Brett Maney

Brett Maney

34UPs

Brett Maney's activity stream



  • Rank the Vote NYC

    Policy: 

    Question 1 on the 2019 New York City ballot will ask New Yorkers if they want to adopt Ranked Choice Voting for all municipal primary and special elections. 

    Ranked Choice Voting is an alternative voting method that gives voters more voice, choice, and power in our political system. Voters rank candidates on their ballots in order of preference and if no candidate receives majority support of first place votes an “instant runoff” is used. In each runoff, ballots cast for the last place candidate are reassigned to the voter’s second ranked candidate on the ballot until one candidate earns 50% of the vote.

    The electoral system eliminates the spoiler effect, encourages candidates to run positive campaigns, and ensures winners have majority support. In New York City, the reform has the potential to save the city millions of dollars each election cycle by avoiding costly runoff elections. 

    Campaign:

    Activists and organizations are working to educate the public on why Ranked Choice Voting makes sense for New York City ahead of the November 5th general election. 

    Who:

    Common Cause New York led the charge to place Ranked Choice Voting on the 2019 ballot by lobbying the city’s charter review commission. They’re joined by Rank the Vote NYC, the official ballot committee, in advocating for more voter choice in NYC. Supporters in New York can sign up to volunteer here.

    Read More:


  • Alaskans for Better Elections

    Policy: 

    A proposed ballot measure in Alaska would create major changes in how leaders are elected if passed in 2020. The measure would:

    • Establish Top-Four Nonpartisan Primaries |  All candidates, regardless of party affiliation, would appear on the same primary ballot and the top-four vote getters would advance to the general election. The switch would also permanently open Alaska’s primaries to independent voters, who currently make up 56% of the electorate.

    • Implement Ranked Choice Voting | Ranked Choice Voting is an alternative voting method that gives voters more voice, choice, and power in our political system. Voters rank candidates on their ballots in order of preference and if no candidate receives majority support of first place votes an “instant runoff” is used until someone earns 50% of the vote.
       
    • Campaign Finance Disclosure | Prohibits “Dark Money” by requiring disclosure of the true source of any contribution to a candidate Independent Expenditure group; Both donors and recipients would be required to disclose any contribution greater than $2,000 within 24 hours; Any group getting more than 50% of its funds from outside the state must provide a disclaimer with that information on all communications.

    • Call for a 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution | The amendment would give Congress and states the authority to set contribution and spending limits to regulate the role of money in our political system

    Campaign: 

    The campaign must collected 28,501 valid signatures by January 21, 2020; the signatures will then be submitted to the Lieutenant Governor’s office who has 60 days to approve the signatures and certify the measure. If Alaska’s 2020 legislative session ends before April 21 -- which historical precedence suggests is unlikely -- the ballot measure will appear on the August 2020 primary ballot; otherwise, the question will appear on the November 2020 general election ballot. 

    Supporters in Alaska can sign up to help collect signatures!

    Who: 

    Alaskans for Better Elections is the ballot committee advocating for the measure. The campaign is being led by Governor Walker’s former Chief of Staff, Scott Kendall. The campaign co-chairs are former independent state legislator and good government advocate Jason Grenn, former Democrat state Attorney General Bruce Botelho, and Republican activist Bonnie Jack. 

    Learn More: 


  • Pennsylvanians Against Gerrymandering

    Policy: 

    Activists in Pennsylvania are working to advance policy to prevent gerrymandering that would:

    • Create an independent redistricting commission that is politically balanced between Republicans, Democrats and Independents 
    • Place a prohibition on elected officials, party officials, political operatives, and lobbyists from serving on the commission.
    • Require supermajority support to pass a map, incentivizing consensus-building and preventing either party from hijacking the commission.
    • Prioritize criteria for minimizing county and city splits, maximizing compactness and partisan fairness, and respecting communities of interest
    • Create standards for public records and a transparent atmosphere that is conducive to public input.

    Campaign:

    Activists and lobbyists are planning to engage with state legislators in both the fall 2019 and spring 2020 sessions with a goal of passing legislation before federal lines are redrawn following the 2020 census. 

    Who:

    Pennsylvanians Against Gerrymandering is supporting a legislative advocacy campaign.

    --
    The evolution of Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional district over the last 60 years demonstrates the need for reform:


  • Voter Choice Massachusetts

    Policy:

    A proposed 2020 ballot measure in Massachusetts would bring Ranked Choice Voting to most Massachusetts primary and general elections starting in 2022. 

    Ranked Choice Voting is a commonsense change that would give voters the option to rank candidates for office in the order they prefer them. If no candidate receives a majority of the first-choice votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and the votes they received count instantly towards the next choice on each voter’s ballot. That process repeats until a candidate receives a majority of the vote and wins.

    Ranked Choice Voting gives voters a stronger voice and more choice when they cast their ballots, eliminates the “spoiler effect,” and helps guarantee that elected leaders are supported by a true majority.

    Campaign:

    Activists have until November 20 to collect 80,239 valid signatures from registered voters on their proposed legislative statute. Once they do, the measure will be referred to the state legislature, who can either adopt the measure, propose a substitute, or take no action. If the legislature doesn’t act by early May 2020, activists must collect an additional 13,374 signatures to place the measure on the November 2020 general election ballot.

    Who:

    Voter Choice Massachusetts is the organization leading the ballot measure effort. The organization is led by Mac D’Alessandro and supported by an advisory board that includes former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, Nobel prize-winning economist Eric Maskin, and Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter. Ranked Choice Voting has been endorsed by former Massachusetts Governors Deval Patrick and Bill Weld.

    Supporters in Massachusetts can sign up to collect signatures, volunteer, host an event, and more by connecting with Voter Choice Massachusetts

    Read More:


  • Unite America Fund

    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.

     


  • Reform Campaigns

    Our Reforms:

    • 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.

  • Unity Candidates

    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. 

    Our Criteria: 

    • 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

    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.


  • What we did in Virginia

    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

    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, Co-Chair

    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.