USC Schwarzenegger Institute hosts event on ending partisan gridlock
USC's Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy will host a day long Government and Leadership conference at USC in Los Angeles on February, 24th, 2014 entitled "People Over Politics" in which Jackie Salit will appear as a panelist during the afternoon session. Salit and fellow panelists, including representatives of AARP and Common Cause, will discuss "Reforms that Get Government Working for the People." Former Gov. Arnorld Swarzenegger will headline an earlier panel featuring Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, co-hosts of Morning Joe. Other participants in the conference include: Howard Wolfson, Bloomberg Philanthropies; Susan Kennedy, chief of staff for Schwarzenegger 2006-2011; John Fortier of the BiPartisan Center; and Christian Grose, Associate Professor of Political Science at USC.
On the radio in Arizona
Salit headshot
Jackie Salit will be the guest this Sunday, February 23rd, from 5:00 - 5:30 pm / MT on the KTAR 92.3 fm radio show, The Think Tank, hosted by Mike O'Neill and Mike Russell. Salit's appearance was set up by Arizona independent Brenda Sperduti who contacted O'Neil and pitched him on the subject of the growth of independent voters in the state. You can listen online here.
Salit was also on the Phoenix airwaves earlier this month on KJZZ, the NPR station, on a segment called Independent Voters Grow in Arizona, Make An Impact.  You can listen to that interview here.
Independent movement grows in Oregon

On February 9th, Charles Young, a founder of the newly formed Independent Voters of Oregon (IVOO) and Professor of Political Science at Umpqua Community College held a meeting at his home in Roseburg, Oregon.  Charles invited students, friends and others at the school, and fifteen people attended. Said Young, "These are citizens united by our dismay at partisan politics and we came together to further a grassroots movement in Oregon, to open up the Oregon state primary and allow the "non-affiliated" (independent) voters enfranchisement in what is currently a closed primary."  How best to achieve an open primary process and other needed political reforms were discussed.  Alex Ivey volunteered to help set up the IVOO website, and another volunteer, Will Rundel, will be adding the argument for an open primary in Oregon to the local community college debate club agenda. Added Young, "Motivation is high and a grassroots movement is taking shape in Oregon!"

Queens New York Post-Election Day gathering 

The Queens County Executive Committee of the Independence Party of New York City led by its Chair, Nancy Hanks, hosted a recent gathering in Woodside to celebrate a new year of political activity. Several election day volunteers and IP members joined with the Executive Committee to discuss political developments such as the new End Partisanship coalition, and the national scene. "Since so many people need to become politically engaged, additional Queens gatherings are planned" said Jo Coskie, a member of the Queens Exec. Ctte. "There's nothing better than good company, good food, and political discussion!" 

Election Reform Committee releases guide for independents
The Election Reform Committee of has released a report entitled  "How to Mobilize and Engage Independents in Your Network" to capture what they learned in the process of organizing independents to participate in the lobbying effort directed at the President's Commission on Election Administration.  "We hope that in this report we have captured key lessons in a way that other independent activists all over will find useful," said Steve Richardson, chair of the Committee.  The PCEA concluded its process by issuing a set of recommendations to President Obama which notably made no mention of independents.
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Gwen Mandell
Director of National Organizing and Outreach

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