Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

by any other name...

Independent Voter Watch: Jackie Salit on "Reimagining America" at TEDx New England Wednesday

On Wednesday, Oct. 24th at 12:30 pm, president Jackie Salit will deliver a presentation on the independent political movement at the TEDx New England conference entitled "Reimagining America".

Created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading,” the TEDx program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis. 

Jackie will share her thoughts about changing the political culture before a live audience at the WGBH studios in Boston, MA on Oct. 24th at 12:30 pm. You will need to register for the live streaming.
Also, in case you missed it, Jackie's appearance on the PBS show Arizona Horizon is now available online.  Host Ted Simons explores the terrain of independent politics in this 12 minute interview about the independent voter movement and its potential impact on future elections.

Next stops on Jackie's Independents Rising book tour.
October 30th 
Greensboro, NC. Independents Rising and the 2012 Election: A Public Conversation with Author Jacqueline Salit and Dr. Omar Ali, 6:00 pm, School of Education Auditorium (Room 120), UNC-Greensboro. Sponsored by College Independents, Black Student Union, Dept. of Political Science and North Carolina Independents. Book signing to follow.
October 31st
High Point University, High Point, NC.  Independents Rising and the 2012 Election, 5:30 pm, Phillips 101. Sponsored by the High Point University Politics Club.  Book signing to follow.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

CA Independent Voter Organization Endorses Post-Partisan Candidates

“Top Two” Open Primary System Allowing New Coalitions Between Voters & Candidates

Proclaiming that California voters now have the tools to take on a government broken by partisanship, IndependentVoice.Org, a statewide association of independent voters,  announced its “Post Partisan” Candidate Endorsements. 
The group endorsed candidates Abel Maldonado (Republican, 24th Congressional District), Marc Levine (Democrat, 10th Assembly District), Bill Bloomfield (No Party Preference, 33rd Congressional District), and Chad Walsh (No Party Preference, 28th Assembly District). The candidates were selected based on their demonstrated support for political reforms that empower independent voters – referred to as “No Party Preference” in California – like the “top-two” open primary and redistricting reform. 
For the first time in over a decade, independent voters will have a real voice in state and congressional races,” said Jason Olson, the Director of IndependentVoice.Org. “Independent voters believe that government mostly does what’s best for the political parties, and not the people. Independents strongly support the kind of democracy reforms needed to return power to the voters. We're proud to stand with candidates who want to work with independents to lead us beyond destructive partisanship and move the country forward.”
The 2012 election marks the debut of the open “top two” primary system and new districts drawn by a citizens commission instead of the State Legislature. Rather than running in party primaries, all candidates ran in a non-partisan voter primary in June. All voters were able to participate and vote for any candidate regardless of party, with the top two candidates moving on to a “run-off style” November election. IndependentVoice.Org was a key proponent of the successful redistricting reform and “top two” open primary measures passed by California voters. 
IndependentVoice.Org is part of the national independent movement pushing for similar reforms around the country, including in Arizona where this fall voters will have the opportunity to pass a “top two” open primary system.
Independent voters have been the fastest growing segment of the electorate in California over the past several decades. The most recent report by the Secretary of State puts the total number of “No Party Preference” voters at just over 3.6 million voters, or 21.28% of all registered voters.
Candidates Endorsed:
  • Abel Maldonado, a Republican who formerly served as Lt. Governor and a State Legislator, is running in the 24th Congressional District in Santa Barbara County. Maldonado has a long record of working with both Republicans and Democrats to achieve meaningful reform.  Most notably, he led the effort to reform the state’s broken worker’s compensation system and worked with the to successfully reform elections in California by putting the “top two” open primary on the 2010 ballot.  “The problem with government is Republicans attack Democrats and Democrats attack Republicans, all-the-while the people’s problems just get worse”, said Maldonado.  “I fought for the ‘top two’ open primary because we need to change the behavior of our politicians and that begins with changing the way they are elected.  Now and with the help of IndepedentVoice.Org, candidates have to talk to everyone to get elected, not just a small segment of an ideological base.  No longer will the 3.6 million independent voters in California be excluded from fully participating in the election process.  Hopefully, this is the first step in what will be national campaign of reform to give independents a full voice in our democratic process.” 
  • Marc Levine, a Democrat, is a San Rafael City Councilmember and candidate for California's 10th Assembly District in Marin and Sonoma. Marc has a record of innovation and practical problem solving at the local level. Highlighting the approximately two-dozen contests across California between members of the same party, Levine is running against another Democrat who is supported by the Sacramento establishment. “I’m a strong Democrat who recognizes the vital importance of recognizing and reaching out to independent voters, and the importance of reforms that empower all voters regardless of party,” said Levine. “Unaligned voters want to see results, not special interest politics or partisan bickering – and they are fed up with Sacramento’s broken political culture. If elected, I will strive to get Sacramento working again for our communities and to ensure that the voices of independent voters are heard in the State Capitol.”
  • Bill Bloomfield, an independent (“No Party Preference”), is a longtime political reform advocate and successful businessman running in the 33rd Congressional District that spans the coastal area of Los Angeles. Many political observers feel that he has the best chance of any independent Congressional candidate in the country to win his race. "I felt compelled to run for Congress because our country won’t be able to recover from a few more years of a hyper-partisan and broken Congress,” said Bloomfield. “We must confront the power and influence of the special interests. Its time to force both major parties to start solving problems and stop playing partisan political games that threaten our nation's future. That’s why I’m proud to have the endorsement of IndependentVoice.Org and the independent voters they represent."
  • Chad Walsh, an independent (“No Party Preference”), is a Trustee and former Governing Board President of the local community college district and successful businessman running in the 28th Assembly District in Silicon Valley. Walsh, empowered by the new “top two” open primary and fairly drawn district, is running on a message of “moving beyond partisanship.” “We need solutions more than ever, but all we get from Sacramento is divisive partisanship from politicians who are serving narrow special interests or strictly partisan agendas,” said Walsh. I'm running for State Assembly to help move California beyond partisanship and special interests and provide solutions to the issues that people care about. Independent voters have been at the forefront of that fight, and I’m proud to receive the endorsement of IndependentVoice.Org.”

Friday, October 12, 2012

Election 2012: Where Do We Go From Here?

I had the unexpected pleasure (well, the pleasure was unexpected) of attending a forum at Columbia University yesterday evening sponsored by the Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Eta Chapter entitled "Election 2012: Where Do We Go From Here?" loosely subtitled "Obama vs Romney."

The forum was held at Columbia University before a multiracial, predominately African American audience of about 65 people. The panelists were: Chet Whye, ED of Jarlem4Change; Gregory T. Angelo, Chair of Log Cabin Republican of NY State; Cathy Stewart, Chair of NY County Independence Party; Thomas Basile, founder of a tea-party organization in NY State; Bernard Whitman, Democratic Party pollster and author of 52 Reasons to Vote for Obama.

Full disclosure: My first thought when I heard the name of the event was 'Great! The election is over and now we can get back to the important work of building a progressive grassroots movement that can change our partisan political culture and is reaching out to youth, to independents, to the full spectrum of the American electorate.'

The dialogue was intelligent, active and thought-provoking.

Cathy Stewart is remarkably skillful at hammering away at the structural issues facing an American electorate that tips 40% and growing.

Enjoy this clip from her opening statement:

Monday, October 08, 2012

Performing the World: Independent Candidate -- We Have a Winner!

Hey hey Hanksteristas!

I participated in a wonderful and lively improvisational street performance in NYC this weekend called Independent Candidate, instigated by Bogdan Spanjevic, at Performing the World 2012.

You can catch up on Bambuser, and enjoy our new president!!


Friday, October 05, 2012

Hankster Livestream from Performing the World on Bambuser Today

DOUBLE UPDATE: See IndieCandidate on Facebook for the vid...

Great work everyone!

UPDATE: Trouble in Bambuser-land today! Totally my fault as the producer... live and learn, or at least live on...!

You can listen to the last 20 minutes today of The Hankster session. And keep watching for more Bambuser livestream cam this weekend!!!

See Hankster livestream on Bambuser -- Check for Independent Candidate at 12:15PM and then Developing Democracy at 2:45PM. See you there!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Performing the World 2012: In a World That Can't Be Saved...

Every two years I participate in a magical event held in New York City called Performing the World. This will be my 3rd year presenting as a grassroots independent political blogger based in New York City aligned with -- and with a eye to the development of democracy internationally.

This year the conference is titled Performing the World 2012: Can Performance Change Save The World?  The conference schedule, including bios of all the presenters is now up on the website ( for your viewing pleasure!

My session is titled Developing Democracy Roundtable 2012

From the Arab Spring to the U.S. independent political movement, our world is in a state of motion. Attendees will join The Hankster in a discussion of the state of democracy internationally and what is needed to develop a participatory political culture. The first 20 participants will receive a copy of Developing Democracy, a documentary created from interviews with Performing the World 2010 attendees.

This year there are a number of democracy-focused sessions:

Can Kids Run a Town?
Dr. Porfirio Grazioli, Nadio La Gamba, Carrie Sackett
Young people learn democracy by performing democracy. Founded in the years after World
War II for Italy’s many orphaned children, today Boys’ & Girls’ Town of Italy is home
to young refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Performance, Dialogue and Building Democratic Solidarity between Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South African Youth Activists
Betsi Pendry
Southern Africa has been torn apart by political conflict, violence and for many, by
the loss of its revolutionary history and potential. There is increasing conflict between
political youth groups in Swaziland, Zimbabwe and South Africa as Zimbabwe and
Swaziland slide into political chaos and South African Youth Congress linked to the ANC supports the "hands off" position of the ANC. The session will explore the activity of the Living Together Project, hoping to develop solidarity through developing the creative and performace skills of a group of political activists in the region.

Creating Democratic Space and Envisioning Peace: Theatre Confronting Violence and Fostering
Community Development in Zimbabwe
Daniel Maposa
This session gives a third degree examination on the use of applied theatre in nurturing social cohesion in the aftermath of politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe in 2008.