DEMOCRACY WORKS SUMMIT 2018 will be held at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel on 201 N. 17th Street in Philadelphia, PA. All events will take place here and hotel rooms are available as well.

Common Cause Pennsylvania is hosting this summit featuring speeches, workshops and sessions on keys aspects of supporting a reflective democracy. We are asking all organizations, advocates, allies and engaged citizens from the mid-Atlantic region who desire more information, resources and tools in the areas of redistricting, census and more to register and attend. 

Special rates for hotel rooms. Book your room TODAY



May 21st , 2018 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

8:00am Registration Opens

9:00am - 9:20am Welcome & Statement of Purpose

9:30am - 9:50am   Keynote Address

9:55am - 10:45am Plenary Session 

Blurred Vision, Census and Redistricting in 2020

What This plenary will discuss both sides of the Gerrymandering argument – is it as undemocratic, and unfair as those often in the minority party say it is? Or is the practice of drawing legislative districts for political advantage, just a consequence of winning elections. The plenary will also discuss how central an accurate Census is to this argument. Does a disproportionately skewed census effectively turbo-charge gerrymandering?


11:00am - 11:50am 

The Role of Media in the midst of a Reflective Democracy

Media experts discuss how key democracy issues are handled in the era of tweets and Trump. How do journalists find good stories and place stories to help educate and inform the critical mass? Who do journalists reach out to understand these issues and how are opposing views voiced?


12:00pm - 12:45pm Lunch


1:00pm - 1:50pm 

Panel A  

The Necessity and Challenges of Coalitions in finding solutions for all, not some

One of the key elements in advancing redistricting reform is a commitment to building a broad coalition. This panel will discuss the challenges of creating policy that is fair to all, overcoming voter concerns, and protecting reforms from efforts to dismantle them in the future

Panel B     

Dollars and Sense of Democracy

Discussing the current and future impact of our national, regional, state and local economies when you have gerrymandered maps, undercounting, lack of strong democracy reform initiatives and unorganized grassroot efforts. How does the atmosphere within and around academic institutions advance or hinder democracy?

2:00pm - 2:50pm 

Panel A 

The Black and Brown of Democracy

A discussion on the right and wrong ways to engage communities of color into democracy efforts, specifically redistricting and census. How to bridge urban and rural communities around similar issues? Identifying the differences between inclusive and ‘white moderate’ led movements. Is there a white privilege or money objective unwilling to see or hear the perspectives of people of color in the pursuit for democracy?


Panel B

Democracy and the Millennial Movement 

How do we capture, utilize and benefit from the millennial movement and their engagement in democracy? How do we make room and connect their concerns with present and previous generations?


2:50pm - 3:10pm Coffee Break


3:15pm - 4:20pm 

 PANEL - tba


4:20pm - 4:30pm        BREAK 


4:30pm - 5:30pm 

Legal Analysis of Redistricting and Census 

Legal experts and reform leaders discuss the analysis of current state and local districts to see how to become proactive in creating a strategy for the upcoming redrawing of districts post the 2020 census.


6:00pm – 8:00pm 



Honoring: The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania

     Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
      18 Plaintiffs of the PA Supreme Court Case

May 22nd, 2018 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM


8:00am             Registration Opens

9:00am – 10:15am     

The Politics of Census & Redistricting 

National, state and local public officials discuss the politics around these keys issues and how democracy defenders can help create victories for everyday citizens. In addition, how do the actions or inactions in PA, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey impact the rest of our country?


10:15 – 10:30     Break

10:45am- 11:30am     

Winning fair representation through local advocacy

Local innovation can help incubate support from school board, city or county elected officials that grows into state support. This panel will  explore redistricting reform, census advocacy, voter registration, citizen engagement that have started at the local level. What resources, best   practices and techniques exist and how can we learn from those efforts.

11:40am - 12:30pm


Census & Redistricting TOOL KIT

Utilizing videos, print outs, fact sheets, white papers in discussing census and 

redistricting in local communities. How do you connect the dots for these 

critical issues to other more major issues such as education, jobs and taxes? 


12:45pm - 1:15pm Networking Lunch 





1:30pm - 2:30pm CLOSING SESSION


Census & Redistricting: Where do we go from here? 

This has been a blockbuster year for redistricting reform. The work of census is right around the corner, but demands our immediate attention. The closing address should look towards a powerful present and promising future of fighting for these key aspects of democracy.






(updates daily)


PA Atty. General Josh Shapiro

Mayor James Kenney (Philadelphia)

Karen Hobert Flynn, President Common Cause

Micah Sims, Executive Director Common Cause Pennsylvania

Tiffany Cross, Managing Editor THE BEAT DC

Larry Platt, Managing Editor THE CITIZEN

Thomas Brunell,  Professor at Univ. of Texas and formerly proposed Census Bureau Deputy Director

Vince Barabba, former Census Bureau Director

Suzanne Almeida, Esq., Executive Director League of Women Voters PA

Carol Kuniholm, Fair Districts PA

Erin Casey, PA Voices 

Cynthia Dai, Peter Yao, Stanley  Forbes – California Redistricting Commissioners

Sundrop Carter, Executive Director Pa Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez (Philadelphia)

David Thornburgh, President and CEO Committee of Seventy

Atty. Ben Geffen, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia

Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, President NAACP PA State Conference



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