Monday, April 9, 2018

Talkin' Independence with Issue One

On March 14th, Jackie Salit, President of, launched a new Speaker Series called Talkin' Independence that will give Participants a close-up view of the Partnerships, Controversies, and challenges now shaping the Independent Political movement. To kick off the Series, Jackie hosted a Dialogue, which I attended, with Zach Wamp on the right and Nick Penniman on the left.

Zach Wamp, a former Tennessee Congressman, is an outspoken Advocate for "Country over Party" and Co-Chairs the Reformer Caucus, a Bipartisan Group of 200 former Electeds who are pursuing Ethics and Process Reforms.

Nick Penniman, is the President and CEO of Issue One, a Nonpartisan Organization based in Washington, DC, committed to Fixing our Democracy. Formerly the Founder and Executive Director of the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, Penniman is a force in holding Washington Accountable for its Partisan Dysfunction.

Tiani Coleman, Chair of New Hampshire Independent Voters travelled to New York to attend the Event, offered Welcoming remarks and introduce Jackie Salit.

Wamp spoke about the current Political Environment where Elected Leaders are required by the Parties to "Dial for Dollars", raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, before they can join Legislature Committees. It "leads to shakedowns and corruption," said Wamp "and it leads to complete cynicism by the American people that all politicians are the same." But times are changing. "The ground is shaking," added Wamp. "How many candidates are going to emerge who are going to say to their party leaders 'I'm not going to drink your Kool Aid?'"

And how Big a Factor is the Rise of the Independent Voter? asked Salit

Penniman responded: "We have to remember why we're all in the room. Our current government is failing to solve our problems. The basic promise of a democracy of the consent of the governed is that we all come together, we pool our best wisdom, we debate the hell out of it and theoretically the best ideas get enacted. That hasn't been occurring for a long time...There could be an incredibly powerful coalition if Democrats, Republicans and independents come together around a 'Fix Politics' agenda. We've got to fix the system so we can fix other things."

Attended by 60 Independent Activists and Leaders, the Evening was a rich and a thought-provoking look both Practical and Philosophical at the Crisis in our Democracy.

Wamp and Penniman appeared the following day in Philadelphia to unveil a "Declaration to Renew the Founders' Promise" signed by 200 Republicans and Democrats, Current and Former Members of Congress, Governors, and Cabinet Members. The "Declaration to Renew the Founders' Promise" calls on Candidates for Office and Citizens to Sign the 'Fix Politics Now' Declaration, and be Champions of Solutions to restore accountability, transparency and integrity in Washington."

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
Digg! StumbleUpon

No comments: