October 30, 2014

Kemberly Todd of IVOO and daughter  
Independent Voters of Oregon ("IVOO") and their grassroots Yes-on-90 engine is firing on all cylinders going into the last week of the mail-in balloting.  News reports Monday show only 15.6% of voters had returned their ballots.  Interest in three statewide initiatives, Top Two, marijuana legalization and a GMO labeling, is driving voter interest. 
  • Kem Todd recorded a radio spot currently airing in 4 cities around the state (Roseburg, Bend, Medford and Eugene) articulating a clear message that "Ballot Measure 90 is about one thing and one thing only - US - the voters of Oregon."  
  • IVOO co-founder Chuck Young's political associate, Patrick Starnes, who championed the cause of top two elections for Douglas County Commission races in 2006 and won, has penned an op ed for the News and Review expected to appear next week.
  • Delores Spencer reports that no less than 35 people approached her to learn more about the Yes on 90 robocall message she recorded which was sent throughout the county.
  • With funding provided by Open Primaries, a door-to-door canvass is in operation with over 20 canvassers out daily who have spoken with over 1,500 Oregonians.  The new national advocacy organization has also begun experimenting with marketing political reform to young voters.  Here is an open primaries commercial that is running on cable TV, YouTube and Hulu throughout Oregon.
  • The Equal Vote Coalition's democracy van is on Week 3 of its statewide tour of college campuses educating thousands of students and signing up supporters for Measure 90.  In Oregon, 49% of voters under the age of 40 are independent and currently located out of primary voting.  You can follow the van tour on Twitter at @independentOreg.
  • Letters to the editor like this one which starts "The Democrats and Republicans have caused great harm in our nation..." penned by independent Irene Mills are appearing in newspapers around the state
ACTION ALERT:  If you have friends or family in Oregon, call them and urge them to vote YES ON 90.  Our polling shows that more than 30% of voters are still undecided and to your friends and family, you are a much more trusted source of information than anything they will see on TV or receive in the mailbox!

On Thursday, October 23rd, Dr. Lenora Fulani hosted a special edition of Interviews by a Black Independent at the First AME Church: Bethel in Harlem, entitled "It's Time to Expand Our Democracy. Our Community Needs to Grow."


Fulani talked with the attendees about the twin political and social crises in the country and about the work she is doing to build independent politics and ignite human development within poor communities.  She was joined on stage by Jillian Bell, a young social activist (left with Dr. Fulani) from Dallas who briefed the audience on her trips to Ferguson, Missouri. Read Dr. Fulani's editorial, "No More Fergusons Means No More Partisan Manipulation." 

Open Primaries, a new national 501(c)(4) nonprofit political reform organization, opened its doors on September 4.  The organization is being led by longtime IndependentVoting.org leader John Opdycke (right) and was launched with support from philanthropists Laura and John Arnold. The mission of Open Primaries is to advocate for open and nonpartisan primary systems, educate the public about the benefits of open primaries, train and support spokespeople, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primaries coalitions. The organization has made it's first effort involvement in the Oregon campaign for Measure 90.  


KANSAS:  Jackie Salit was quoted in USA Today about Greg Orman's independent campaign for U.S. Senate: "Independent voters - 42% of the country - are pushing back against the limits of partisan politics by pushing for systemic reforms like open primaries. And independent Senate candidates are championing those reforms, looking to upset the balance of power on Capitol Hill. Whatever the outcome on election day, America's second political war for independence has begun." Read the article here

Join Jackie on her national conference call Thursday, November 6 at 8pm ET for an independent post-election wrapup where she'll be talking about Who Won, Who Lost and Who's Growing.  Register here for the call.

PENNSYLVANIA: a front page feature article in the Philadelphia Inquirer talks about how independents have become a growing force in Pennsylvania.  Independent Pennsylvanians, who have been promoting the voice of independents and fighting for open primaries, are holding their meeting and happy hour at 5 pm on Saturday, November 1 at Rembrandt's Restaurant in Philadelphia. To attend or get involved with Independent Pennsylvanians, contact

NATIONAL:  Journalist Ron Fournier observed that America is heading into an  "Era of Disruption." Read his piece in the National Journal.  
CALIFORNIA: Don Adams, activist in California's IndependentVoice.org wrote a moving letter to the editor about the power of democracy and the impact of open primaries in California.

Patrick Hernandez-Ciguirrista


Patrick Hernandez-Cigarruista lives in Dallas TX, and is married with one child and another on the way.  He is a U.S. Army Veteran of Afghanistan, and currently is a Chase Private Client Banker for JP Morgan Chase & Co.  While attending Harding University, Patrick's political journey led him to Washington, DC where he interned for a Republican Senator from Arkansas and received a firsthand education in partisan politics.

Patrick says: "I've attempted to run for office as an independent twice and have found that it's  more difficult than my ambition and desire to change things estimates.  It takes support from like-minded individuals, and that is why I have joined the Independent movement."   Patrick added, "As a veteran, I'm disappointed in the way things are turning out in this country and I want to be in a position to do something about it.  I'm committed to working hard to get an independent movement going in Texas.  North Texas is ripe for this sort of change and it can be done."  


Patrick can be reached at pzhernandez@harding.edu.

Gwen Mandell
Director of National Outreach


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