Happy March 30!
Primaries kicked off a few weeks ago in Texas, and if you happen to be one of the 25% of voters who take part in these all-too-crucial elections, be sure to keep an eye on our endorsements page to see if we have any candidates in your district! We’ll be adding more endorsements in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
Andrew Yang and Forward Party Leadership Board member Daryl Morey of the Philadelphia 76ers are gearing up for the next Forward Unlocked event on Sunday, April 3. Be sure to get your ticket by signing up here! Daryl is about more than just basketball. He’s committed to helping build a representative democracy for all Americans.
It’s almost April, and we all know what that means - Tax Day is coming! Get a rundown on why taxes aren’t free and easy to file in our latest blog article. Check it out here!
Finally,we need your support to make sure that all of America learns that they have a third choice. We shouldn’t have to approach the voting booth with the “vote for the lesser evil” mentality. Let’s fix that.
Interested in hearing about what we’re working on ahead of public announcements? Keep your eye out for the date of our next national volunteer meeting! Last night’s meeting had close to 200 attendees who engaged in a fantastic conversation. If you missed it, you can watch it here. We need you! Join up with your state team today.
All the best,
The Forward Party Team
In The News
Ranked-Choice Voting and Electoral Reform
RCV advocates engaged in a “media blitz” to raise awareness for the bill, but it stalled in the Senate Government Operations Committee, in part “because of the time it would take to set it up.”
The Academy has upgraded its system for electing leadership, extending ranked-choice voting (currently used to vote for Best Picture) to the process to elect Academy leaders. This, say representatives, will provide more choices and allow for the ranking of candidates in order of preference. Furthermore, they say, it will ensure that the winner has the “approval of the most and the broadest range of voters and helps guarantee that the winning candidates are more fully representative” of its membership.
Only 17.4 percent of registered Texans voted in midterm primaries. Despite the low number of voters engaged in the primary process, primary runoffs that are likely to draw even fewer voters, will cost additional tax dollars. This means there is a lot of money and effort going into a system utilized by less than a fifth of voters. Advocates of ranked-choice voting say that RCV would avoid the wasted time and money of run-off elections.
FairVote reports, “Our team recently updated model legislation for state legislatures to adopt RCV in future elections. This builds on previous work drafting model charter amendments for cities to implement RCV, and model resolutions for other organizations to use it.”
The Maine state legislature tabled a bill on March 24 that would have allowed municipalities to implement ranked-choice voting in local elections. Currently, Maine uses ranked-choice voting in all federal elections.
“Experts say that system is much to blame for our increasingly toxic political environment, where elected officials are incentivized against working together to solve problems.” There are better ways to vote.
What's Going On
The State of the Duopoly
The pandemic definitely chafed at the partisan divide. But the reasons why the death toll is higher in some states is not as simple as the issue of mask mandates.
Sen. Michael Hough, R-District 4, said, about the maps, “Mr. President, the map, while prettier, is nothing more than lipstick on a pig." Despite this colorful, and clearly dissenting, view of the new maps, they passed easily after previous maps were thrown out by the courts. With a democratic majority, Republicans were left out of the process, even reporting that they don’t know who drew the maps. As an increased number of states explore some form of independent or nonpartisan redistricting commissions, we’ll be watching to see if Maryland takes a cue to move to a less contentious and more inclusive practice.
Democrats roll the dice and go all in by drawing Nevada’s congressional districts so that they have three less secure Democratic seats instead of two sure bets. Given that redistricting efforts now constitute one of the most effective ways for party politicians to draw their way to victory, strategy will become increasingly important unless Americans press their representatives for a better, less partisan process.
Voting right advocates are abandoning a challenge to gerrymandered districts in light of the uphill battle they face ahead of primary elections. Partisans are disappointed in losing partners in advocating for what they consider to be more fair maps. According to 538 Politics, Ohio has some of the most partisan districting commissions in the country.
Stay Up To Date
Forward Party In The News
Spencer Reynolds, Director of Political Partnerships, contributed an interview to the Courthouse News, in which he highlighted some of the benefits of RCV.
Partisan battle continues as Democrats and Republicans retreat to their usual corners claiming relief funds are too much or too little. The impact of increased polarization in America has very real consequences, especially when it comes to health issues.
U.S. inflation shot up to 7.9% in February across the US, but the Mountain West states were hit hardest with inflation as high as 9.7%. Close to two-thirds of Americans, nationwide, disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy illustrating that how much we trust our institutions and our leaders impacts our assessment of progress. That makes it difficult to judge candidates on the issues when it comes time to elect the most effective representatives.
Voting Rights Groups Sue to Ensure All Utah Voters Have a Voice A move by the Utah State Legislature to overrule the will of voters and repeal Proposition 4 (requiring independent redistricting commissions to draw congressional districts) and replace it with SB 200, which rescinded the prohibition on partisan gerrymandering has resulted in a lawsuit by voting rights groups and individual voters.
Despite some tough calls and disappointment on the part of some communities, including Flint Michigan, redistricting expert Michael Li, senior counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program, says the newly formed independent redistricting commission passed the test. He stated, “Michigan is miles ahead of where it was last decade, and it has much fairer maps.” “Michigan,” says Li, “has become the star pupil, the poster child of what is possible.”
“In a crisis such as the war in Ukraine, delays caused by partisanship allow adversaries to take bold actions and even escalate the crisis.”
What We're Reading
Arizona PBS interviews Renew America Movement’s Miles Taylor about the growing “cross-partisan” movement to put good candidates in office, looking past party labels and affirming the value of common-sense legislation. (27 min. 53)
What We're Watching
Retiring Democrat Rep. Stephanie Murphy shares how the party is less tolerant of members voting in the best way to represent their districts and pushing harder for party line loyalty.
Yang says, "When I was running for president, one of the first communities to embrace my campaign was the crypto community. [...] People in Web 3.0 have a sense of optimism about the future and they know we’re going to need to do things differently."
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