You're invited to National Democracy Slam 2015--and you won't want to miss it. You can attend or watch online and be an active participant either way!
Working with the Washington College of Law, FairVote has taken the lead in organizing this innovative gathering. The event is a day-long conference that will explore 17 bold ideas for breaking partisan gridlock, ending gerrymandering, and improving America's elections and politics. The conference will feature leading electoral reform thinkers and policy makers. Participants include two Members of Congress and a remarkable array of talent and fast-paced sessions. We expect to have a big media star moderate our final Slam -- stay tuned! Online you can read a detailed agenda of the day's events and register.
We're asking you to register regardless of whether you plan on attending in person or online through the live webcast. The conference will present attendees with plenty of opportunities to engage with the reforms via a live polling system that will be used throughout the day. Since the conference is being broadcast via webcast, both in-person and online attendees will have an opportunity to weigh in on each of the 17 electoral reforms that are discussed, with real-time results for each poll. You'll also be able to access papers written for the conference online starting on April 15th.
Rob Richie in New York Times and Baltimore Sun and on CSPAN: In response to a David Brooks column titled, "The Field is Flat," our executive director Rob Richie had a New York Times letter on April 3rd on how the 2016 electoral landscape will be anything but flat without statutory changes to adopt the National Popular Vote plan for president and fair representation voting in multi-winner congressional districts. Rob also joined with colleague Dania Korkor in a Baltimore Sun oped on March 29th making the case to ensure voters always choose their U.S. Senators. On Tuesday night, April 7th at 10:40 pm ET, CSPAN will air a forum from last month's National Conference of Independents where Rob as a panelist makes the case for ranked choice voting and fair representation.
FairVote board chair Krist Novoselic makes news. FairVote's board chair Krist Novoselic was featured in an excellent Oregonian profile after he and Rob Richie spoke last month at Reed College in Portland. Krist has also gotten involved in a major voting rights case in Yakima (WA), where city leaders have embraced a remedy that includes a fair representation voting system; see a Seattle Times oped by the Yakima mayor.
2015 is another important year for ranked choice voting (RCV). More legislation than ever before has been introduced in state legislatures around the nation. Check out the blog for an overview of RCV legislation that has been introduced thus far. There will also be new RCV elections in cities in California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota, and an exciting effort to allow Mainers to vote to adopt RCV for all state and congressional elections. Check out the blog for an overview and see links to new RCV resources.
The Democratic National Committee's Executive Committee unanimously pass a resolution in support of a Constitutional Right to Vote Amendment. The resolution was proposed by DNC Vice Chair of Voter Expansion and Protection Donna Brazile, and marks a major step forward for advocates like FairVote who have been fighting for a constitutional right to vote for some time. Executive Director Rob Richie writes more at the FairVote blog. See our Right to Vote Amendment website and our Promote Our Vote site on ways to translate work for the amendment into local change.
The ninth annual Voting and Elections Summit 2015 was a big success. FairVote was thrilled to co-sponsor this year's summit, which showcased an impressive lineup of speakers and presenters. The summit presented an excellent opportunity to insert FairVote's innovative democratic ideas, and allowed for productive dialogue among leaders in the voting community. If you couldn't make it, we've got you covered--check out video clips of FairVote's segments from the conference, including short introductions to each of our core priorities and a fun hands on demonstration of how RCV works.
The Academy used RCV to select Birdman as the winner of this year's Best Picture Award. In our very own FairVote poll, however, participants ranked their choices to select Boyhood. Check out a round by round break down of our poll's results and visit our blog, Oscar Votes 123, for further analysis of the Academy's selection of Birdman. The Academy also uses RCV for nominations in all major categories.
National Popular Vote plan keeps moving. The National Popular Vote won't be in place in 2016, but this groundbreaking effort keeps building support. Stay tuned for potential wins in 2016 and read a recent Reuters oped by FairVote's Rob Richie and Claire Daviss about Electoral College reform
To keep up with the latest at FairVote, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and visit our main blog and "quick news blog." And yes, we do depend upon the support of individuals like yourself -- if you haven't made a 2015 donation, please consider a gift today.
Austin Plier, FairVote