Saturday, October 30, 2010

Midterm Elections and Political Reform: Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama,

The Partisan Revolution is over. The time for partisanship and factionalism has passed. Whatever the midterm elections "reveal", real progress for our country cannot be made under the current partisan system. I am writing to you as part of the campaign by CUIP/ independententvoting.org to encourage you to support structural political reform [such as open primaries, ranked voting, nonpartisan elections, etc.] as a way forward for our country and the whole world.

I'm sure I am only one of many people who called my dad on election night November 4, 2008, to celebrate a magical moment. I got home around 11:30pm to Sunnyside Queens from Harlem New York, after the clear and decisive numbers were announced. Voices resounded from kids in my neighborhood yelling "OBAMA" out their windows as I lingered on the stoop to my apartment building.  "I never thought this would happen in my lifetime," my dad said. 

My father and I are both transplanted Arkansans:

  • He's now in Richmond VA
  • I'm a New Yorker
  • He's a Kennedy-Clinton Democrat
  • I'm an independent
  • He was in charge of a unit of the Arkansas State Guard that was mobilized under Pres. Eisenhower's federal authority in Little Rock in 1957 that effectively tested the integration of public schools in the South
  • I helped put Lenora Fulani on the ballot in all 50 states in 1988, effectively testing the possibility of an independent run against the Democratic and Republican parties for President of the United States of America. 
  • (My daughters Lucy and Rena, who were 6 and 4 in 1988, were a great source of support and inspiration, and continue to be.)
I worked for you on the streets in Harlem during the primary when every black elected official in NYC was supporting Hillary Clinton. I received emails from your campaign that pegged me as a Hillary Clinton supporter. (I'm female and over 50.) 

I urge you to reconsider -- and get to know -- who independents are.

As Jackie Salit said in her most recent conference call: President Obama, We mean you no harm but we will press ahead to build our movement and pursue the structural reforms that will create more uncertainity for your party and for the Republican Party and you may not like...."

The independent movement is growing. We need political reform. I STRONGLY urge you to get to know and support this movement. 

IMHO, History demands it. And you can continue to lead.

In solidarity,
Nancy Hanks

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