Brett Maney's activity stream
The Unite America Fund is a philanthropic venture fund and non-partisan donor community that aims to accelerate and scale the democracy reform movement.
Our portfolio is comprised of state and federal candidates, ballot and legislative campaigns, and movement projects and organizations that advance our overall strategy of fostering a more representative and functional government.
Ranked Choice Voting: Allows voters to rank their candidates in order of preference, incentivizing more substantive and positive campaigns, while guaranteeing a majority winner and eliminating the third party “spoiler” effect.
Vote at Home: Voters receive their ballots by mail weeks before Election Day to fill out at their convenience, engaging more voters and while saving election administration costs.
Non-Partisan Primaries: Replaces party primaries with a single, nonpartisan ballot that advances the top four vote getters, regardless of partisan affiliation, to the general election, increasing choice and competition.
- Independent Commissions: Creates independent redistricting commissions to draw district lines, ensuring voters choose their politicians instead of politicians choosing their voters.
- Ranked Choice Voting: Allows voters to rank their candidates in order of preference, incentivizing more substantive and positive campaigns, while guaranteeing a majority winner and eliminating the third party “spoiler” effect.
Unite America supports candidates in both political parties’ primaries for state legislature and U.S. House –– backing candidates in open seats, supporting incumbents, and challenging elected officials who are partisan extremists.
Our objective is not to flip red to blue, or blue to red, but to flip bad to good. Unite America will not engage in any general election contests for legislative candidates.
- Country Over Party: Candidates may be principled conservatives, progressives or centrists –– but must commit to putting the public interest over partisan or special interests.
- Pro-Reform: Candidates support structural political reforms that increase competition, participation, and accountability in our political system.
- Evidence-Based Policy: Candidates use facts and reason to inform their positions on any issue.
- Cross-Partisan Caucus: Candidates commit to joining or starting a cross-partisan caucus of other legislators who meet regularly to find common ground and advance common sense legislation.
Lee Drutman is a senior fellow in the Political Reform program at New America. He is the author of The Business of America is Lobbying (Oxford University Press, 2015) and winner of the 2016 American Political Science Association's Robert A. Dahl Award, given for "scholarship of the highest quality on the subject of democracy."
Drutman also teaches in the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies at The Johns Hopkins University. Prior to coming to New America, Drutman was a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation and has worked in the U.S. Senate and at the Brookings Institution. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. from Brown University.
With off year elections, Virginia was the perfect place to pilot our primary election strategy. The results will take us into 2020 and beyond.Read more
Neal Simon is a business executive, community leader, and political activist who in 2018 ran as an independent to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate.
Simon has led five businesses, including Highline Wealth Management which he started in 2002 and sold in 2015 and Bronfman Rothschild, an investment advisor with assets under management of over $6.5 billion where he currently serves as CEO. Earlier in his career he started and ran US Law, a national network of small law firms.
Simon has a long history of community service. He currently serves as the Board Chair of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, which gives away more than $70 million a year, making it the largest funder of local non-profits in the DC region. He is the previous Board Chair of the Montgomery County Community Foundation, and has also served six years on each of the Boards of the Capital Area Food Bank and Interfaith Works, which fights poverty and homelessness in Maryland. In 2016, Simon and his family were recognized by Interfaith Works as Humanitarians of the Year.
Simon is a graduate of Brown University, where he received a BA cum laude in Applied Mathematics and Economics, and from The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business where he received a MBA high honors and the President’s Award for Student Volunteer Service.
Simon is the son and grandson of immigrants. Simon's mother, Sylvia, was born in Casablanca, Morocco; his father, Donald, is the son of immigrants from Belarus. Simon's mother and grandparents came to America because they believed that America was a place where people could work hard, get a good education, and leave more for their children than they had for themselves. Simon shares those values, and believes they represent the United States at its best.
Neal is married to Jennifer Brown Simon. They live in Potomac, Maryland and have three children.
The Simons love sports, the outdoors and traveling. Neal has dedicated much of his life to helping his kids achieve their personal goals in sports and life.
Kathryn Murdoch is co-founder and president of Quadrivium, which supports practical, evidence-based solutions for critical societal problems. Kathryn currently serves on the boards of Unite America, the Climate Leadership Council and Climate Central. She is a founding board member of SciLine and co-chairs the Oceans and Communications committees as a trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund. Previously, she served on the advisory board of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford University and the Board of Trustees at Rockefeller University.
Ms. Murdoch started her career as a marketing and communications executive, in New York and Hong Kong. Later, she co-founded clothing and accessories brand Thakoon, ultimately selling the business in 2015.
She served as Director of Strategy and Communications for the Clinton Climate Initiative from 2006 until 2011. From 2011 to 2012 she was a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, where as Director of ReSource 2012, she convened scientists, academics, investment professionals and entrepreneurs to promote the judicious use of natural resources.
In 2014, Ms. Murdoch co-founded Quadrivium, whose mission is to invest in root cause solutions for some of society’s most urgent challenges.
At Quadrivium, she founded SciLine, in partnership with AAAS, to provide scientific expertise and context to journalists in real time and on deadline, she has funded important work at the Environmental Defense Fund, the Center for New American Security, code.org, and the Anti-Defamation League.
In 2019, Ms. Murdoch and Quadrivium started a new, multi-year program focusing significant resources on finding and achieving solutions to identified problems in our democratic process. Structural changes, voter participation and aligning incentives for leadership, are among the areas of engagement.
Kathryn lives with her family in New York City.