October 2, 2014

IndependentVoting.org has launched Independents Connecting 2014.  Activists from North Carolina, Massachusetts, Ohio, New York, Missouri and Maryland are calling independents to gauge their opinions and invite them to participate in the growing movement for nonpartisan political reform. This "independent to independent" campaign has had conversations with 1232 independents in five states (Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Nebraska, Oregon) - and there is tremendous support for "shaking up the system" among independents.  
And 33% of the people that we poll are signing up to receive The Hub.  That is 411 new readers!  A special welcome to all of you!

Vote Yes on 90!  
Charles Young, Co-founder of IVOO
  • The Salem City Club sponsored a debate featuring Jim Kelly, the Chief Petitioner of Measure 90 and founder of Portland's Rejuvenation Inc. and Sara Logue, a teacher who spoke against it.  Read more.
  • With election day a month away, state and national leaders are converging on the University of Oregon on October 4th for a day-long conference to discuss and debate Ballot Measure 90, the Oregon Top Two.  Jackie Salit will be speaking about the Fight for Independentsexamining the shifting partisan demographics of the country and the rise of the independent voter advocacy movementClick here for a full schedule.
  • Independent Voters of Oregon co-founder, Charles Young's Op Ed, "Open Primaries Would Serve Government of the People," appeared this week in the Roseburg News & Review.  Chuck says: "I am part of a national as well as a state political reform movement seeking, among other reforms, to open up state primary elections to those voters who do not identify as either Republican or Democrat."  Read Chuck's opinion piece here.

Centrist Project Panel
Click to watch the video of the event
Can American Politics Be Repaired?

Independentvoting.org and The Centrist Project sponsored a joint event last week at the home of long-time supporter Frosty Montgomery. The event was entitled "Can American Politics Be Repaired," and featured a conversation between Jackie Salit, South Dakota's Independent U.S. Senate candidate, former Senator Larry Pressler and Charlie Wheelan, founder of The Centrist Project.  It was a fascinating coming together of independent leaders. 

You can watch the full event by clicking on the photo to the right.

Mariah Hunt, North Carolina

This week's "Profile in Independence" features Mariah Hunt, a young leader of North Carolina Independents.  Mariah was one of the leaders of a college independents poll conducted last year throughout North Carolina campuses and has been organizing independents ever since.  Here's how Mariah describes her experience of becoming more politically active:

"My name is Mariah Hunt. I'm 22 years old and a senior at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. Although I'm originally from Baltimore, Maryland, I mainly grew up in the Durham area of North Carolina. As a teenager I believed that only black people were Democrats and everyone else was a Republican, unless they were poor like me. I grew up with this mindset. Nevertheless, when I was 18 and registering to vote I realized that I actually had the option to select how I wanted to be identified regarding politics. I registered as "unaffiliated" and thought that by doing so the world would, on its own, get better... It didn't. Like so many others, I quickly became cynical, thinking that politics could never be anything but corrupt and that no one would be able to change that - until meeting Dr. Omar Ali. It was my sophomore year in college and he was doing  a college independent poll.  I didn't want to be tied to something just because that was the team everyone around me was cheering for. I also don't want to be tied to a political party when I don't agree with just one party all the time. Most importantly, I don't like bullies--which is what the parties are. I'm building the independent political movement because I want to help others see the power that is in our hands. The parties have played me long enough and now it's time to make government accountable 'to the people' not the parties."


I recently read an article on Arizona's KTAR.com entitled, "As Arizona's Largest Voting Bloc, Independents Far from Force in Primary" which quoted Ariel Motz, a paralegal from Glendale. Ariel spoke about being an independent voter and the restrictions independents experience. It was clear from reading Ariel's comments that she was a woman who was passionate about independents' right to participate as independents in the voting process. Determined to meet Ariel, I found her on Facebook and told her I was impressed with her comments.  It turns out Ariel didn't know the story had been posted until I reached out to her!  As Ariel said in a Facebook post thanking me for telling her about the article, "It would be incredible if Arizona had another chance to vote for open primaries again and I'm happy to be  a voice in this conversation."  Ariel will have another opportunity to support Top Two open primaries as organizers are gearing up for another effort to put it on the ballot in 2016!

Rick Robol (OH), Catana Barnes (NV), Steve RIchardson (VA) of the Election Reform Committee.  Joe Pickering (ME) is also on the Commttee

The National Election Reform Committee of IndependentVoting.org has put together a Core Values & Mission Statement.   


Here's what Rick Robol had to say in an introduction going to dozens of activists around the country.  "In conversations and meetings with others, have you or your members ever been confronted with questions such as "What is an Independent?"; "How can Independents ever accomplish anything if they are against uniting?"; "Aren't  Independents just Republicans or Democrats who want more moderation and  compromise?"; or, worse yet, "Aren't Independents negative malcontents who have no solutions to offer and just want to criticize the status quo?"..... This document sets forth basic principles to unite Independent voters  as they work to reclaim the American electoral system and political process from political parties. It articulates key values and a mission to guide the work of independent activists as they strengthen and expand the independent movement in America."

Read the report here.  


The Committee invites you to contact them.  Email Rick Robol at rrobol@robollaw.com.  


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Our Declaration:  A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality

If you are a book lover and reader, I hope that you will join the Politics for the People book club and blog.  This is the book club for independent minded Americans founded by Cathy Stewart.  The club reads both fiction and nonfiction books of interest to independents, with a lively on-line conversation about each selection culminating in a conference call with the author.  

The book is written by Danielle Allen and is an exploration of one of the most profound documents in US history-The Declaration of Independence. The book grew out of Dr. Allen's experience teaching adult night students in Chicago. Read Gordon Wood's review of the book in The New York Review of Books  on Cathy Stewart's Politics 4 the People blog.

Gwen Mandell
Director of National Outreach


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