Leaning Forward: Time To Get Involved


‘So, what’s next?’

If you haven’t had the chance to check out the first two posts for this blog series, you can find them here: part 1 and part 2.

If you’re ready to find out about the last two tenants of what Prop 435 will stand for, wait no longer!

To recap, the first tenant Prop 435 stands for is crowd-sourcing the political agenda. We want to be true representatives of those we serve and work to combat the historical notion that we will serve ourselves.

The second tenant is even more radical than the first: ALL contributions to the campaign will be given back to the community. Yes, you read that correctly, we said ALL; Not ‘we’ll pay the staff and make our yard signs and mail our flyers first and then what’s leftover goes back,’ but ALL.

We’ve already heard the questions: ‘But what about the campaign manager? The finance manager? The door to door handouts? How can you run a campaign with no money?’ You may think it sounds crazy, but as we are looking to do things a different way, we are confident that we can make this work solely with a volunteer staff.

Even while current political groups, organizers and PACs may laugh at us, this move highlights the ever-raising and seemingly unattainable high bar of the cost of admittance into the typical political race. The cost of admittance should not be what deters qualified candidates.

Not only is the current spending extravagant but you can depend that at least half of what is spent in every voting season is wasted on the candidates that don’t win. Yard signs, billboards, bumper stickers, direct mailers and even fancy dinners are all fleeting, destined for the landfill the next Wednesday morning. But rather, what better way is there to spend campaign contributions than pouring it back into the community?

What are these ‘things’ trying to accomplish? Name recognition. But how much more weight could a name carry if it actually stood for something more? How much more would people be interested in engaging and talking about their involvement if they saw the benefits directly to their community? Said another way: how much more name recognition could be earned from giving back to the community than placing a stagnate yard sign?

What does that look like? Here’s some perspective: In the district I live in, my representative spent $1.2 million in his bid for re-election in 2014. That money alone could have purchased 3.5 million meals for those in need, enough to feed the estimated 800,000 hungry people assisted by the food bank each month.

By committing to turning all contributions back into life-giving support for our communities, we are making it clear that our priorities lie with those we choose to serve, not with those who would seek to buy their way in.

The third and final tenant is this:         .

Yes, you read that correctly, it’s not a typo. We don’t have one yet. We are energized and excited to present the first two tenants and we are well aware that a change needs to wash over the current political system. We feel that there is *just something more* that needs to be added and yet we are not sure how to articulate it.

This is where you get to start partnering with us: if you were to design a ‘new way in,’ what would you stand for and why? Do you agree with the first two tenants?

While we’ve heard many nay-sayers already, their shallow argument of ‘Well, that’s just not how it’s done’ does nothing to dissuade us in the least. It does, however, encourage us more, to hope for a better, true representational system and to push for real reform.

You can bet that a website is in the works and in the mean time we want to keep those interested up to date. If you are interested in learning more, please connect with us: use the comments section below to leave your contact information or email us at [email protected].

It has been an honor and privilege to participate as a Featured Blogger through these 12 posts. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

Kellen Sweny is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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