Barack Obama stars in a new video about protecting our democracy. It's a must-watch.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

He's putting his weight behind an issue that's vital to election outcomes but doesn't often get a lot of attention.

A recently released three-minute political video starred a very familiar political face: Barack Obama. The video was created by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), a group run by former Attorney General Eric Holder, whose mission is to prevent partisan gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering, simply put, is the practice of a state government redrawing its congressional district maps to unfairly favor one party in elections. For example, Texas Republicans have been charged with doing just that, likely preventing minorities and Democrats from winning more elections.


In the video, Obama gave a shoutout to the resistance movement that has gained momentum since the 2016 election, saying, "It's been inspiring to see growing numbers of people jumping in and embracing that role, organizing, to registering new voters, to running for office for the first time."

But running for office won’t matter if the lines are already drawn in favor of one side.

Unfair redistricting is a threat to democracy itself.

In typical Obama style, he plainly explained how gerrymandering works. "That's why your district might be shaped like a corkscrew," he said, "but it's also how a party gains more seats while getting fewer votes. Which isn't fair."

Obama then laid out the goals of the NDRC:

  • Supporting reforms to make redistricting less partisan.
  • Electing candidates who support redistricting reform.
  • Bringing legal challenges where partisan redistricting has taken place.

It may not sound like the most exciting issue, but when preparing to leave office in 2016, Obama said it would be his main focus — and he's stepping up to honor that commitment.

Obama is throwing his full support behind an issue that could help change the face of democracy for years to come.

As he pointed out in the video, the states with upcoming redistricting deadlines will be decided in elections this year.

While he did get political, noting that Republicans are using redistricting to support the gun lobby, tax cuts for the wealthy, and opponents of climate change reform, he got back to the heart of the matter: "Regardless of our party affiliations, it's not good for democracy."

For the past 18 months, the Obamas have surfaced to remind us how we can be our best American selves. Their voices and presence are inspiring but can feel painfully nostalgic.

At the end of the day, Obama became president because he wanted to serve his country and he values our democracy. Now, he's worried about the integrity of our future elections — and it's an issue we all should care deeply about.

Wear your values with products from PSA Supply Co., an independent site owned by our parent company, GOOD Worldwide Inc. GOOD makes money when you buy these products, and 10% of profits go to The Center for Community Change Action. Use discount code UPWORTHY to get 15% off your first order!
Photo courtesy of Capital One
True

Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

Keep Reading Show less

This article originally appeared on 06.16.15


A lot of parents are tired of being told how technology is screwing up their kids.

Moms and dads of the digital age are well aware of the growing competition for their children's attention, and they're bombarded at each turn of the page or click of the mouse with both cutting-edge ideas and newfound worries for raising great kids.

Keep Reading Show less