Three Things Thursday from Unite America
Did you miss me? We took a quick second last week so that the entire Unite America team could come together for a few days of reflection on 2021 and to plan as we look ahead towards a very busy (and important!) 2022.
Some big updates for you all and a lot of exciting things to read this week. We hope that you and your families are safe and secure, with a special thought to our friends impacted by truly devastating tornadoes this week.
Here are three things for this week:
An exciting announcement from Unite America: our state programs (formerly Unite Virginia, Unite Colorado, and Unite Arizona) are now operating under the banner of the Voters First Project! Now Voters First Virginia, Voters First Colorado, and Voters First Arizona, these organizations will continue their critical work of ensuring more functional and representative governance.
From working with legislators in Colorado to expand the use of ranked choice voting, to collaborating with grassroots experts to get redistricting reform on the ballot in Virginia, to defending the rights of voters to cast their ballots securely from home in Arizona, these programs have done a LOT over the last few years — and they have no plans on stopping.
Did you know that more than 80% of Congress was decided by just 10% of Americans in 2020? (If you’ve been reading this newsletter for long enough, you probably do know that). The impacts of low turnout primaries cannot be overstated: it’s the primary problem of our politics today.
As Mario H. Lopez points out in The Hill this week, the cycle of low turnout primaries that force voters into two opposing camps is the root cause of a lot of the political dysfunction we see today in our governance. The more that we as citizens turn to primary reform — like establishing nonpartisan primaries and adopting ranked choice voting — the more that we can ensure that politicians are forced to represent all of us, not just a small few.
Finally, this week, devastating tornadoes tore through parts of Kentucky and the surrounding areas. Dozens were killed, hundreds injured, and so many lost everything in the storm’s destructive path.
In the spirit of the holidays, I encourage you to see how you can help. Certainly, not everyone can, but this is a moment when every little bit counts. These are the times when it’s important for us to rally together as Americans to help each other out.
I hope that you and your family have a safe and lovely holiday season and a Happy New Year. We’ll be back in 2022 with new projects, new campaigns, and a renewed sense of purpose.