Dear PACE Members and Friends,

There is much to understand, unpack, reflect on, and reckon with following the 2016 elections. What do the results mean for us, individually and collectively, and for our democracy? Here are things we know to be true:

  • Democracy always has been, and will continue to be, messy work. But it’s a mess we have the privilege to make.
  • Democracy has never been about a leader; it has always been about people. The right and responsibility of self-governance is more important than ever.

Every election is a moment of judgment along a long journey of self-reflection, dialogue, and deliberation over questions about who we are, who we want to be, and how we will choose live and work together. We believe philanthropy has the unique ability and privilege, in this moment, to support the ongoing work of democracy in new and productive ways. To be certain, we don’t have the answers, but we have a willingness to listen and seek to understand what is really happening in our country and communities and how we can support the building and re-building of a public life that democracy that listens to and works for everyone.

That’s why we are involved in PACE, an organization whose members share a belief that America will be more healthy, productive, resilient, and successful when democracy is strong, and the office of citizen is treated as central to how it functions.

At our upcoming board meeting in December, our directors will approve a strategy for implementing this belief statement. Regardless of the exact shape that work plan takes, here is what we know, without a doubt, that we will do:

  • Bring people together, across ideological differences and lived experiences, to determine ways to address shared challenges. Together.
  • Elevate ways to invest in information and education that allow for thoughtful and sustained civic participation. For everyone.
  • Identify civic mechanisms to make our communities healthier and safer. And stronger.

And hopefully, you will continue to allow us to do it with you.

Yours in Service,

John Dedrick, Board President

Kristen Cambell, Executive Director