NVRI E-News: May 9, 2006

NVRI signs Formal Collaboration Agreement with
Demos: A Network of for Ideas and Action

I am tremendously excited to announce a major development at NVRI - one that will shape the trajectory of our work and our future. Last week, we signed a formal collaboration agreement with the New York-based organization Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action. As readers of this e-newsletter know, NVRI and Demos have partnered on many important activities in the past few years - spotlighting problems with provisional balloting before the 2004 election, launching the Buck Buckley coalition to support campaign spending limits, and our burgeoning work to seek compliance with the National Voter Registration Act, which is a powerful tool for bringing low-income folks into the voting world.

While we have worked closely with Demos in the past, this new arrangement is a much greater commitment from both organizations. Our integrated efforts will augment the scope and efficacy of our work to protect a fundamental right in American life: full and meaningful access to our democratic system. The combination of Demos' analytical skills, network-building and advocacy capacity, with NVRI's expertise in litigation and public education, will enhance our ability to make a real difference on the issues about which we care most deeply. We will of course continue to work closely with other allies in the field as well.

As a clear indication of the depth of this relationship, I have assumed the position of Director of Demos' Democracy Program, while continuing my role as Executive Director of NVRI. NVRI's legal team of Brenda Wright and Lisa Danetz is expanding its work to include a wider range of democracy questions, while Demos is expanding its focus to include the kind of campaign finance work for which NVRI has long been known. (NVRI founder and General Counsel John Bonifaz remains on a leave of absence while he campaigns for Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.) NVRI Board members Spencer Overton and Ben Binswanger have been elected to the Demos Board of Trustees.

A press release announcing the NVRI-Demos collaboration is available here. To learn more about Demos, visit their website at www.demos.org. For those of you near Boston, please note that we will have a house-warming celebration in late May in our "NVRI-Demos Boston office." We hope you'll join us.

We couldn't be more pleased about this collaboration, which will help us to strengthen and greatly expand the reach of our work for years to come. Please contact me if you have any questions. And thanks for your support.

Stuart Comstock-Gay
Executive Director
[email protected]