Santa Clara County residents cast their votes at the African American Community Service Agency in San Jose, Calif., on Election Recall Day on Sept. 14, 2021. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)

This project is part of Democracy Day, a national effort to engage communities in conversations about democracy.

Nonprofits pitch in to bolster American democracy

Bay Area residents, like most Americans, may sometimes feel overwhelmed by the unrelenting stream of troubling news related to politics and democracy today — from the Jan. 6 insurrection to the effort to change state election laws to questions about whether the President of the United States is above the law.

But there are silver linings, and one largely unremarked piece of good news is that scores of nonprofits have joined the battle to keep democracy alive and well.

To explore this work, Bay City News has asked national and local nonprofits for their views on the state of our democracy – what is working, what is not and what we all should be considering as we approach the November midterm elections in a time of great division among Americans and the American electorate.

(Responses were provided in writing and in some cases have been edited for clarity and brevity).