Demos means “the people.” It is the root word of democracy, and it reminds us that in America, the true source of our greatness is the diversity of our people. Our nation’s highest challenge is to create a democracy that truly empowers people of all backgrounds, so that we all have a say in setting the policies that shape opportunity and provide for our common future. To help America meet that challenge, Demos is working to reduce both political and economic inequality, deploying original research, advocacy, litigation, and strategic communications to create the America the people deserve.
Demos’ work is guided by three overarching commitments:
- Achieving true democracy by reducing the role of money in politics and guaranteeing the freedom to vote,
- Creating pathways to ensure a diverse, expanded middle class in a new, sustainable economy, and
- Transforming the public narrative to elevate the values of community and racial equity.
Demos believes that progress occurs when the power of ideas and the power of people align. They regularly collaborate with changemakers in states and community-based organizations to bring policy closer to the people. They also believe in generating ideas that are not always tempered by what’s currently possible – but instead driven by what’s necessary. They regularly move ideas that have been excluded from the debate, on behalf of people who have been excluded from the conversation.
As a result, the organization take the long view, championing ideas powerful enough to improve the lives of millions, shifting the narrative to clear the way for their acceptance, and advocating until they take effect. They use the right strategy for the right moment, whether it’s research or communications, supporting organizers or litigating. This commitment to the full cycle of change has resulted in real victories, such as landmark credit card reforms and nearly 2 million new low-income voter registrations.
Throughout all of its work, Demos advocates not just for people but for the very idea of the people – of one nation, united by a shared fate.