Reducing barriers to voting, Supreme Court decision and more


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NEWS FROM THE HAAS, JR. FUND     |    March 26, 2024
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Photo of voters standing in line at a polling place

A Pivotal Year for Our Communities

Dear Friend,

The March elections in California recorded historically low voter turnout for a primary election. As we look ahead to November, it’s one more piece of evidence that the time is now for funders in California and beyond to invest in strengthening our core democratic systems and building the power and voice of underrepresented communities.

At Haas Jr., we have always believed in getting people and communities involved in offering solutions and shaping a better future together. With the launch of our Democracy program in 2021, we decided to take this work to another level by investing in community engagement, greater representation, expanded access to voting, and grassroots leadership. Just last week, we announced that we’ve joined with other funders to support the launch of the new Democracy Policy Initiative at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. The initiative’s focus: to inspire and support policy innovation, research, and leadership that can move us towards an inclusive, representative, and multiracial democracy. 

Today, the Haas, Jr. Fund's grantmaking is focused on some of the key issues up for debate in the 2024 election. It’s not just our Democracy program, but for our Immigrant Rights and College Success programs too, it is not a stretch to say this is a pivotal year for the communities we care about.

Robert Joseph Signature
Robert Joseph

Vice President of Programs
Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund

Collage of Kica Matos, Masih Faloudi, and Iliana Perez's headshots
Stepping Into Executive Leadership

Our Immigrant Rights Program Director Elica Vafaie spoke with three new executive directors about the challenges and opportunities for their organizations in this moment.

A college graduate photographed after receiving her diploma.
Expanding Access to a Bachelor's Degree

Michele Siqueiros and Maria Anguiano, two of our College Success Program partners, discuss what it will take to address existing barriers to navigating to and through college.

A poll worker standing behind a group of voters filling out their ballots
Boosting Voter Participation: Countdown to November

The implementation of the Voter's Choice Act (VCA) and continued support of civic engagement tables are promising areas of focus for us as we ramp up our efforts to support a thriving democracy.