- Seth Maloney endorsed 2015-07-13 17:27:51 -0400Open Primaries offers an incredible vision for opening our democracy across all 50 states!
Former Congressman (PA-D)
Jason Altmire is a former Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania who served three terms in the United States House of Representatives from 2007-2013, where he was known as a bipartisan centrist who worked across the aisle. This openness to collaboration enabled him to get 29 of his legislative initiatives signed into law. He has written extensively about the need for primary reform, and is the author of “Dead Center: How Political Polarization Divided America and What We Can Do About It” which explores how party polarization paralyzes Washington and what we can do to stop it. He lives in Florida.
Jennifer Bullock is the co-founder and director of Independent Pennsylvanians, a grassroots organization advocating on behalf of independent voters and for structural political reforms. She passionately advocates on behalf of unaffiliated and third party voters whose tax dollars are used to pay for primary elections that exclude them. Bullock is also a licensed psychotherapist with 27 years of experience working with individuals, groups, couples and families.
Arkansas State Representative (R)
Dan Douglas was first elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives as a Republican in 2012. He is also a farmer and real estate investor. Douglas has been an outspoken proponent of bipartisanship and electoral reform. In 2017 and 2018 he introduced legislation for top-two nonpartisan primary elections in Arkansas.
Dr. Jessie Fields
Physician & Activist
Dr. Jessie Fields is Harlem-based physician and teaches at both the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. A native Philadelphian, Dr. Fields has dedicated her career to providing primary care in underserved communities. After working in the Westside of Chicago and Harlem Dr. Fields saw how the social and economic conditions of poverty affect a person's physical health. To address those problems she took her commitment to community health into the political arena. Dr. Field’s supports primary reform as an approach to breaking down barriers to participation and increasing voter mobility in communities of color.
South Dakota Open Primaries
Joe Kirby is a proud fourth-generation South Dakotan, prominent business leader and government reform advocate. He believes all voters should have equal rights to participate in the election process. He is a lifelong Republican who believes strongly in the importance of competition in the political arena. Kirby played a leadership role in the 2016 initiated constitutional amendment campaign to create top-two nonpartisan elections in South Dakota, which ultimately garnered 45% of the vote.
Nebraska State Senator
Adam Morfeld has been serving in the Nebraska state senate since 2014. He sits on the Education and Judiciary Committees and is dedicated to advancing participatory democracy. Morfeld founded Civic Nebraska in 2008 to protect voting rights, create more accessible elections and strengthen K-12 civic education. He is currently the organization’s President and CEO. Civic Nebraska is the only public interest group in the state dedicated to creating uniquely Nebraskan civic education programs and conducting Nebraska-specific election administration policy research. Though Nebraska uses nonpartisan elections for state legislative races, Morfeld believes voting can be made even more accessible and supports same-day voter registration, automatic voter registration, expanding vote-by-mail and expanding Nebraska’s open primary to include statewide and federal offices.
Attorney and Political Activist
Dany Ortega is a Democratic Party leader, an attorney, and longtime advocate for community empowerment and democratic reform. He speaks frequently about the impact closed primaries have on Latino participation, representation, and empowerment. Ortega is the former Board Chair of the National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino nonprofit advocacy and civil rights organization in the country. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association, and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He lives in Phoenix Arizona.
Virginia State Delegate (D)
Sam Rasoul was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates as a Democrat in 2014. In 2016 and 2018 he introduced legislation for top-two nonpartisan primary elections in Virginia. He is also the first VA legislature to no longer accept donations from special interest PACs or from registered lobbyists. Delegate Rassoul is an outspoken advocate for both reforming the system and rebuilding trust between the American people and their elected representatives.
Virginia Independent Voter Association
Steve Richardson has been an independent for most of his life and has consistently been facing barriers to participating in elections as a result. To ensure that every independent voter in Virginia is included in the political process he founded the Virginia Independent Voter Association (VIVA). Richardson and VIVA fight for reforms like top-two nonpartisan primary elections that that would help Virginia deliver an accessible democratic process to its voters.
Drey Samuelson has a successful history working in politics. He has worked for former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle (SD-D), ran successful ballot initiatives in Nebraska, and worked alongside Congressman and Senator Tim Johnson (SD-D) both on his election campaigns and as his chief of staff. He also co-founded TakeItBack.Org, a nonprofit focused on using ballot initiatives to reform the political process in South Dakota and other states. The group specifically hopes to curb the polarizing and hyper-partisan nature of our current political system. He was a prominent leader of the 'Yes on V’ campaign for open primaries in South Dakota in 2016. Samuelson grew up in Nebraska where the state legislature uses top-two nonpartisan primary elections and sees these more open and fair elections as a crucial step forward to create a more effective political process.
Former California Controller & CFO
Steve Westly served as Controller and CFO of the state of California from 2003 to 2007. He was instrumental in the 2010 campaign to enact open primaries in California. He is also the Founder and Managing Partner of The Westly Group, a clean technology venture capital firm. California has the fifth largest economy in the world and is often seen as an innovative leader for technology, but Westly believes it’s time also look at the state as an innovative political leader as well. Top-two nonpartisan elections have helped California have more competitive elections, increased minority representation in politics, and encouraged bipartisan collaboration. California is a global leader in technology and is increasingly becoming a global leader in democracy innovation having enacted independent redistricting and open primaries.
Partisan politics is not working for the American people. Congress has an abysmal approval rating and cannot legislate, much less innovate. We need new ways to conduct our political and civic life, but the political parties continue to assert their control over our voting and governing processes. The parties view gridlock as the solution, not the problem!
Endorse the open primaries movement and be a part of a growing coalition of diverse Americans working to educate and organize voters in all 50 states.
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Unrig it 2020
One thing united American voters this election year: the growing frustration with a political system that is broken, rigged, unfair –choose your favorite adjective.
Open Our Democracy
Washington is a mess. Gerrymandering and closed partisan primaries have created a gulf between the US Congress and theAmerican people. And that gulf is growing every day.
One member of Congress is saying “enough is enough!”
Congressman John Delaney has introduced the Open Our Democracy Act to create open primaries and end partisan gerrymandering for all federal elections.
He is standing up to the entire Washington establishment. Will you stand with him?
Send your congressional representatives an email in support of the Open Our Democracy Act today. Let’s get this bill a hearing and send a message to John Delaney that we have his back.
What we Accomplished in 2016
Thank you to everyone who supported the Open Primaries movement in 2016. We accomplished more this year than we could have ever imagined, thanks in large part to our volunteers and activists from across the country.
When 2016 began, open primaries was a fringe issue, but now we know that 70 percent of Americans support us. Thousands of voters from every state stood up and demanded change from the parties this year, and as a result, our movement grew immensely and another state passed open primaries. Voters are now organizing in states across the country, from New York to Oregon, to restore our democracy.
Let Colorado Vote, led by Colorado business leader Kent Thiry, gathered over 300,000 signatures to place two ballot measures on the 2016 ballot, both of which passed. Proposition 107 will bring back the Colorado presidential primary and allow independent voters to participate, and Proposition 108 will make statewide (taxpayer-funded) primaries open to all voters.
In 2016, Open Primaries supported a ballot referendum campaign in South Dakota -- Vote Yes on V -- to enact a nonpartisan public primary system. The campaign gathered thousands of signatures to successfully secure a line on the general election ballot; it had the support of a diverse group of South Dakota political leaders -- Democrats, Republicans, and independents, from East River and West River -- responding to the national anger of an election system rigged against the voters. Open Primaries worked with local leadership to support the campaign.
Presidential Primary Petition
Following a contentious presidential primary cycle in which open primaries became a mainstream political issue -- with 70% of Americans favoring the cause -- we launched a national petition calling on the Republican Party and Democratic Party to open the presidential primaries in all 50 states, starting in 2020.
Over 40,000 voters from all 50 states signed the petition and we submitted a resolution to a vote at the DNC Rules Committee meeting. Although the resolution did not pass, it was historic in that it was the first time that either major party ever considered such a measure, and it forced the DNC to establish a commission to study and develop the issue.
In 2015-16, Open Primaries partnered with former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson on a campaign to place a nonpartisan primaries referendum on the 2016 ballot. Although the campaign ultimately failed to to get a measure on the ballot, it did make strides in assembling a strong coalition of independent activists, elected officials, business leaders and Latino activists from across the political spectrum.
In July, 2014, Senator Chuck Schumer wrote an editorial in the New York Times advocating for open, nonpartisan primaries. The Independence Party of New York City and Open Primaries partnered on a petition campaign to open the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary to independent voters.
Our petition, which received over 7,000 signatures, asks Senator Schumer to urge the New York Democratic Party to open their 2016 Presidential Primary.
In 2014 Open Primaries worked with the Yes on 90 coalition to advocate for Measure 90 in Oregon, which if passed would change Oregon’s closed primary system to a Top Two, nonpartisan primary.
The measure was rejected by Oregon voters in November 2014. Open Primaries president John Opdycke said,
“I congratulate the Yes on 90 coalition for their hard work. The inclusion of all voters in the process remains our national focus, and this is strongly resisted by the political parties.”