Help Build a Healthier Democracy

Published Nov 6, 2019 Updated Apr 20, 2020

Crowd carrying signs at voting rights rally

Communities facing threats to their health and safety should be able to use the democratic process to address those threats. Marginalized communities across the United States have effectively been disenfranchised through laws and policies, and there have been ongoing efforts nationwide to further suppress people’s ability to vote and/or fully engage in the policy making process.

What we’re working towards:

As scientists and advocates, it’s not enough to push for science-based solutions to public health and environmental challenges—we also need to protect, and sometimes even fix, our democracy so those solutions become more achievable. That’s why, as we gear up for the 2020 election, we need you to commit to taking action on voting rights and environmental justice in your community.

Our approach:

When some voices are excluded from the political process, it becomes easier to make decisions that serve narrow interests rather than the public good.

We are committed to ensuring that those who have been disenfranchised are at the forefront of the conversation. When we talk about what’s at stake and building a better democracy that fully represents the people, there are no better leaders and key voices in that effort than those coming from frontline communities who know full well the real-life health and safety consequences of a broken voting system.

Why UCS:

As the voice for science, we have a responsibility and opportunity to help advance approaches to build a healthier democracy—one that represents the people and allows science to better serve the public.

Why you:

If you care about science-based solutions to public health and environmental challenges, then you need to care about protecting a democracy that represents and is accountable to the public it serves.

You can deploy the power of science and research to amplify the very real consequences of an eroding electoral system on our ability to solve social and environmental problems. During this election, embrace your roles as scientists, constituents, and advocates for science and democracy.

How you’ll do it:

  • Host and support voter registration drives on your campus and in your community

  • Host and attend debate watch parties

  • Submit letters to the editor or op-eds in a local paper to connect the dots between voting reform and health and safety of the community

  • Show up at town halls and public events to get candidates on the record for democracy reform

  • Join social media discussions around key election moments to focus the public spotlight on voting rights and environmental justice issues

  • Volunteer a few hours to support a local campaign or local frontline community organizations working on voting rights and environmental justice issues.

  • SHOW UP TO VOTE!! (including supporting voting-rights-related ballot initiatives)

  • Check out dozens more tips, tools, and resources for election-year science and democracy activism at

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