I am writing to invite you to the sixth national conference of independents sponsored by Independentvoting.org/Committee for a Unified Independent Party to be held in New York City on February 12, 2011.
“Can Independents Reform America?”-the title of the conference-is more than just the name of our conference. It is, I believe, a burning question in the country today.
Recently dubbed “the pendulum of power” in American politics, independents are recognized as having been the driving force for change over the last decade. Independents upended Republican control of Congress in 2006, and then in 2008, energized a new national coalition which elected Barack Obama. This was an historic event, not only because Obama became the country’s first African American president, he also became the first elected with a post-partisan mandate from independent voters.
But Obama had difficulty sustaining a connection to the independents who put him in office. The power of the political parties is so extreme that Obama’s post-partisan mandate was sidelined. He rewarded the Democratic Party for its role in his election, while neglecting the reform agenda of the independents. The Republicans stepped into the breach.
In the 2010 mid-term elections, with few mechanisms available to independents to express disapproval of the White House’s failure to take on partisanship, the Democratic majority in Congress was unseated. Still, where opportunities were available to enact nonpartisan political reform, voters did so. The historic passage in June of Prop 14 the open primary initiative in California, the redistricting initiatives passed in California and Florida, and term limits enacted in New York City on November 2 made the statement that changing the political culture requires changing the political process. Political reform remains the core concern of independent voters.
It’s in this conflicted context that we hold our 2011 national conference. The presentations and dialogue will be informative and entertaining. We’ll review our ongoing work – the organizing, the court cases, the campaigns and the process by which independents are finding each other and developing our collective voice. There will be all kinds of training and support for building local organizations around the country. You’ll meet and hear from the leading lights of the independent political movement. We have an incredible story to tell one another and boundless enthusiasm for the next phase of our growth.
I hope you will be there with me. Please take a moment now to fill out the registration form – click here. And for more information contact Nancy Ross or Gwen Mandell at 212-609-2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Read a copy of “The Parties Are Over,” an Op Ed I wrote just before the midterm elections, that was published in Newsday.
P.P.S. There will be a Welcome Reception on Friday evening February 11th so be sure to arrive in time for that. And on Sunday, February 13th, a special breakfast for out-of-towners followed by a wonderful theater performance will be available. Please plan to stay for this entire weekend of exciting events! And if you need help with housing, Nancy and Gwen can be of assistance.