at 5pm white supremacy expert Kathleen Belew:  Have Extremism & Bigotry Gone Mainstream? Are Texas & Florida Setting a Path with Madeleine Brand (Register Here)
3.  Wednesday, August 17 at 5 pm David Gergen, top advisor to 4 presidents, in conversation with Warren Olney discuss, The Making of a Great Leader. (Register Here)
4.  Wednesday, August 24 at 5 pm Bill Kristol & Sarah Longwell:  “Swing” Voters-Where Does the Balance of Power Lie? (Register Here)
5.  Wednesday, August 31 at 5 pm Fmr. Ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul in conversation with Larry Mantle: Whither Russia, the US & the World? (Register Here)

Dear Friend:

If you were unable to attend today’s program with social psychologist and best-selling author, JONATHAN HAIDT  in conversation with RABBI ED FEINSTEIN on the topic of the prevailing extreme political and social divides in America, you can watch the entire program at THIS PAST-EVENTS link.  It posts about 3 hours after the conclusion of the program and it stays there indefinitely with all of our 120 past programs.

Apropos of tonight’s program, Jonathan Haidt mentioned a couple of websites that many have asked about: (1)  to “test your morals” the website is https://yourmorals.org/   (2) to raise healthier children/grandchildren the website is: Letgrow.org

He also mentioned 2 non-profit pro-democracy organizations which he co-founded.  Below are brief explanations of the nature of each and links so that you can learn more and get involved:
1.   Heterodox Academy was started to foster viewpoint diversity and open inquiry on college campuses.  Learn more at: heterodoxacademy.org/our-mission/ and in this blog post on how Heterodox Academy is working to improve American democracy. 
2.  OpenMind was started to equip people with the mindset and skills to communicate constructively across differences. Learn more at openmindplatform.org/about/
And, again, here are links to selected writings by Jonathan Haidt
1.  NY Times Best Seller, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics & Religion
2.  The Atlantic, Why the past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid
3.  The Atlantic, The Dark Psychology of Social Networks: Why it feels that everything is going haywire.
Here is a link to all of Jonathan Haidt’s work: https://jonathanhaidt.com/
 

NEXT WEEK’S PROGRAM: 
Next week, July 27 at 5 pm Pacific,  we welcome Ambassador Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute. He will be in conversation with Warren Olney on the Diplomatic Ripple Effects of the Russo-Ukraine war.  Ambassador Ross has decades of experience in diplomacy around the world; he served as special assistant to President Obama and special advisor to Secretary of State Clinton.  Ambasssador Ross also served as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff where he worked extensively in developing US policy towards the former Soviet Union.  And, for more than a decade, Ambassador Ross lead the US team in shaping US involvement in the Middle East, having worked in both the George HW Bush and Clinton Administrations in developing US-Middle East policy.  There are few people more experienced in diplomatic matters relating to Russia than Ambassador Dennis Ross.  Register Here

OP-ED: OUR DIVIDED COUNTRY: FRANK BRUNI
In yesterday’s NY Times, this guest opinion essay by Duke University public policy professor and NY Times contributing opinion writer, Frank Bruni, describes the sharp divide prevailing in North Carolina’s electorate.  North Carolina narrowly went to Trump in 2020, yet the North Carolina electorate simultaneously elected a Democratic governor.  Bruni says that North Carolina is a mirror of what is happening in the country, to wit: sharply divided neighborhoods and extreme divisions among the electorate.  While people are tending to choose to live in either a Democratic or a Republican neighborhood, gerrymandering has forced these widely divergent neighborhoods into single congressional districts. In predicting what will happen in some of the midterms elections in these divided congressional districts, Bruni asks: “Will Republicans capitalize on inflation and successfully caricature Democrats to a point where they win big in the midterms and also exploit that victory to shore up their power well into the future? Is a mix of right-wing warriors this bellicose and progressives this determined even governable?”  

ARTICLE: IMPACT OF THE ROE DECISION ON MIDTERM ELECTIONS
In this recent article, LA Times Senior Editor David Lauter discusses the impact of the court’s decision to overturn Roe on upcoming midterm elections.  He writes that while typically, the President’s party loses seats in the midterm election, the ruling by the US Supreme Court in the Dobbs case and the myriad of state rushing to outlaw abortion in their states, could create a change in the usual outcome for this year’s midterms.  Lauter reviews various polls which show that the issue of abortion has skyrocketed on the hierarchy of voters’ concerns since Dobbs.  But, it is still unclear whether the angst and activism surrounding the pro-choice movement will out-perform inflationary woes and prevailing economic stress .

Donations to America at a Crossroads are highly valued and used solely to offset the costs of this series.  You can donate to Jews United for Democracy & Justice (JUDJ) at THIS JUDJ LINK or to Community Advocates Inc. (CAI) at THIS CAI LINK. 

PAST PROGRAMS: Access recordings of ALL of our past programs here

SIGN UP for the podcast edition of America at a Crossroads
Our programs are now available to stream on your favorite podcast platform. Visit Jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/Podcast to listen and subscribe.



SELECT ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDING RELIEF TO UKRAINIANS 
Go to this link for full listing and to donate


VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MANY VOTING RIGHTS VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:     
 www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/activism/

UPCOMING PROGRAMS (ALL TIMES ARE PACIFIC!!) NEW PROGRAMS ADDED
1. Wednesday, July 27 at 5 pm Ambassador Dennis Ross in conversation with Warren Olney on the topic, The Diplomatic Ripple Effects of the Russo/Ukraine War (Register Here
2.  Wednesday, August 3 at 5 pm Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chair Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee in conversation with Patt Morrison: A  Conversation on Domestic Extremism (Register Here) 
3.  Wednesday, August 10 at 5pm white supremacy expert Kathleen Belew:  Have Extremism & Bigotry Gone Mainstream? Are Texas & Florida Setting a Path with Madeleine Brand (Register Here)
4.  Wednesday, August 17 at 5 pm David Gergen, top advisor to 4 presidents, in conversation with Warren Olney discuss, The Making of a Great Leader. (Register Here)
5.  Wednesday, August 24 at 5 pm Bill Kristol & Sarah Longwell:  “Swing” Voters-Where Does the Balance of Power Lie? (Register Here)
6.  Wednesday, August 31 at 5 pm Fmr. Ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul in conversation with Larry Mantle: Whither Russia, the US & the World? (Register Here)

Dear Friend:

If you missed tonight’s fascinating program with Bill Browder, #1 NY Times best-selling author of Red Notice Freezing Order, in conversation with Warren Olney, you can listen to the recording at THIS PAST-EVENTS LINK.  It will be posted a few hours after the program’s completion, and will remain at that link indefinitely with all of our past programs.

Next Wednesday, NYU’s Stern School of Business social psychologist JONATHAN HAIDT will be in conversation with one of the country’s most respect and dynamic rabbis, Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California.  Their topic will be the political and social divides and moral differences among Americans.  Haidt is the author of, among other books, the NY Times Best-Seller, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion and of this recent article in The Atlantic, “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid” in which Haidt declares that “the story of Babel [in Genesis] is the best metaphor I have found for what happened to America in the 2010s, and for the fractured country we now inhabit.” 

Rabbi Ed Feinstein is the beloved rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom and is a teacher and story teller of international renown.  Feinstein authored In Pursuit of Godliness a book about his mentor, the late Rabbi Harold Schulweis, in which Feinstein explores morality and godliness in contemporary American Jewish life.  He is known not only for his extraordinary knowledge of Torah and his remarkable, riveting pedagogy, but he is also a student of pop-culture and of the American political scene.  Together, Haidt and Feinstein, will discuss the foundations of morality and how morality varies across cultures and communities and whether there are remedies to heal the brokenness in our divided society. Register here.

YOUR DONATIONS to AMERICA AT A CROSSROADS are highly valued and are used exclusively to offset the cost of this series.  You can donate to Jews united for Democracy & Justice at THIS JUDJ LINK. Donate to Community Advocates Inc. at THIS CAI LINK.  ALL DONATIONS ARE SHARED TO UNDERWRITE PROGRAM COSTS AND ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE .



PAST PROGRAMS: Access recordings of ALL of our past programs here

SIGN UP for the podcast edition of America at a Crossroads
Our programs are now available to stream on your favorite podcast platform. Visit Jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/Podcast to listen and subscribe.



SELECT ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDING RELIEF TO UKRAINIANS 
Go to this link for full listing and to donate


VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MANY VOTING RIGHTS VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:     
 www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/activism/

UPCOMING PROGRAMS (ALL TIMES ARE PACIFIC!!) NEW PROGRAMS ADDED

1.  Wednesday, July 20 at 5 pm Social Psychologist Jonathan Haidt of NYU Stern School of Business in conversation with Rabbi Ed Feinstein on the topic, Life After Babel: Will We Ever Speak the Same Language Again? (Register Here)
2. Wednesday, July 27 at 5 pm Ambassador Dennis Ross in conversation with Warren Olney on the topic, The Diplomatic Ripple Effects of the Russo/Ukraine War (Register Here
3.  Wednesday, August 3 at 5 pm Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chair Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee in conversation with Patt Morrison: A  Conversation on Domestic Extremism (Register Here) 
4.  Wednesday, August 10 at 5pm white supremacy expert Kathleen Belew:  Have Extremism & Bigotry Gone Mainstream? Are Texas & Florida Setting a Path with Madeleine Brand (Register Here)
5.  Wednesday, August 17 at 5 pm David Gergen, top advisor to 4 presidents, in conversation with Warren Olney discuss, The Making of a Great Leader. (Register Here)

Dear Friend:

If you could not join us for today’s fascinating program with David Brooks of the New York TImes and The Atlantic, you can watch the entire program at THIS PAST-EVENTS LINK a few hours after the end of the program.  All 112 of our past programs remain indefinitely at THAT link.  

Next week – A TRUE STORY ABOUT PUTIN AND RUSSIA’S ABUSE OF POWER
William Browder, CEO Hermitage Capital Management, Head of the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign and #1 NY Times best-selling author of Red Notice and Freezing Order, was, until 2005, the largest foreign investor in Russia, when he was barred from entry to Russia and declared to be a threat to Russia’s national security.  Browder and his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky had uncovered massive corruption and fraud in Russian state-owned companies–fraud committed by the very highest level of Russian government officials.  Sergei Magnitsky died after having been tortured in Russian captivity.  Since then, Mr. Browder has sought justice outside of Russia and started a global campaign for governments around the world to impose targeted visa bans and asset freezes on human rights abusers and highly corrupt officials. The United States was the first to impose these targeted sanctions with the passage of the Sergei Magnitsky Accountability Act in 2012, followed by the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act in 2016.  REGISTER HERE

Here is a review  from the Washington Post of Bill Browder’s recently released book, Freezing Order. 

YOUR DONATIONS to AMERICA AT A CROSSROADS are highly valued and are used exclusively to offset the cost of this series.  You can donate to Jews united for Democracy & Justice at THIS JUDJ LINK. Donate to Community Advocates Inc. at THIS CAI LINK.  ALL DONATIONS ARE SHARED TO UNDERWRITE PROGRAM COSTS AND ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE .
 

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UPCOMING PROGRAMS (ALL TIMES ARE PACIFIC!!) NEW PROGRAMS ADDED

1.  Wednesday, July 13 at 5 pm international financier and shareholder rights activist Bill Browder in conversation with Warren Olney on the topic, A Story of Money Laundering, Murder & More in Today’s Russia. (Register Here)
2.  Wednesday, July 20 at 5 pm Social Psychologist Jonathan Haidt of NYU Stern School of Business in conversation with Rabbi Ed Feinstein on the topic, Life After Babel: Will We Ever Speak the Same Language Again? (Register Here)
3. Wednesday, July 27 at 5 pm Ambassador Dennis Ross in conversation with Warren Olney on the topic, The Diplomatic Ripple Effects of the Russo/Ukraine War (Register Here
4.  Wednesday, August 3 at 5 pm Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chair Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee in covnersation with Patt Morrison: A  Conversation on Domestic Extremism (Register Here)

Dear Friend:

Tomorrow at 5 pm Pacific,Peter Baker, chief NY Times White House correspondent will discuss the Russo-Ukraine war as well as domestic issues in conversation with Madeleine Brand.  Baker was a foreign correspondent based in Moscow, under Putin for four years and is one of the leading journalists now covering the White House.   Register Here.
Here is a link to recent articles by Peter Baker on topics related to Biden, politics, the January 6 committee, gas prices, and more.

Here is a special reflection on the Dobb’s case which overturned Roe v. Wade from Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California. Feinstein called the case a “profound step backward” and notes that “the decision, and the restrictive state laws it triggers, are an assault on the dignity and autonomy of women.  It will be harshest on poor women…Those who celebrate the decision see it as protection for the sanctity of life.  My Jewish tradition reveres the sanctity of life, but instructs me to ask a searching question-whose life?”

MOST AMERICANS WANT ABORTIONS TO BE LEGAL IN ALL OR MOST CASES
The US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade represents a major turning point in America.  According to Boston College history professor and daily blogger Heather Cox Richardson (Letters from an American June 24, 2022 post), “For the first time in our history, rather than conveying rights, the court has explicitly taken a constitutional right away from the American people…Dobbs decision marks the end of an era: the period in American history stretching from 1933 to 1981, the era in which the U.S. government worked to promote democracy. It tried to level the economic playing field between the rich and the poor by regulating business and working conditions. It provided a basic social safety net through programs like Social Security and Medicare and, later, through food and housing security programs. It promoted infrastructure like electricity and highways, and clean air and water, to try to maintain a basic standard of living for Americans. And it protected civil rights by using the Fourteenth Amendment, added to the U.S. Constitution in 1868, to stop states from denying their citizens the equal protection of the laws…Now the Republicans are engaged in the process of dismantling that government.”

Max Boot, in this op-ed in Saturday’s Washington Post was highly critical of the Court’s decision; he suggests that the “hard right” justices seem to be acting on personal preference rather than on well formulated legal and judicial principles.  Boot’s central point is that while the Supreme Court is not obligated to follow popular will, rulings which fly in the face of the will of a vast majority of the public, erodes public faith in our legal and judicial systems. He notes that only 28% of Americans are in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade whereas 58% want abortion to be legal in most or all cases.  “Public faith in the Supreme Court is down to a historic low of 25 percent, and there’s a good reason why it keeps eroding. We are experiencing what the Founders feared: a crisis of governmental legitimacy brought about by minoritarian tyranny. And it could soon get a whole lot worse. In his concurring opinion in the abortion case, Justice Clarence Thomas called on the court to overturn popular precedents upholding a right to contraception, same-sex relationships and marriage equality. So much for Hamilton’s hope [in Federalist No. 22] that ‘the sense of the majority should prevail.’”

Dear Friend:

If you were unable to tune in this afternoon to hear about VOTER SUPPRESSION and other current events relating to upcoming mid-term elections from two highly acclaimed experts (Rick Hasen and Greg Bluestein moderated by Patt Morrison), you can listen to the entire recording at THIS PAST-EVENTS LINK .  The recording is posted about three hours after it ends; all 110 past America at a Crossroads programs are posted there and remain there indefinitely.  

Next Wednesday Susan Glasser, the author of The New Yorker’s Letter from Biden’s White House and her husband, Peter Baker, chief NY Times White House correspondent will discuss the Russo-Ukraine war as well as domestic issues in conversation with Madeleine Brand.  Glasser and Baker were foreign correspondents based in Moscow, under Putin for four years.   Register Here.

Here is a link to a collection of Susan Glasser’s recent columns in The New Yorker on issues ranging from the January 6 hearings, gun violence, Biden, and the war in Ukraine..and more.

Here is a link to recent articles by Peter Baker on topics related to Biden, politics, the Janaury 6 committee, gas prices, and more.

CONSPIRACY THEORY POLITICS:
CAN THE GENIE BE PUT BACK INTO THE BOTTLE?

In this guest opinion essay in today’s NY. Times, Thomas Edsall analyzes “Conspiracy Theory Politics” and dives deeply into theories as to why such theories flourish in what he calls “Trump’s America”.  Edsall writes that Trump uses conspiracies as a political mobilizing “designed to capture anger at the liberal establishment, to legitimize racial resentment and to unite voters who feel oppressed by what they see as a dominant socially progressive culture.”  The essay draws from many scholars in an array of fields, including social psychologist Jonathan Haidt who will be speaking on this topic to America at a Crossroads on July 20.  They note that Conspiracy Theory Politics has been the adhesive holding the dominant Trump-MAGA wing of the GOP in lock-step, primarily because the believers perceived themselves to be “losing”, be it culturally, politically or economically.  The critical question is whether our democratic institutions will survive or will election losers no longer be willing to accept the legitimacy of an election they haven’t won.   
NEW POLL RESULTS: 6 in 10 AMERICANS SAY TRUMP COMMITTED A CRIME:  
ABC/IPSOS conducted a poll last week, after the third January 6 Committee Public Hearing.   The poll found that almost 6 in 10 Americans say that Trump should be criminally charged for his role in the January 6th Capitol riot.  Comparing earlier polling data (ABC/Washington Post poll from January 2021) on the same subject to last week’s poll results, there is a 6% increase in the number of Americans who say that criminal charges should be brought against the former President.  Among self-described Independents, 62% think that Trump should face charges, 91% of Democrats and 19% of Republicans say that criminal charges should be brought. 
JANUARY 6 COMMITTEE HEARINGS

FORMER APPELLATE JUDGE LUTTIG “PATRON SAINT OF CONSERVATIVE LEGAL MOVEMENT” SAYS TRUMP ATTEMPTING TO “STEAL AMERICAN DEMOCRACY”
In this op-ed published yesterday and co-written by Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School’s star Constitutional Law scholar,  former appellate Judge Luttig was described as “the patron saint of the conservative legal movement.”  Here is Judge Luttig’s statement made last Thursday at the January 6 Committee Public Hearing.  In this Letters from an American blog-post by American historian, blogger and Boston College history professor, Heather Cox-Richardson wrote:  “Luttig is a leading conservative thinker, a giant in Republican legal circles, who worked in the Reagan administration, was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to a federal judgeship, and was on the short-list for a Supreme Court seat during President George W. Bush’s term. In January 2021, then–vice president Mike Pence’s staff turned to him for support to make sure Pence didn’t agree to count out electors; Luttig opposed the scheme absolutely.  Luttig’s words carry weight among Republican lawmakers”. 

Cox-Richardson notes that “Judge Luttig examined the ongoing danger to democracy and located it not just on former president Donald Trump and his enablers, but on the entire Republican Party of today, the party that embraces the Big Lie that Trump won the 2020 election, the party that continues to plan to overturn any election in which voters choose a Democrat.” 

In Luttig’s words: “The war on democracy instigated by the former president and his political party allies on January 6 was the natural and foreseeable culmination of the war for America. It was the final fateful day for the execution of a well-developed plan by the former president to overturn the 2020 presidential election at any cost, so that he could cling to power that the American People had decided to confer upon his successor, the next president of the United States instead. Knowing full well that he had lost the 2020 presidential election, the former president and his allies and supporters falsely claimed and proclaimed to the nation that he had won the election, and then he and they set about to overturn the election that he and they knew the former president had lost. The treacherous plan was no less ambitious than to steal America’s democracy.”

Dear Friend:

If you would like to listen to today’s stimulating and enlightening conversation with CNN senior political reporter and senior editor at The Atlantic,  Ron Brownstein, and  Robert Shrum, Director, Center for the Political Future and the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at the University of Southern California, the program can be found at THIS PAST EVENTS LINK within a few hours of the end of the program; all of our 109 programs remain at the PAST EVENTS LINK indefinitely. 

Over the last several years more than 400 bills have been introduced in 48 states most of which would impose barriers which make it harder for people to vote, thereby undermining the foundation of our democracy. Next Wednesday, June 22 at 5 pm Pacific, two seasoned experts will analyze efforts to suppress voting and whether those efforts have succeeded in actually reducing the number of voters.  Leading voting rights and election law expert and author, Rick Hasen of UC Irvine School of Law and Greg Bluestein, political reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will be in conversation with Patt Morrison of the LA TImes to discuss this critically important and timely issue of voter suppression. REGISTER HERE
 
MORE ON JANUARY 6 COMMITTEE HEARINGS
1.  WHO IS FUNDING THE “BIG LIE CAUCUS”?   In today’s NY TImes, this opinion essay by Alex Kingsbury addresses the question of who is financing former President Trump’s “Big Lie Caucus”. Kingsbury writes that “[i]n the month of April alone…Fortune 500 companies and trade organizations gave more than $1.4 million to members of Congress who voted not to certify the election results, according to an analysis by the transparency group Accountable.US. AT&T led the pack, giving $95,000 to election objectors…We tend to think of the past and future threat to elections as coming from voters for Donald Trump and those whom they’d elect to office. But the success of these politicians also depends on money. And a lot of money from corporations like Boeing, Koch Industries, Home Depot, FedEx, UPS and General Dynamics has gone to politicians who reject the 2020 election results based on lies told by the former president.”  Alex Kingsbury, formerly on the editorial board of the Boston Globe is a member of the editorial board of the NY Times. 

2. In this column in yesterday’s The Bulwark, Policy Editor Mona Charen writes that the legal standard which should be applied to former President Trump is not what he knew or believed, but rather, what he should have known. (The usual legal standard is what a reasonable person in similar circumstances believed, meaning that if a reasonable person in a similar situation would have believed those who advised him then Trump would be culpable no matter what he claims.)  Accordingly, Charen writes, “Trump is responsible for his lies however fervently he may tell himself and others that he believes in them because what he believes is irrelevant. His mind is a black hole of truth. It’s not what he knows but what he has a responsibility to know. And the same goes for all of us.”

3. In this opinion essay in yesterday’s NY Times, former acting US Solicitor General Neal Katyal reviews the evidence presented in the first two public January 6 Committee hearings and, based thereon, concludes that there are a number of obvious criminal charges which should be brought against the former President. Katyal writes, “a subsequent investigation is virtually inevitable, given the evidence generated by the committee. How could Attorney General Merrick Garland ignore the facts the American people are now learning about?”

4. TRUMP RESPONSE TO FIRST TWO PUBLIC JANUARY 6 PUBLIC HEARINGS.
This column in The Hill published yesterday, describes former President Trump’s 12-page rebuttal to the evidence presented by the January 6 Committee.  In his rebuttal, Trump continues to assert the “Big Lie” and the existence of massive voter fraud in the 2020 elections, despite the testimony of many of Trump’s closest campaign and presidential advisors to the contrary.  In his rebuttal Trump claims that the January 6th Committee findings are purely political; Trump writes, “As we near the midterm elections, we’re watching the Swamp creatures circle the drain as true Americans step up to replace the corrupt Establishment with patriots who will fight for our freedoms.”

Dear Friend:.

If you missed tonight’s program with NY Times business and economics journalist David Leonhardt, veteran in conversation with KPPC’s Larry Mantle,  which addressed a broad array of topics,  you can find the full unedited recording at this PAST EVENTS link within a few hours of the program’s completion.  All of our 109 past programs are posted at that link and remain there indefinitely.  

Next week, veteran analyst, CNN senior political reporter and senior editor at The Atlantic,  Ron Brownstein, will be in conversation with Robert Shrum, Director, Center for the Political Future and the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at the University of Southern California. on the topic: LOOKING AHEAD TO THE 2022 MIDTERMS…ARE THEY A DOOMSDAY FOR DEMOCRATS? REGISTER HERE



JANUARY 6 HEARINGS
1. Washington Post Editorial Board: With the House Committee public hearings beginning tomorrow, the editorial board of the Washington Post published this editorial stressing the critical importance of the hearings and the hope that the process will lead to important reforms to protect our democracy from future subversive attack.  “The committee’s work is the best hope the nation has to get a definitive account of one of its most perilous moments…Americans must be reminded how Jan. 6 called into question many things they could previously take for granted: that their leaders would accede to free and fair election results; that the president would defend the U.S. system of government; that violent resistance to the nation’s democratic institutions would find no succor in the White House or in the halls of Congress. There can be no higher priority than restoring those fundamental norms.”

2. Rick Hasen op-ed in today’s WashingtonPost:   In this op-ed in today’s Washington Post, election law expert and America at a Crossroads past and future (June 22) guest, Rick Hasen, opines that while the upcoming hearings may well provide the public with more information about the events of the January 6 insurrection, the most important outcome will be to “highlight continuing vulnerabilities in our electoral system and propose ways to fix them, before it is too late.”  Hasen also writes that the pubic hearings present the best chance to mobilize public support for election reform.  Hasen warns, “[I]f Republicans retake the House in November, they will never put forth bills that imply the country needs protection from Trump, their kingmaker. If these hearings don’t spur action by this summer or fall, expect Congress to do nothing before the 2024 elections, at which point American democracy will be in great danger.”

BOTH-SIDISM IN THE MEDIA:
Are Fox News and CNN truly mirror images?  NO! says this op-ed.
In yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, in this op-ed by Kurt Bardella, a former Republican congressional staffer, he makes the point that Fox News, which had 1000 segments on the Benghazi issue, will not be airing the January 6 hearings this week, as they have decided that the January 6 investigation is nothing more than a “witch-hunt”.  On the other hand, Bardella (who defected from the Republican party in 2017) writes that CNN has come under criticism for being partisan when it calls out GOP hypocrisy. (SEE AXIOS: CNN Evaluating Partisan Talent, June 7).  “There are those in the establishment media world” writes Bardella, “who still cling to this notion that Democrats and Republicans represent two different-but-equal sides of the same coin. That it’s important for the American people to be presented with ‘both sides’ as if they carry equal weight.”  But, the column concludes, what is responsible is that the media “[n]ot allow their platforms to become launderers for the GOP’s lies. [They should] refuse to quote the Republicans who in bad faith rejected the entire inquiry process. Refuse to book on their shows and segments voices who refer to the insurrectionists as ‘patriots.'”

Dear Friend:
CORRECTED LINKS:

1.   HERE IS CORRECTED LINK TO LAST NIGHT’S PROGRAM WITH JENNIFER RUBIN
2.  HERE IS THE CORRECTED LINK TO JUNE 29TH PROGRAM WITH PETER BAKER AND SUSAN GLASSER

Next week we welcome David Leonhardt, veteran Pulitzer prize-winning NY Times business & economics journalist, in conversation with Larry Mantle,  to discuss domestic economy &  its impact on the  political scene. Register Here


THIS WEEK’S UKRAINE COLUMNS: FRIEDMAN & LEONHARDT
1.  In this op-ed  the New York Times’ columnist Thomas Friedman writes that Putin did not just invade Ukraine, but in essence invaded all of Europe.  Speaking of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Friedman says “This could be the biggest act of folly in a European war since Hitler invaded Russia in 1941…This invasion — with Russian soldiers indiscriminately shelling Ukrainian apartment buildings and hospitals, killing civilians, looting homes, raping women and creating the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II — is increasingly seen as a 21st-century rerun of Hitler’s onslaught against the rest of Europe, which started in September 1939 with the German attack on Poland. 

2.  Also on the op-ed page of the NY Times this week was this column about the Russo-Ukraine war co-authored by next week’s America at a Crossroads speaker, David Leonhardt. A key point in the column is that while “the war has gone much worse for Russia than almost anybody expected”, nevertheless, Russia “may yet accomplish the more limited goal of dominating Donbas.”  Despite Russia’s seeming progress in the Donbas region, the column notes that “many analysts believe that Russia’s military problems will make it very difficult for Putin to control large parts of Ukraine for months or years. Yet Donbas is where he is most likely to find some success.”