With tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, we see a democracy challenged by dictatorship and lives upended in a senseless war. Even as Putin commits crimes against the people of Ukraine, President Zelenskyy spoke with optimism that "Light will win over darkness." The Forward Party stands with the people of Ukraine in the hope that light will soon prevail.
The Ukrainian people's fight to protect their democracy from a direct threat should inspire us to examine what we would be willing to do for our own democracy. Our nation is home to 11 million American children living in poverty, violent crime is at the highest level since 2016, and hate crime has reached a decade high according to the FBI. Americans are stressed.
Consumer debt is up 1.9 trillion from 2008 and while companies are boasting record profits and inflation is at a 40 year high, the federal minimum wage hasn’t seen an increase since 2009. The impact of COVID is still being felt by small businesses and many families are still trying to recover. Add to that the polarization that's baked into how our political system is designed, and we are experiencing a crisis that needs solutions -- fast.
Help us elect candidates who are ready to make the changes we need to protect our democratic processes and secure a future filled with opportunity and hope for the next generation.
If you haven't yet, sign up (ticket price $5) for our second "Forward Unlocked" event. Andrew Yang and 76er's President and Forward Party Leadership Board Member, Daryl Morey will discuss democracy and basketball. Daryl is helping the Forward Party pursue the mission of a more representative democracy and supports our goal to elect candidates who will advocate for ranked-choice voting and nonpartisan primaries.
All the best,
The Forward Party Team
In The News
Ranked-Choice Voting and Election Reform
Both parties extol competition — until it applies to them - Democrats and Republicans like to champion competition, but Norman Ornstein, a congressional expert at the American Enterprise Institute, says that primaries, “where there is a centrifugal force to the extremes,” is where the our votes are going to have the biggest impact. However, primaries, under rules made by the parties, in most states block unaffiliated and independent voters from participating unless they register as either a Democrat or Republican. That leaves the “real” election up to the 10% of each party's most committed partisans.
Legislation would allow ranked-choice voting in Michigan. In one city, it's already happening. A handful of legislators in Michigan are supportive of RCV advocacy efforts and signaling that technical changes to state election laws could make it happen. Ann Arbor is already implementing ranked-choice voting, and Rep. Regina Weiss emphasizes that it would provide voters with more choices on election day.
As Alaska moves to ranked-choice voting, two states ban the system - Electoral reform is picking up steam across the nation leading some states, like Florida and Tennessee, to ban such changes.
2 major changes to Fort Collins elections could be on the November ballot - Four of the seven City Council Elections Code Committee members in Fort Collins are endorsing a switch to ranked-choice voting, and this November voters may have the chance to vote to adopt the change.
So much for local control - An opinion piece explores Tennessee’s statewide ban on RCV which overrides voters in Memphis who had previously voted in favor of the reform. The author speculates that legislators are scared of a reform that might allow real challenges to their seats.
Portlanders overwhelmingly desire new form of government - More than 70 percent of voters favor moving to a ranked-choice voting system according to a poll, commissioned by the racial justice nonprofit Building Power for Communities of Color.
What's Going On
The State of the Duopoly
How lopsided new district lines deepen the US partisan divide - Journalist Shane Goldmacher explores the revelation that “nearly 90 percent of the next House could be occupied by lawmakers who face almost no threat of losing a general election, a precipitous drop that dramatically changes the political incentives and pressures they confront.”
Democrats link Ukraine's democracy struggle to one closer to home - Even as Democrats claim that Republicans are undermining democratic systems, they fail to make real changes, at the state level, that would reduce toxic partisanship and decrease the impact that partisan primaries have on our elections.
Democratic gains in legislative maps might not last long - We are trapped in an endless loop of partisan rule-writing. The only way out is fixing the system so third parties can balance out the tug-of-war between two sides.
Stay Up To Date
Ukraine war exposes cracks in US ties to Middle East allies - The UAE’s decision to welcome Syrian President al Assad after he recently expressed support for Putin’s war on Ukraine is unwelcome news to the United States.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearings - The historic nature of Brown Jackson’s nomination is overshadowed by politics as opposition centers on issues that can be used to erode trust in the impartiality of the Supreme Court.
Alaska House advances new campaign contribution limits bill - State Representative Calvin Schrage introduced legislation to cap campaign fundraising per campaign cycle instead of per year in order to reduce the advantage incumbents have over competitors for the seat.
Future of self-government depends on campaign finance amendment - We’ve all heard of “dark money.” Special interests drown out the voices of voters, and hide potential corruption by concealing the source of large donations to candidates. This practice undermines our confidence in elected officials. 77% of Americans believe there should be a limit on how much money groups and individuals can spend on campaigns. That makes sense.
How a Murdoch hopes to save American democracy - The American daughter-in-law of Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Kathryn Murdoch, is mobilizing against partisan primaries and pitching her fellow philanthropists on why they should donate to democracy groups rather than to their own causes.
What We're Reading
America: Is it only a dream? – Calling Bull$#!% - The United States of America is one of the most powerful purpose-led organizations in the world. With polarization and animosity between the left and the right at record levels, what needs to be done to make our shared purpose clear, inspiring, and true? Guests from across the political spectrum give varied takes before having an in-depth discussion about potential solutions with Andrew Yang.
What We're Watching
Public media can improve our 'flawed' democracy - “The collapse of local journalism and rise of ‘news deserts,’ along with the spread of disinformation and misinformation, all point to a news industry in crisis.” And that has an impact on our democratic well-being.
See you next week!
The Forward Party Team
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