Skip to main content

So What Did the Doctor Find Out about American Democracy?

The Health of State Democracies, a Center for American Progress Action Fund report ranking all 50 states and our nation's capitol across 22 factors categorized in 'accessibility of the ballot', 'representation in state government', and 'influence in the political system', was released today.

According to the report, Pennsylvania is 43rd out of 51. Said another way, Pennsylvania ranks among the bottom 10 states.

The report determined that access to voting in Pennsylvania was an F (44th place). Among other notable findings, Pennsylvania does not allow online voter registration, nor can 16-17 year olds preregister to vote and be automatically added to the voting rolls when they reach voting age - an implementation measure that was shown to increase young voter turnout by 8-13 percent

Pennsylvania was given a C for representation in state government. In addition to districts that have been drawn to favor political parties, the report found that females and communities of color were not fully represented among elected officials.

Lastly, Pennsylvania scored another F for influence in the political system, largely due to the state's campaign policies. The state has no campaign contribution limit for individual donors and no public campaign financing - two factors that present a roadblock to political equality and fair representation of constituents, as well as public confidence in government.

Of course, no matter their rank, each state has areas for improvement. As a nation, the report found that nearly every state must do more to address disproportionate representation, remove structural barriers to full participation, and mitigate the influence of money in the political system. You can click here for the report's in-depth policy recommendations for the entire nation.

After reading this report, please take the time to reach out to your legislators and make sure that they know that Pennsylvanians care about policy changes that truly will assure justice for all.

Interested in PathWays PA blog posts on similar topics?


Popular posts from this blog

Are You Registered to Vote?

As we get closer to the November elections, Google searches on how to register are increasing, which begs the question: Are you registered? Do you know how to sign up?

Pennsylvania and many other states require voter registration before Election Day - in Pennsylvania's case, voters must be registered one month ahead of time.  So if you recently moved, just turned 18, haven't voted in a while, or never registered before, the time to sign up is now.

PathWays PA has partnered with Rock the Vote to offer voter registration through this blog! You can fill out the form below to register or to make sure that you are registered.

Please take the time to register, and also consider pledging to vote in support of your economic values at!

PS - click here to share a voter registration link on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

Register Now for National Audio Conferences on Job Scheduling

From our friends at CLASP Register now for three national audio conferences on job scheduling! Job schedules matter in many ways. For all workers, it helps when an employer is responsive to a request for a needed schedule change. And far too many workers have volatile and potentially destabilizing schedules. If you don't know when you are supposed to be at work until the last minute, how do you arrange child care or transportation? If your total hours fluctuate from week to week, how do you budget for rent and food? To address these issues and emerging policy opportunities, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is hosting and sponsoring three Job Schedules Matter audio conferences.

The conferences, which are co-sponsored by the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Women's Law Center, will include comments from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman George Miller on why they introduced the Schedules that Work Act. You'll also hear from workers about th…

Register for FRAC's Federal Nutrition Program Conference Calls

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) will host two public conference calls in October. Information on the calls follows below:
Breakfast Matters - Effective Messaging: Getting Positive Press in your Community

Thursday October 11, 3 – 4 pm ET
Click here to register.
Learn tips from a national communications firm about how to place your stories with local media and receive positive press coverage for your program.

Presenters: * Jon Dickl, School Nutrition Director, Knox County Schools, Tennessee
* Amber LaCroix, BRG Communications

Afterschool Meals Matter - Community Partnerships
Wednesday, October 17, at 1:00 pm EST

Click here to register.
Learn how you can connect with a myriad of community partners, from parent groups to corporate volunteer programs, who can offer you and your program their time, energy, and support. Community partners can assist you with meal preparation, programming, outreach to increase your participation, and ultimately to help build up community support and in…