Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Friday, April 30, 2010

Randy Miller, Utah League of Independent Voters: Why I Became an Independent

by Randy Miller

Well, I was born that way. We all were. Partisanship, like its cousin Prejudice, is learned.

I was 20 years old serving as a Mormon missionary in North Dakota when Ross Perot ran for (and nearly won) President of the United States. I did not vote that year. Missionaries are discouraged from watching television and from discussing politics. I didn't know you needed to register to vote, the constitution doesn't stipulate this. I'm certain I would not have successfully navigated the bureaucracy of absentee voting.

I grew up in a seemingly conservative suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. Without knowing any better, I bought into GOP party loyalty and castigating all 'non-conservative' ideas and figures. I even exercised that most holy and reverent conservative duty -- I joined the Army (National Guard). I served just short of 10 years in the National Guard culminating with a one year tour in Iraq.

I was sitting in the chow hall one afternoon while CNN droned in the background. I caught a comment from Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld that he had given commanders on the ground everything they had asked for. I about choked on my food. Without going into details, I knew right away there was an enormous disconnect between reality and the Pentagon.

In the adjustment months after the deployment, I learned that the Pentagon disconnect was more likely a criminal deception by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others. I learned that General Officers were resigning and speaking out but that the corporate media was not covering this actual news.

I started looking for ways to channel my frustration and anger and energies. I looked at Iraq Veterans Against War. I was angry with the Republican Party. I was not a Democrat and didn't want to go down that road, it didn't seem like it would produce results. I found a website which now redirects to I don't remember what the hook was but I signed up for their newsletter 'Talk/Talk'.

In September 2008 I invited all candidates on my ballot for Governor on down to state legislature into my home for a meet the candidates night. (By the way, never do this unless you want to run for office someday. Everyone I know who has done this has later run for public office.;)) I printed up a flyer to distribute in the neighborhood. That is my earliest recollection of the term Utah League of independent Voters. CUIP contacted me on a regular basis, usually for fundraising mixed in with invitations to come on their national conference call. I think I donated $25 or something on one of their fundraising calls. The economy steadily declined for my industry and I didn't have the means to donate on subsequent requests, but I remember indicating on 2 occassions that I would be willing to donate some time to their local affiliate if they could put me in touch with them. I had time to give but not much money. Turns out I was the only local affiliate.

Eventually those staff callers forwarded my info to Nancy Ross and Gwen Mandel--national organizers for CUIP and regular contact ensued with Nancy. They twisted my arm into attending the national conference for independents held in New York City in 2009. The conference was remarkable and the keynote presentation can be viewed here.

Why did I become and independent? Hopefully I've answered that question. Why am I an indie organizer? Talking to myself is ineffective I've found. Independent authors and figures like Joe Hill, Marcia Ford, Omar Ali, MLK, Ross Perot, Jackie Salit, Nancy Ross, Damon Eris, Lenora Fulani and many others are very compelling, that's why.

Randy Miller is the founder of the Utah League of Independent Voters. He is also a surveyor by trade, an Iraq veteran, a social media enthusiast. You can reach him at

You can hear Randy talking about these issues on BlogTalkRadio/Hankster Friday Nite Chat and YouTube Fair Boundaries - Utah Redistricting Initiative

Friday Nite Hankster Chat TONIGHT 4/30/10

8:06pm Please tune in to the experimental Hankster BlogTalkRadio Friday Nite Chat and hear from local Utah activist Randy Miller, founder of Utah League of Independent Voters. Randy is a young Iraq veteran who came home with questions and a non-party attitude:
I grew up in a seemingly conservative suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. Without knowing any better I bought into GOP party loyalty and castigating all 'non-conservative' ideas and figures. I even exercised that most holy and reverent conservative duty--I joined the Army (National Guard). I served just short of 10 years in the National Guard culminating with a one year tour in Iraq.
7:10pm Talking with Randy Miller of Utah League of Independent Voters about social media... Call in!

We're on in 10 minutes! I have no idea if this will be successful, but we'll enjoy the experiment!

What's on your mind?
Join me tonight for Friday Nite Hankster Chat!

Leave a comment here on this post
Look for me on Facebook 
Call in (347) 884-8634  or log on to 

Free-wheeling conversation about independent politics, 
culture and anything else you want to talk about.

Lines are open from 7-8pm tonight, Friday, April 29 30, 2010

Abel Maldonado Stumps for California Open Primary Initiative Proposition 14 on the Colbert Report 4/29/10

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
California's Proposition 14 - Abel Maldonado
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Inching Closer to Washington: An Independent Conversation with Jackie Salit May 2

CUIP National Conference Call

Dear Nancy,
Jackie Salit

Please join us on a national conference call for independents.

Led by Jacqueline Salit
President CUIP/
               Date: Sunday, May 2nd
         Time: 7:00 pm EDT

              (6:00 pm CT, 5:00 pm MT, 4:00 pm PT)

To participate in this call:
Contact Nancy Ross or Gwen Mandell at
 (212) 609-2800

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dr. Lenora Fulani's National Action Network Goal: Nonpartisan Elections in NYC -- It's a Start!

CNN's coverage of last week's National Action Network conference included interviews with Dr. Lenora Fulani and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. Dr. Fulani is campaigning for a referendum in NYC for nonpartisan elections that would allow the one million independents to vote in the first round of voting (primaries) in city elections. NYC is one of the few major cities in the country that conducts partisan elections at the municipal level. Partisan elections in NYC exclude significant segments of people of color (20%) and youth (40%).

Dr. Lezli Baskerville, President and CEO, NAFEO - America's Black Colleges and Universities said the network of campuses would provide 500,000 students for nonpartisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts and that more campuses will make their facilities available to young people for after-school activities, including recreation. h/t to the Field Negro for this, although both the FN and the Root left out the "nonpartisan" part...

Dr. Fulani and Dr. Baskerville had both spoken on Thursday's Education panel about the "achievement gap" in education. You can see video of Fulani's statement here where she says that the achievement gap has been studied to death.

The issue isn't more achievement, it's more development.... both politically and educationally. Something all people need to attend to.
- NH

Friday, April 23, 2010

American Independents: The success of the two parties is also their failure

by Randy Miller

Every American, every thoughtful student is an independent at heart. Many however by means of cowardice and dereliction or perhaps just being uninformed choose the easy path of partisan loyalty over the hard right of independence, liberty and organizing.

Every substantial positive and empowering step in our quest for a more perfect union has sprung up from an independent movement of citizens motivated to organize.

Your children are free to go to school without being exploited for their industry; thank you organized labor.

Women are now free to vote and to own property. I'm sure the women of our state and nation will raise a glass to honor the lifetime sacrifice of those stalwart independent women who took on the establishment repeatedly.

The independent paradigm that is taking shape today is both epic and historic.

All people regardless of race, creed or color can now be citizens and vote. This right always existed. The 2 party aristocracy just needed it's wings clipped. Thank you black independent movement.

Segregation is no longer legal. It was always morally wrong. Thank you again black independent movement, the score is now 2 for you and 0 for the two-party establishment.

The two parties have historically evolved to either oppose or take credit for these popular uprisings.

Women's suffrage, equitable labor conditions, black enfrachisement, desegregation--all these prominent and equitable conditions are great, but there is another shackle that must be cut. This new direction, this new paradigm is bigger than all those great and victorious developments.

We see today segmented uproars over nearly every piece of legislation and a constant castigation of partisan figures of the prominent 2 parties. The success of the two parties is also their failure. The uproar of every jot and tittle is a testament that the voice of the people is not being heard and acted upon. If 'We the People' had a shred of confidence that we were being heard then policy that doesn't go 'my' particular way would be more palatable. Individuals would be convinced that the people had spoken and that they had just been at odds with that voice and lost. However, this confidence does not exist. The two parties in their successful quest to dominate elected positions and policy conversations, have established an accurate portrait of an out of touch aristocrcy with 2 factions.

The independent paradigm that is taking shape today is both epic and historic. We are confronted with the task of completely changing the way we do politics and conduct elections. We are charged with returning to a government by and for the people. It is a remarkable form of government. It is not a suitable governing framework for a lazy and apathetic citizenry. It requires involvment. It requires discourse. It requires reconciliation and apology at times. It requires that we now begin doing what the two parties have taken upon themselves to do for us. It requires that those factions who are disappointed by the various outcomes of the voice of the people remain committed to our union of states and not let insurmountable differences fester with the feverish plague of secessionist thinking.

Randy Miller is the founder of Utah League of Independent Voters. He was interviewed recently by KSL on gerrymandering. Also see Thin Blue Line letter  in City Weekly, and IPR "Anybody's Game"

NEXT WEEK: How I became an independent.

Dr. Omar Ali: No Such Thing as "Centrism"

Dr. Omar Ali speaks at the DC Coffee Party meeting last week, cautioning  -- what does it mean to be a "centrist" in a right-shifting political environment? Captured here by dubabagato's YouTube camera. The left-center-right paradigm is no longer applicable and keeps us divided. See what you think.

Youth, Media, Independence, and "The Powers That Be"

Independent activist news this week was def centered on young people. See John Opdycke's piece "Going Indy" and consider the fact that "fully 50 percent of voters aged 18-29 now identify as independents..." (Opdycke is the Chief of Staff for Let that sink in for a moment. Then pivot back towards the triangulationists featured in John Avlon's CNN oped "Bill Clinton Back and Looking Good". Pan to NYC independent youth contingent presenting 1,084 signatures of people under the age of 30 calling for the Charter Revision Commission to put a referendum for nonpartisan municipal elections for New York City on the ballot in the next election. Commissioners Hope Cohen and Kathryn Patterson dialogued with these young activists at the Brooklyn St. Francis College public hearing on April 20. WHICH by the way none of the local media covered... Hmmm.... You can view the testimony from youth and independents at HanksterTube.

Hats off to the organizers in California who are pushing for passage of Proposition 14, a referendum that will allow independents (aka "decline to state") to vote in statewide elections. The Hankster wishes you all the best. Open primaries that bring new voices (youth for example) to the table and new coalitions together could only help in this quite serious national and international political situation.

Expect more politically upwardly mobile partisan powers-that-be animosity toward independent state senator in NY Pedro Espada Jr. who is proposing some interesting nonpartisan election reforms...

Power to the People, Read On:

OTHER OPEN PRIMARIES -- Pennsylvania and Ohio

Thursday, April 22, 2010 National Conference Call Sunday May 2

CUIP National Conference Call

Dear Nancy,
Jackie Salit

Please join us on a national conference call for independents.

Led by Jacqueline Salit
President CUIP/
               Date: Sunday, May 2nd
         Time: 7:00 pm EDT

              (6:00 pm CT, 5:00 pm MT, 4:00 pm PT)

To participate in this call, 
Contact Nancy Ross or Gwen Mandell
 (212) 609-2800

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"We want the right to vote in the primaries!" Youth Submit Open Letter to NYC Charter Revision Commission

Letter Signed by 1,084 Voters Under the Age of 30 Calls for Nonpartisan Elections

Brooklyn, NY—An open letter to the New York City Charter Revision Commission signed by 1,084 city residents under the age of 30, was presented at the Commission’s hearing at St. Francis College in Brooklyn yesterday. The letter calls for the Commission to place an initiative for nonpartisan elections on the ballot.

The letter states in part:
“We do not have the same level of commitment or connection to political parties that many in older generations do. Increasingly, we identify as independents and do not feel we should be excluded from the first and often critical round of primary voting.”
The letter was presented by Bryan Puertas (age 25, Queens), Franceli Chapman (age 23, Bronx), Laiza Garcia (age 27, Brooklyn) and Tracey Thomas (age 21, Brooklyn) whose joint testimony sparked several Commissioners probe the issue of open primaries and the political involvement of youth in follow up questions. Their dialogue can be viewed online.

The open letter had been circulated over the course of the last week at high school and college campuses in all 5 boroughs including:
Baruch College
Borough of Manhattan Community College
Bronx Community College
Brooklyn College
College of Staten Island
Frank Sinatra High School
Hostos Community College
John Jay College
St. Francis College
St. John’s University.

The presenters of the letter testified that nearly 900,000 voters in New York City are not registered in either the Democratic or Republican parties. Of those 751,442 are not registered with any political party and 25% are under the age of 30. The make-up of young independents is racially diverse with 20% African America, 24% Latino and 11% Asian.

“More and more young people are identifying politically as independent, but independents are not allowed to vote in New York City primaries” said Bryan Puertas who led the signature gathering effort. “That means more and more young people are being excluded from the process. We can turn that around by adopting what most major cities around the country already do-- hold nonpartisan elections.”

The Charter Revision Commission, which is chaired by CUNY President Matthew Goldstein, held public hearings in each borough during the month of April and expected to hold a series of issues forums in May.

A copy of the “Open Letter to the 2010 Charter Revision Commission” reads:

We the undersigned are residents of New York City.
  • We are under the age of thirty. We do not have the same level of commitment or connection to political parties that many in older generations do. Increasingly, we identify as independents and do not feel we should be excluded from the first and often critical round of primary voting. 
  • We ask the Charter Revision Commission to put a proposal before the voters to change our primary election system to a nonpartisan system of elections. This system allows all candidates to appear on the same ballot in the first round of voting and allows all registered voters to vote in that round. The top two vote getters would then appear on the November ballot. This type of system is employed in most major municipalities throughout our country and it is time for New York City to catch up. 
  • 897,180 voters in our city are not registered in either the Democratic or Republican parties.
  • 751,442 of us are unaffiliated with any political party
  • 25% of those unaffiliated voters are under the age of 30.
  • 20% of us are African American
  • 24% of us are Latino
  • 11% of are Asian American
We want the right to vote in the primaries for City Council, Mayor, Public Advocate and Comptroller. We want to participate in deciding what candidates what candidates will be on the ballot in November. We should not have to join a political party in order to exercise our democratic rights.

For more information, contact: Sarah Lyons at 212-962-1824 and see VIDEO of testimony at HanksterTube/NYC Charter Revision 2010.

NYC Independent Youth Speak on Behalf of Nonpartisan Elections at Brooklyn Charter Revision Hearing 4.20.10

NYC Independent youth speak out on behalf of nonpartisan elections at NYC Charter Revision Commission public hearing at St. Francis Community College, downtown Brooklyn, April 20, 2010. Speakers included Bryan Puertas, Liza Garcia, Francelli Chapman, and Tracy Thomas. Extended dialogue with Commissioners Chairman Matthew Goldstein, Hope Cohen, and Kathryn Patterson. St. Francis College, Brooklyn, April 20, 2010

Lorraine Marcellin Speaks in Support of Nonpartisan Elections at Brooklyn Charter Revision Hearing 4/20/10

Joan DeCollibus Speaks for Nonpartisan Elections at Brooklyn Charter Revision Hearing 4/20/10

Fran Miller Speaks in Support of Nonpartisan Elections at Brooklyn Charter Revision Hearing 4/20/10

Dr Rafael Mendez Speaks for Youth in Support of Nonpartisan Elections at Brooklyn Charter Revision Hearing 4/20/10

Brooklyn Independence Party Chair Speaks in Support of Nonpartisan Elections Charter Revision Hearing 4/20/10

Kings County Independence Party Chairman Bob Conroy Speaks for Nonpartisan Elections at the Brooklyn Charter Revision Hearing at St. Francis Community College, downtown Brooklyn on April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Antoine Joyce, All Stars Project Producer, Speaks on Behalf of Youth for Nonpartisan Elections at Queens Charter Revision Hearing 4/19/10

Independent (Youth) Week in NYC: Charter Revision Hearings and National Action Network Conference

Last week was a busy one here in NYC for independents and youth, and independent youth:  2 public hearings for the NYC Charter Revision Commission, one in 'da Bronx on Monday and one on Staten Island on Tuesday, where young independent activists are speaking out in favor of nonpartisan elections. Then off to the National Action Network conference at the Sheraton in Manhattan where Dr. Lenora Fulani brought the house down at the Education panel discussion, calling on the conference to "close the discussion on the achievement gap," and start paying attention to scientific breakthroughs in human development, discussions that are taking place internationally but that US leadership refuses to investigate.
"...Here in the US, we are doing publicity tours with Newt Gingrich to promote public awareness of the problem. With all due respect to Reverend Sharpton and my sisters and brothers in the National Action Network, that is insufficient for Black America and for all America..."
Dr. Fulani is recognized as having created the contemporary independent movement with her historic run for President in 1988 when she became the first woman and first African American to ever be on the ballot in all 50 states. She ran as an independent, collecting over 1.5 million signatures nationally and a quarter of a million votes. Fulani is a co-founder of the All Stars Project, Inc. and founder and director of Operation Conversation: Cops and Kids.

Up this week, Charter Revision hearings tonight in Queens and Tuesday night in Brooklyn. Watch the April 19 Charter Commission Hearing Live from Long Island City, at LaGuardia Community College, via Webcast at 6pm Monday.


Friday, April 16, 2010

TV One to Offer Live Coverage Saturday, April 17 of 'National Action Network Forum: Measuring... -- NEW YORK, April 16 /PRNewswire/ --

TV One to Offer Live Coverage Saturday, April 17 of 'National Action Network Forum: Measuring... -- NEW YORK, April 16 /PRNewswire/ --

NEW YORK, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- TV One will offer live coverage Saturday, April 17 of the leadership forum sponsored by Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network designed to determine and commit to significant and measurable goals that will advance the standing of African Americans over the next 12 months in the areas of political power, economic power and social/cultural influence.

Moderated by TV One's Washington Watch host and CNN contributor Roland Martin and hosted by radio industry iconTom Joyner, "National Action Network Forum: Measuring the Movement with Al Sharpton" will air live on TV One Saturday, April 17 from 11 AM - 1 PM ET, repeating on Sunday, April 18 from 11 AM - 1 PM ET.

A host of top African-American government, education, religious, and cultural leaders are expected to participate in the forum, including: Rev. Al Sharpton; House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC); National Urban League President Marc Morial; NAACP President Benjamin Jealous; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; Harvard Law School professor Dr.Charles Ogletree; author, commentator and Georgetown University professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson; noted rapper and activist Chuck D; syndicated radio talk show host Warren Ballentine; BET host Jeff Johnson; Judge Greg Mathis, of "The Judge Mathis Show"; Michael Blake, Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement & Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; Danny Bakewell, President of the National Newspaper Publishers Association; LaKimba B. DeSadier, Executive Director, National Black Caucus of State Legislators; and Dr. Elsie Scott,President & CEO, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF); and Lezli Baskerville, President & CEO, NAFEO (Natl. Assn. for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education).

The forum, which will close the National Action Network's four day annual convention in New York, will be held at the First Corinthian Baptist Church at 1912 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (at 116th St.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Building The Hankster as We Cross the Ocean...

The "new" Hankster is a work in process.
You will note the new (and changing) masthead. Please enjoy the changes, and if you have any suggestions, hey let me know!

In the meantime, if you want an independent viewpoint, you can tune into the NYC Charter Revision Commission hearings here... What a diverse and intelligent group this is!


Independent Voters Speak Out for Nonpartisan Elections at NYC Charter Revision Hearings

You can see video of testimony from independents and nonpartisan voters before the NYC Charter Revision Commission in the Hankstertube NYC Charter Revision 2010 library here.

The next hearing will on Monday, April 19, at 6pm at LaGuardia Community College, Auditorium, 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101.

Visit the website for the Charter Revision Commission here.

PHOTO: Staten Island Independence Party activists prepare to testify last night at McKee Tech HS in St. George

Alan Weissman Urges Nonpartisan Elections at Charter Revision Hearing Staten Island 4.13.10

Allen Koehler Speaks for Nonpartisan Elections at Charter Revision Hearing Staten Island 4.13.10

Kenneth Hicks Speaks for Nonpartisan Elections at Charter Revision Hearing Staten Island 4.13.10

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Alessandra Kane Supports Nonpartisan Elections at Charter Revision Staten Island Hearing 4.13.10

VIDEO: Live Streaming Tonight 6pm: NYC Charter Revision Hearing from Staten Island

Bronx Officials and Activists Call for Nonpartisan Elections at Charter Revision Commission Public Hearing 4/12/10

There was scant press coverage of last night's NYC Charter Revision Commission public hearing at Hostos University in the Bronx, however here's a Daily News piece including a video from Erin Einhorn.

And while we're on the subject, you can see a video library of statements from independent leaders and activists in support of nonpartisan elections at Hankstertube Playlist NYC Charter Revision 2010.

Watch Tuesday’s Charter Commission Hearing Live
If you cannot attend Tuesday’s Commission hearing in Staten Island, at McKee High School, you can watch it live via Webcast, right here. Check back at 6pm Tuesday.

Tonight's hearing at McKee High School seems to be a response to the request by NYC youth

Sen. Pedro Espada Bronx Charter Revision Hearing Statement Supports Nonpartisan Elections

Delivered by Chief of Staff for Sen. Espada

J.C. Polanco Speaks for Nonpartisan Elections at Bronx Charter Revision Hearing 4/12/10

Bryan Puertas Speaks for Nonpartisan Elections at Bronx Charter Revision Hearing 4/12/10

Ramon Pena Speaks for Nonpartisan Elections at Bronx Charter Revision Hearing 4/12/10

Bronx Independence Party Chairman Allen Cox Speaks for Nonpartisan Elections at Charter Revision Hearing 4/12/10

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oops! False Start

Well, although I have initiated a new Hankster at wordpress, I have decided to extend my lease here at blogger for at least a few more weeks. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, we'll stay right here!


PS - Hope you like the new look!

The Hankster's Got a Brand New Bag!

Hello everyone. This month marks the 4th anniversary of The Hankster.

And we've moved!

Please visit the new Hankster at


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Will NYC Get to Vote on Nonpartisan Elections?

As some of us in NYC are aware, the Charter Revision Commission public hearings are underway (see Lenora Fulani and Harry Kresky on VIDEO). My colleague Brian Puertas has written a piece on The Delibero "Will Reform Come to NYC?":
One cutting edge structural reform that will be hotly discussed at these hearings is Nonpartisan Municipal Elections. Instead of having Democratic and Republican party primary elections, in a nonpartisan system there would be one primary that all of the candidates run in, regardless of party affiliation. Everyone gets to vote for whoever they like, and the top two vote getters go on to the November election. This is a system that is used in 85% of U.S. cities. In fact, New York City is one of the only major metropolises that does not use this system.
Continue reading here.

Oh, and be sure to take a look at a new centrist blog with an ambitious reform and grassroots organizing plan, --they run Hankster posts regularly! Thanks, CM!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Mary Says: Create "New York Plays," a series of “community PLAYgrounds” in NYC

Dear friends,

My friend Mary has asked me to let you know about an opportunity to support a progressive cause. This is a great organization and, being a friend of Mary's, I'd love to introduce you to "New York Plays". I could go on and on about the great work of the East Side Institute around the world, but, why don't you check it out for yourself and I'll let let Mary talk about the opportunity:

Through “New York Plays” the East Side Institute continues to make new friends around the world and introduce the power of play to communities the world over. We are receiving many votes from Africa and made it to the 140s by reaching out to everyone we know. Here are 8 ways you can help:

1. Vote again, and up 10 times/day, at
 2. Put this in your status update on Facebook: Help us win this grant by voting for New York Community Plays (with link): The project has gone from 350 to 146 in just a few days and with your help, we can make it to the top ten, which means $50,000 to make this project a reality.
3. Are you on Linkedin? Put this in your status update: A great organization is in the running for a $50,000 Pepsi grant. Vote here to Help New Yorkers Play
4. Change your email signature to add a link
5. Get your Twitter following involved: My Friend Mary Says: Have You Refreshed Pepsi Today? Support "New York Plays": Dear friends,  My friend Mary has a...
5.B Add this: Vote Create New York Plays on Pepsi Refresh grant $50K to help New Yorkers play 6. Are you on any listservs concerned with grow, play, development, performance, etc.? If you are, let your communities know.
7. Vote every day. Rinse and repeat the previous 6 steps.
8. Do you have any other ideas? Let us know. Help us spread the word! Imagine hundreds of New Yorkers from all walks of live coming together to play with each other - creating new conversations and new confidence in themselves as agents of change. Your support will make a difference! Thanks for anything and everything you can do!

You can email Mary directly at

like night and day

night and day oh here's what i was looking for -- i think of you day and night, night and day...

The Black Agenda, Open Primaries, Centrists, and Extremists

Fred Newman talks about Tavis Smiley, the Black Agenda, Rev. Al Sharpton, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Jessie Jackson, Cornel West and Karl Marx. While campaigns are underway in Louisiana and California for open primaries that would allow independents and decline-to-state voters to vote (right now parties are allowed to exclude these voters), voters in many states are registering into parties in order to vote in primaries. Centrist John Avlon's new book decries political extremes as "wingnuts". NYC Dems don't want charter revision ballot referendum items this year.

  • How Should Black Leaders Relate to a Black President? A Controversy. (Talk Talk with Fred Newman and Jackie Salit) Newman: What substantial improvements there have been for the black community, have come through blacks and others, particularly whites, working together. So, if these issues are being raised from the point of view of whether the entire problem of inequality has been solved by the continued use of an integrated strategy, what you’re really saying, in my opinion, is that the entire problem isn’t solved, period.
  • You can view Tavis Smiley's Black Agenda Summit on C-Span here
  • LAFrenzied election season starts (By William Johnson, Daily World) If there are ever two or more candidates from any of the officially recognized parties — Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Reform and Republican — then the closed party primary election kicks in.
  • CAAre Republicans moving too far right to be elected? (By Thomas D. Elias, Highland News) Only when all voters can vote in all primaries will candidates need to appeal to the broad middle ground, unrepresented in California for decades as the right wing rules the GOP and a far left/organized labor coalition controls the Democratic Party.
  • Mayor asks 50,000 political donors to think of NYC (By SARA KUGLER - AP) New York City sends millions of dollars to political candidates nationwide, and the average New Yorker gives 2.5 times more money to federal candidates than other Americans, according to Bloomberg. During the 2008 election cycle, candidates collected more than $114 million from New York donors, second only to California.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Movement for Open Primaries and Nonpartisan Elections Builds Nationally

  • Can independents seize the day? (By John Avlon, Special to CNN) Three credible independent candidates are running for governor this year in three New England states where registered independents outnumber Democrats and Republicans.
  • Independent Party launches, Cahill on board (By Kyle Cheney, Burlington Union State House News Service) Hoping to harness the energy of disenfranchised Democrats and Republicans and the state’s 2.1 million unenrolled voters – more than half of the Massachusetts electorate – a group of political advocates who reject the two major party platforms hope to soon be able to brandish the label of the Independent Party and use it to carry them to political power.
  • Party Time -Tea Partiers fit into a recent pattern of conservative populist movements. (By Howard Fineman, Newsweek Web Exclusive)