Posted by Jesse Shayne on June 23, 2016 at 11:06 AM
Hotlist, Volume 1
With all of the buzz and publicity that the open primaries movement has generated over the past few weeks, we realized that we were having trouble keeping everyone up to date on the immense progress that our cause has made. That's why I am very happy to present to you the inaugural edition of the Open Primaries newsletter: the Open Primaries Hotlist, Volume 1!
In the past few days, a host of politicians, celebrities, and political luminaries came out publicly in support of our mission. Just to name a few:
- Former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger -- who was an instrumental advocate in the successful effort to bring top-two primaries to his state -- wrote an op-ed in support of our South Dakota campaign for Amendment V -- a ballot measure that would open the state's primary system.
- Bernie Sanders reaffirmed his commitment to open primaries. As did Bernie disciple and congressional candidate Tim Canova, who is running in the primary against DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in Florida.
- Actress Rosario Dawson announced that she would be at the Democratic National Convention protesting for open primaries, among other changes in the party.
- Open Primaries President John Opdycke and former California Controller Steve Westly penned an op-ed that explores the benefits of California's open system
- Michael Hardy, who is the general counsel and vice president of National Action Network -- one of the preeminent social justice organizations in the United States -- came out in support of open primaries in a statement, and urged the Democratic Party to embrace primary reform and put full participation of voters back at the top of its platform.
The establishment is pushing back, of course. Over the last week, dozens of op-eds appeared in papers across the country saying the exact same thing: "if you want to vote in the primary, join a party."
Too bad that 90% of congressional districts are so gerrymandered that they are determined in the primary, and only 10% of the American voting age population participates in closed primaries. And let's ignore the fact that independent voters are now the largest and fastest-growing group of voters!
The status quo is pushing back because they know that open primaries are widely supported. According to AP, 70% of Americans support open primaries. The New York Times editorial board even endorsed open primaries.
Our strength is growing immensely, and we intend to continue pushing our petition until the 11th hour, calling on both parties to reform their primary rules and adopt open primaries at the conventions next month. Our petition, which has received overwhelming support from reform organizations, political activists and concerned citizens like you, has far surpassed expectations placed upon it at every step of the way, and has nearly 30,000 signatures.
A few short months ago, open primaries was hardly a blip in the election year narrative. Yet, when our vice president gathered signatures at his children's lemonade stand in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, this weekend, every passerby knew of our mission, and over 50 signed onto our cause. So please, sign and share our petition to open the primaries with your friends and family, consider donating to our mission, and keep your ears out for future developments as we continue to advocate for fair elections on the national and state level.