April 6, 2015
PARTNERSHIPS FOR INDEPENDENT POWER  
 
Jackie Salit
 
On Saturday, March 14th, 500 independents from 35 states joined leaders concerned with political reform, community action and cultural change at our 8th National Conference of Independents. 

News Flash:  CSPAN will broadcast Part I of their coverage of the National Conference on Monday, April 6th at 9:30 pm / ET.

Part II will air on Tuesday, April 7 at 10:40 pm / ET. 
 
Convened and hosted by IndependentVoting.org President Jackie Salit under the theme Partnerships for Independent Power, the day-long conference featured cutting edge dialogues on the state of American politics, the growth of the independent movement and strategies for impact. 

The conference opened with "Our America" - a musical and visual tribute to the fight for democracy, produced by Sarah Lyons with music selected by Caroline Donnola and David Belmont. View it here.

 
Salit  set the stage for the day in her opening address stating, " The reason the parties are so aggressive is they know that the American people are on to them. They know that...the dysfunction of the American political system is something that the American people are deeply concerned about, and they are trying to take steps to push back against that..."   View her address by clicking the picture above .  

T he day was highlighted by two panel discussions, "Can Democracy Transform Social Crisis" and "Can We Make Political Reform Popular With the American People?" Both addressed the need to make profound structural changes at a moment when society is demonstrating an inability to move forward.  
 
View a slideshow of photos taken at the conference here.  And check out these first hand accounts:
Organizing from the Bottom Up

Cathy Stewart, a leader of the national independent movement and founder of the Politics for the  People Book Club, moderated an afternoon segment calle d "Organizing from the Bottom Up."  
Organizing from the Bottom Up 
Organizing from the Bottom Up
 
Five grassroots activists reported on the challenges of organizing from the bottom up including:  Cheryl White from Harlem who serves as a backbone to the national polling operation out of IndependentVoting.org's New York headquarters; Kem Todd, Independent Voters of Oregon Board member; Natesha Oliver a founder of Missouri Independents Stand Together (MIST);  Mariah Hunt, student leader from North Carolina Independents; and Rick Robol, Esq., leader of Independent Ohio and of IndependentVoting.org's Election Reform Committee. Watch the video.

Latest Developments

INDIE CRUSADERS: From left: Plaintiff Rebecca Feldman; attorneys Samuel Gregory, Harry Kresky and Chad Peace; and plaintiff Mark Balsam; at U.S. Third Circuit Appellate Court. 
Independents Go to Appeals Court

"Lawyers seeking election reforms told an appellate panel on Tuesday that New Jersey's primary system is akin to the state forcing citizens to choose between two churches to practice religion. An absurd notion, attorney Chad Peace acknowledged in a Philadelphia courtroom."  

So wrote the Morristown Green in reporting on the lawsuit brought by independents and independent voter groups challenging NJ's primary system which excludes 47% of the state not enrolled in a political party. 
Read more here
 

Victory in South Carolina: Court Upholds Open Primaries 

SC - Walking up steps to courthouse
The Court of Appeals in Richmond dismissed  a lawsuit brought by the Greenville Republican Party which sought to close the state's primary system.  

"The Court of Appeals recognized that this issue - whether the GOP stands for open or closed primaries - is an issue that only the Republican Party as a whole can address," said IndependentVoting.org general counsel Harry Kresky. "The Court wouldn't allow a faction of the party - in this case the Greenville County Republican organization - to substitute its wishes for the position of the state Party."   Read more


MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Sunday, April 19, 7pm EST: Join Cathy Stewart -- founder of  Politics for the People  Book  Club -- and Pulitzer Prize winning author Eri c Foner, for a discussion of  Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad .     Click here to register

Lyons.spokesperson
Sunday, April 26, 7pm ET Spokesperson Training Call with Director of Communications,  Sarah Lyons.   Advance your skills as a spokesperson for the concerns of independents.   Whether it's composing a letter to the editor, speaking to an organization, or appearing on radio or TV, join a conference  call and get tips and support from Sarah.   Register here .
 
 
 
 
Tuesday. May 19, 8pm ET: IndependentVoting.org's national conference call, hosted by Jackie  Salit. Learn more about the latest developments in our movement.   Click here to register .
 
 
Gwen Mandell
Director of National Outreach
IndependentVoting.org 
Give us a call today!