Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

One thought on “P4P CALL TONIGHT!

  1. Many years ago, in another book club (yes, I cheat on you with an Arizona “democracy” book club), we were discussing some political book, probably 15 years ago or more. In our group are a number of very politically active people, some involved in the Party, some who have run initiative campaigns, etc. The topic of that book (which escapes me now) somehow prompted me to observe at that time that I thought one of the reasons our political system was losing resonance with so many average Americans is that it had become too professionalized. It was losing its grassroots nature.

    As an example, in Arizona, we have passed many laws through initiative. I worked on the first law in the nation requiring voter registration in connection with motor vehicle and driver’s license registration, which was passed through a grassroots volunteer signature gathering campaign. But by the early 2000s, when I was making my observation in book club, the days were gone when anyone would try to run an initiative campaign without using PAID signature gatherers. It was considered impossible to do it all with volunteers. (Recently, some examples have been proving that wrong. Hooray!)

    Anyway, when I first read Gehl and Porter’s HBR article a couple of years ago, I was reminded of my observation. And reading the book, The Politics Industry, has elaborated in fine academic form, the argument that I was making so many years ago.

    I am really looking forward to hearing Gehl’s comments today and hope that this book and its ideas will generate even more grassroots mobilization for reform across the country.

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