Start date: August 6th, 2019 — the 54th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act
Start location: Atlanta, Georgia
End date: September 24th, 2019 — National Voter Registration Day
End location: Washington, D.C.
What is Democracy911? We're declaring a state of emergency on American democracy with a 600-mile walk from Atlanta, Georgia to the steps of the nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C. This walk, called Democracy911, seeks to call attention to our broken political system and demands a series of reforms regarding voting rights and political corruption. Activist Renaldo Pearson is leading the walk on the ground to build the grassroots movement calling for change, following in the footsteps of those who have long fought for reform through nonviolent protest action.
Who is Renaldo Pearson? Renaldo Pearson is the Director of External Affairs at RepresentUs, and the former Co-Mission Director at Democracy Spring. Prior to leading Democracy Spring, he served as the youngest college administrator and Social Engineer-in-Residence at Harvard University.
Who is RepresentUs? RepresentUs is the nation’s leading right-left anti-corruption group, bringing together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass anti-corruption laws across the country. We’re fighting for an America where the government works for you and your family, not just a handful of billionaires and special interests. We’re crossing partisan and ideological divides to work together on concrete solutions that fix America’s broken political system.
Is this walk for everybody? We welcome everyone with open arms. No matter your race, gender, identification, religion, class, or orientation—this movement needs your voice and energy. We are committed to dismantling voter suppression through nonviolent resistance to build a reform movement guided by equity and respect.
Is this route suitable for children, the elderly, and folks with special needs? The walk covers more than 600 miles of terrain, with a range of walking surfaces and roads. Certain sections may be more accessible and suitable for different ages and abilities than others. Please refer to this week’s route for more information.
Note that walk organizers have not engaged guides or first aiders for the walk, and assume no responsibility or legal liability for anyone participating in or attending the walk. By participating in the walk, participants indicate that they accept these conditions and understand that they participate at their own risk.
PARTICIPATING IN THE WALK
Are tickets or registration required? Tickets and registration are not required for the walk and there is no cost to join. However, we do ask that you contact our organizers on the ground to find out where they are and how you can meet them! Click “Join” on the Democracy911 website or email [email protected] for the most up-to-date information.
Do I have to be part of the whole walk, or can I join for just part of the way? You are welcome to walk as much or as little as you like.
How will I know where to join the walk? Sign up for updates and preview the route for the upcoming week at democracy911.us. For walk details, please contact [email protected]. We ask that you reach out to Giselle at least one day before you would like to join the walk to receive details on where to meet Renaldo and the team.
What should I wear? Come prepared with comfortable walking shoes and appropriate clothes for the summer heat. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen! If you’ve bought new walking shoes, make sure to break them in for 3-7 days before joining the walk to avoid blisters. We recommend wearing socks made from sweat-wicking fabrics rather than cotton.
What should I bring? As little as possible! Just bring the necessities: a wallet, fully-charged mobile phone, water bottle, high energy snacks, and any medications you may need in clearly-labeled prescription containers. Let a family member or friend know where you will be.
Will housing / food / transport be provided for me? We ask that walk participants arrange their own food, accommodation, and transport needs both to and from the walk.
Can I bring a sign? What are the guidelines for making signs? Homemade signs are the best! We have a few guidelines to make sure your sign is respectful and protects the safety of the marchers (and you!) on the road. Keep your sign issue-focused and relevant to the issues of voter suppression, electoral reform, and our demands to unrig the system. We’re fighting for the soul of democracy here, so feel free to get creative.
We are strictly a nonpartisan organization and Democracy911 is a 501(c)(3) event. As a result, your sign cannot be for or against any particular candidate/elected official or expressing views that could be reasonably interpreted as lobbying of any kind.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN D.C.?
What can I expect when the walk ends in D.C.? The walk will conclude in our nation’s capital on Tuesday, September 24th—National Voter Registration Day—with a rally and a demand for action from our elected officials and presidential candidates.
Additional event details will be available soon. Check back on this page for more information in the coming weeks.
I’m working on a story about Democracy911 and would like to arrange an interview with Renaldo Pearson. How can I get in touch? Contact Ellen Moorhouse, Grassroots Communications Manager at RepresentUs. She can work with you to get you directly connected to Renaldo and the team on the ground.
How is Democracy911 funded? Democracy911 is sponsored by RepresentUs Education Fund with additional support from generous grassroots contributions.
RepresentUs is a not-for-profit entity funded by donations from our supporters, and this walk is fueled by small-dollar donations from every-day Americans across the country. RepresentUs believes in transparency. A full list of our funders is available HERE.
I can’t join the walk, how else can I help? There are plenty of ways to get involved!
- Donate: Democracy911 is supported by grassroots contributions – please consider making a donation to help us continue to do our work.
- Merch: Like Renaldo’s t-shirt? Show your support and pick one up in the Democracy911 store.
- Volunteer: Host an event with Renaldo and the Democracy911 team along our route or provide supporter housing for Renaldo to get some rest along the way. If you are interested in hosting an event or providing supporter housing, please contact [email protected].
- Amplify: Spread the word within your own communities and via social media by sharing the website or video across your social channels.
- Join the Walk: You can also register to volunteer or join Renaldo anywhere along the route by clicking the “join” button on the website and letting us know the best way to contact you.
Where can merchandise be purchased? Merchandise can be purchased here at the Democracy911 store.
How can I promote this cause on social media? We’re thrilled to share this journey with Americans across the country. Like, tweet, share—however you use social media, help us get the word out about the walk! Follow along with Renaldo and RepresentUs for all the exciting updates from the ground.
And don’t forget to use the hashtag: #Democracy911
I have a question that is not answered anywhere on this website, who can I contact? Email Giselle at [email protected]