Why are we building a new party in California?

Repova’s experience spans various sectors, including finance, technology, media and politics. She is currently the California State Leader of the Forward Alliance and host of the Think with Lucie podcast.

According to the latest PPIC poll, less than half of Californians are satisfied with the way democracy works in the United States. I am one of them. Our political system has deviated significantly from the vision of our founding fathers, who advocated a representative form of government that empowered the people to decide their representation through free and fair elections. Instead of serving the people, our elected officials serve themselves, their political party, and their special interests.

We can’t force people to be disinterested, but we can change the incentives that guide our political decision-making, transferring power from party leadership and special interests to the general public. To fix our democracy, we need a new kind of party that addresses fundamental problems through a suite of electoral, legislative, and campaign finance reforms. I understand that these changes may seem less exciting to most people than health or education reforms, but I can assure you that the former is required to implement the latter. In other words, once we fix the political system and remove the undue influence of special interests, the solutions we’ve all been waiting for may finally become a reality.

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You may be wondering what this new type of party we are building is like, how it is different from existing ones, and what our agenda is. So let me explain in the following paragraphs.

The Common Sense Party was founded in 2019 by Tom Campbell, a former US congressman. In January of this year, we joined forces with the Forward Party, a national movement that aims to be on the ballot in 12 states by 2024. With California being one of the battleground states, it made sense to work together. through our shared commitment to democratic reforms and bipartisan collaboration.

The way we are led and organized sets us apart from the rest. We believe that the diversity and size of our state and country requires a bottom-up leadership approach in which each local community chooses the policies that are best for them. Not a top-down dictatorial government in which a select few leaders of a political party decide the fate of the majority. But instead, a small group of local leaders who understand their communities and who can choose what problems they want to address and how to solve them most effectively.

In addition, each state leadership within the Adelante Party alliance determines its priorities for each election season, emphasizing a holistic approach to the needs of its state. The national team determines the shared values ​​that guide each leader within the organization, regardless of their location or position, and the system reforms that will create opportunities for our candidates to succeed.

In California specifically, becoming a new party will give our independent-thinking candidates the financial leverage needed to be on a level playing field with the duopoly. Current campaign finance laws limit the amount individuals can donate to independent candidates, giving official party candidates an overwhelming nine-to-one advantage. Our aim is to take advantage of the party’s status, not only to support our own candidates, but also to support other like-minded ones. We see democracy as a win-win, not a zero-sum game. We want to collaborate and unite, not fight and divide. We support independent-thinking candidates who represent their constituents, not party leadership or special interests.

Once we have candidates in office, we fully trust them to address issues in their community; asking you to embrace our values ​​and work with us to change the system from within.

Improving our voting system to give voters more choice is a priority for California. Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is an example of a system that can help moderate candidates advance in the primaries and allow voters to select their favorite without wasting their vote. This method of voting will also encourage the candidate pool to attract a large voter base, thereby promoting positive campaigning and collaboration. Contrary to popular belief, the electoral reforms we are proposing result in significant cost savings as they eliminate the need for runoffs or runoffs and allow a jurisdiction to gain the advantage of two rounds of voting in a single election. Elimination of the runoff increases turnout and leads to a more diverse voter base.

Election reforms must be complemented by campaign finance reforms to improve the chances of candidates who are dedicated to serving their constituents and who reject support from special interests, and to give ordinary Americans a voice. We believe that there is no one-size-fits-all and that different states will require different variations of public finance reform. One such system, called democracy vouchers, which has proven to work in several cities across the country, allows the government to give each city resident vouchers that they can donate to the candidates of their choice. Candidates can opt into the program by agreeing to certain rules, such as disclosure requirements or public debate. In Seattle, the democracy voucher program increased citizen participation, diversified the donor class, and helped new candidates run for public office.

None of this will be possible without the support of the people. 68 percent of Californians want a third, and we’re building it. Together, we can break the vast Democratic majority that has ruled California for decades and create a more prosperous state where people thrive. The future is in our hands and it is up to us to create the communities in which we want to live.

We are looking for volunteers who can help us reach our voter registration goal of 73,000 by organizing events, social media campaigns, spreading the word in your local community, and helping with fundraising. If that’s you, please contact your local chapter leader or me at [email protected].

Not well. Nothing remains. Forward with Common Sense!