I hope today brings you well. I have written up the minutes of Monday's meeting & they can be found here:


January 2023 Statewide Meeting 

Statewide Meeting


8:00 PM



Christian Fyke—Interim State Chair of Pennsylvania

Brian McMurray—Interim Regional Chair of Western Pennsylvania

Kyle DeMarino—Interim Regional Chair of Eastern Pennsylvania

Héctor Diaz—Interim Regional Chair of Central Pennsylvania

Benjamin Valimont—Interim Secretary

The members of the Pennsylvania Forward Party





  1. Welcome


Chairman Fyke began the meeting by welcoming various members of the Pennsylvania Forward Party as they logged into the zoom meeting.


  1. 123 Day


This meeting is being held on January 23 which has become known as Ranked Choice Voting Day. To celebrate the occasion, the group March on Harrisburg made a presentation at the seven o’clock hour in which Chairman Fyke, Regional Chair McMurray, & Secretary Valimont attended. Their presentation was a great introduction to Ranked Choice Voting. Chair McMurray noted how polished their presentation was. Secretary Valimont was impressed with how deep their research into Rank Choice Voting went.


This presentation can now be viewed at the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/2PJK1udvmpMPGN_AkryWLtPqfZ_4Rngzc_wlu4Yd7FLDRLAzHf3q7hyFMnN13kuu3Tt0ASiQqX78EKjs.pCgC9x_zgvQbwCv8


The Pennsylvania Forward Party aims to be an organization that collaborates with other like-minded organizations. In that effort, on tomorrow’s Framework session, Gust from the Keystone Party will be speaking on building a third party in Pennsylvania.


  1. 2022 Wrap Up


A year ago, the Forward Party had not even begun to become organized. It was only an idea in Andrew Yang’s head with SAM and RAM as independent organizations. Chairman Fyke had only gotten involved with Forward in May. Since September, the Pennsylvania Forward Party had over twenty (20) events with over 336 unique reservations. We were able to establish some Interim leadership roles & launched several teams. We are still starting up. We may be building the plane as we are flying. We are in search of even more leaders across the Commonwealth.


At the national level, Florida & Texas have had executive committee retreats recently to take the steps necessary in becoming a political party. South Carolina is currently gathering signatures to become a party. Nevada had a big win with their proposition for Ranked Choice Voting. Twitter Spaces with Holden has been a great place to listen to many different voices.


  1. 2023 Goals


The goal for this year is to do even better. The Pennsylvania Forward Party aims to have over one hundred fifty (150) events with over one thousand (1,000) unique reservations. We already do two meetings a week with our Monday Drop-in sessions & our Tuesday Framework Sessions. Those alone will put us at over one hundred events in 2023. That’s not even including our monthly meetings like tonight.


In order to meet our goals for this year, we are going to rely on what Chairman Fyke called the three C’s: Civic Engagement (embracing & inspiring community involvement); Candidates (recruiting, training, & running for office); and Collaborations (building coalitions—recognizing our tools & resources to deliver value and deployed to effectively help us build).


From a national level, National is helping us build a viable, credible, and durable party. They are working towards refining the mission and clearly defining what our efforts should be. Our candidates are still going to be the ones in charge of policy, but National is working on how to convey that better. They are looking to empower and assist additional states to move into official party status. National is also developing tools and infrastructure to support local leaders.


  1. Team Reports


  1. Research


Secretary Valimont began his update by highlighting the work done on the Bylaws. We are well into the drafting process. Since the December meeting we’ve had two workshops in which we were able to work our way through most of the Bylaws. We started with the legacy SAM party’s bylaws which is serving as the backbone of the Bylaws of the Pennsylvania Forward Party. We have made some significant revisions to the SAM Bylaws—ours may end up being twice as long as the SAM Bylaws. We are probably going to need one more workshop. From there we will distribute the Bylaws to leadership. When they have had their say, we will then distribute the Bylaws to the general members for comment. From there we will then submit the bylaws to national for their input as well.


For the general research team, we will be starting Scorecard research again this week. Secretary Valimont plans to have a meeting with the team this week to go over how to make the Scorecards. Secretary Valimont further invited anybody who wanted to join in the research to contact him at [email protected] to do so.


Secretary Valimont explained that the reason the research team took a break after the election was to let the results to be certified & become official & to let the committees become established. Secretary Valimont also provided a quick legislative update. Due to the results of the election, it appeared that no one would have the votes to be come Speaker until a group of 15 Republicans came forward and voted for a Democrat, Representative Rozzi (District 126), to be speaker. After he became the Speaker, Representative Rozzi adjourned the House citing the need for his child sexual abuse bill to pass. To date no committees have formed in the House.


In the Pennsylvania Senate, however, they are operating with business as usual. Several pieces of legislation have started to make their way through that chamber. Unfortunately, nothing with RCV, Open Primaries, or Independent Redistricting. The three bills that should be of most concern to the Pennsylvania Forward Party is: SB 1 (which is legislation that would change the Pennsylvania Constitution that would require voters to provide photographic identification every time they vote); SB 127 (this bill would prohibit a member of a county board of elections from serving as an officer in a state political party); SB 130 (this legislation would amend the state constitution to require the General Assembly to pass legislation to audit elections & their results. Several of these bills are being bundled with the Child Sexual bill which is creating a controversy.


To get involved with the Research team, the best way is to contact Secretary Valimont. We are looking to put more people on the Scorecard.


  1. Candidate Training


A question was asked on if the research team is working to identify which municipal races are up & when. The answer to this question is going to be more of all hands-on deck question.


Update—This varies from municipality to municipality. Some municipal offices are held for two years where some are held for a four-year term. With the number of municipalities, this research is going to have to be done at the county level once they become an official organized county organization. Until then, a person thinking about running needs to do this research themselves. To do this a person needs to visit their county election office to determine when a particular municipal race is up for an election.


This line of questioning brought Chaiman Fyke to the candidate training program that is being planned. Ethan Demme, who has been an advisor, is organizing this training program. This is to help potential candidates learn what to expect when running for office.


  1. Fundraising/Finance


Last December, National asked us to organize a fundraising campaign for them to contact people in the Commonwealth how had previously donated to the Forward Party, the legacy SAM Party, or the legacy RAM Party. We asked people to give only according to their capacity & interest. There were over a hundred names that we were given to contact & the Pennsylvania team delivered.


We may have a candidate identified to become the Treasurer, but they need some additional training. Chairman Fyke stated that there was going to be a phone call to set that up, probably this week.


  1. Communications


The communications team gave an update stating that they were increasing the number of posts that they were making on social media. The number of followers continues to increase. They have also been able to collaborate with several other organizations around Pennsylvania. The Keystone Party has a lot of great social media accounts and we have been working together with them.  They are also going to be setting up some blasts e-mails & are looking to have more people set up events around the Commonwealth.


  1. Organizing


We are getting to the point where we want to have more events around Pennsylvania & we can’t have leadership setting up events all around the different parts of the state. We are relying on you, the members of the Pennsylvania Forward Party to set up these events. To aid in this we have added a button on the website. It now has a location where members can fill out a form to set up events as well: (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf4zBmZV6mg5l4hBBhUvpD131sjVi5VG8bYO2vsuTzJsV-B0g/viewform).


We mentioned early, also, that we want to participate in more civic engagement events. One of our members, Alex Upton, had brought such an event to the eyes of Chairman Fyke. Civic engagement is one of the most important areas that the Pennsylvania Forward Party needs to participate in. Alex & his wife are expecting a new baby soon. He quickly realized that there are a lot of things that new parents need for their babies. This can be especially rough for single parents. Alex found one organization, Cradles to Crayons (https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/philadelphia/). He hasn’t reached out to them yet, but he believes that they would be a great partner to engage in this type of activity.


As a reminder, we also have Drop-in Sessions every Monday starting at 11:30 AM. The link for this Zoom meeting will always be: (https://us06web.zoom.us/j/7383793569?pwd=RmFKZk5IcHlCOTVQNXhKZElONW12dz09).


Furthermore, every Tuesday at 8:00 PM we have our Frameworks session. The upcoming topics include, Third Parties with Gust Tatlas from the Keystone Party, Secretary Valimont will be giving a legislative update at the February 7th session, one of our regulars, Lee will be giving a session on Tax Policy in March. The link for this Zoom meeting will always be:



At the end of the meeting Chairmen Fyke invited Jennifer Bullock to highlight the organization that she is with, Independent Pennsylvanians (https://www.paindependents.org/). They are a group of concerned citizens who strongly belief in ensuring full voting rights for people who do not identify with either of the major political parties. Their major campaign over the years has been repealing our closed primaries & allowing everyone the power to vote in the primary. She stated that it has been great building their relationship with the Forward Party & several of their members went to the meet up with Andrew Yang in Philadelphia.

Thanks for joining.

Benjamin Valimont


I am an advocate for democracy & making our government work for us.