MISSION – The nonprofit corporation Advocacy Center for Equality and Democracy (“ACED”) was founded to promote a more equal and democratic society primarily through citizen action.
CORE VALUES – ACED’s guiding principles are (1) inequality is unjust, and (2) democracy is the means to equality. However, democracy does not ensure equality – the United States of America proves that. On the whole, the elected officials who have governed this country have passed laws to help the wealthiest Americans, and repealed laws that protect others. No surprise, inequality here is growing, and social mobility decreasing. Likewise, the number of Americans living in poverty is higher than it has ever been since we started measuring that statistic over fifty years ago. This is not merely unfair, it is unacceptable.
BLUEPRINT FOR CHANGE – How does that level of gross inequality develop in a democracy? Perhaps the most important answer for now is that citizens have allowed it to happen. As private, elite interests have gained more and more influence in government through the major political parties, people have continued to affirm the corrupted two-party system and its policies that have both generated more poverty and made the United States an increasingly bad place to be poor.
Citizen responsibility is the “most important” answer to the question above because it also offers the most likely solution to the unequal, unfair, unjust society that is emerging. Because the United States is a democracy, the people have the power to change their rulers and the direction of the nation. Easier said than done, true; but, nevertheless, possible. In fact, ACED will show that in comparison to other strategies, voting for social change is easily the most effective tactic for achieving social justice.
However, voting is just one element in the broader movement for reform. In general, people must devise new strategies to change our political system and to create a more just society. ACED will propose such strategies, as well as promote the work of others who are fighting for a better future. Further, ACED will propose and support legal reforms that will make the United States more responsive to the people-at-large, and a more equitable place to live.