LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With the United States more politically divided than ever, it's easy to forget that democracy itself, free and fair elections, and registering to vote shouldn't be partisan issues. At the American Democracy summit in Los Angeles this week, threats to our democracy and how to defeat them are on full display.
"The way that a strengthened democracy strengthens itself and reinforces it's principles and its pillars is through citizen participation and that's precisely what you see here at this conference," said Eboo Patel, the founder of Interfaith America.
"Seventy-six percent of young people think they can do something that will change the world, so really the gap there is whether they think democracy is the way to do that. As long as we're making democracy better, that's the value proposition that we're giving to young people," said Lucille Wenegieme, the Executive Director of HeadCount.
The goal of this summit is to get every individual group working on protecting and improving our democracy together in one place to share ideas and tactics, and then bring those solutions to communities across the country.
One of the threats to democracy that's being looked at: last year's leaked audio scandal at Los Angeles City Hall and the redistricting process that was used to secure power.
"Aside from the horrifying racism revealed on those tapes, the self-serving nature of that process was very much on display in that moment. As a result of that, the maps that we passed two years ago now, my district was heavily targeted because I was seen as not an ally to the political machine here. Every other district had very limited changes and mine changed by more than 40%," said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman.
"Los Angeles is where culture happens and it's so important to make democracy something that we as the American people care about again and are going to do something about," said Joshua Graham Lynn, the CEO and Co-Founder of RepresentUs.
These threats aren't new which has lead to Americans losing faith in government. But the hope is that restoring that faith by improving democracy will result in less corruption and stronger leaders.