Vermont Political Revolution
Organized by: Sondra Freilich
EVENT DATE Jun 10, 2014
Brief summary -- Vermont Political Revolution aims to reclaim democracy via a grassroots movement of voters and candidates working together to minimize conflicts of interest in public office.
Summary -- The seeking and acceptance of campaign contributions from special interests by candidates and elected officials undermines the credibility, effectiveness, and sustainability of our democracy by creating conflicts of interest, inability to optimally and objectively represent ‘we the people’, and a state of dependent corruption.
Vermont Political Revolution is a constituent-led, non-profit (501(c)(3)), non-partisan, grassroots movement in which citizens and candidates work together to minimize conflicts of interest in public office through education, active learning, and proactive self-help. Starting in Vermont and spreading across the nation, voters are educated about the adverse effects of special interests campaign contributions on America’s democracy and proactive self-help remedies; active learning and commitment are reinforced by garnering 'voter pledges' to vote only for candidates who pledge to not seek or accept campaign contributions from special interests. Likewise, candidates are educated about the adverse effects of special interests campaign contributions on America’s democracy and proactive self-help remedies; active learning and commitment are reinforced by garnering 'candidate pledges' to not seek or accept campaign contributions from special interests.
We aim to work collaboratively with other non-profit, non-partisan organizations to eliminate or reduce the corrupting influence of special interests money across the American political spectrum.
Background -- To achieve a truly representative and effective democracy, we need our elected leaders to represent us professionally and objectively without the corrupting influence of conflicts of interest. Only a collaborative multipronged approach will lead to meaningful campaign finance reform.
We aim to establish a Vermont Political Revolution, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization with the primary purpose of educating the electorate and candidates for elected office about the adverse effects of special interests campaign contributions on America’s democracy and about proactive self-help remedies the electorate and candidates can take to reclaim their democracy. It is anticipated that civic education with active learning will lead to civic action, specifically:
- Voter insistence on better governance via ‘voter pledges’ to only vote for candidates who do not seek or accept campaign contributions from special interests
- More candidates and elected officials deciding to minimize their conflicts of interest by not seeking or accepting campaign contributions from special interests (‘candidate pledges’)
- Political pressure for systemic campaign finance reform
- Increased voter engagement in the political process
- An enhanced, strengthened, and more effective and sustainable representative democracy
The primary educational purpose is achieved through active learning’ by encouraging voters and candidates to take active rather than passive action to reinforce their understanding of and commitment to the issue. Specifically, Vermont Political Revolution aims to educate voters about the adverse effects of special interests campaign contributions on America’s democracy and self-help remedies, by garnering ‘voter pledges’ to only consider voting for candidates who pledge to not seek or accept campaign contributions from special interests; likewise, Vermont Political Revolution aims to educate candidates about the adverse effects of special interests campaign contributions on America’s democracy and self-help remedies by garnering ‘candidate pledges’ to not seek or accept campaign contributions. It is anticipated that education of voters and candidates alike will reiteratively enhance and reinforce the primary educational goal.
The ultimate goal of the Vermont Political Revolution is to help eliminate or reduce dependent corruption in American governance across the political spectrum at national, state, and local levels. The Vermont Political Revolution will start in Vermont, but its strategic educational and tactical voter and candidate pledge goals, are nationwide.
Programmatic goals -- Our primary strategic goal is a multifaceted effort to educate the electorate and candidates about dependent corruption and proactive self-help remedies. Our primary tactical goals are in pursuit of active learning to support the strategic goal, specifically, ‘getting out the pledge’ from voters and candidates alike; we believe these two goals are reiterative and reinforcing of each other. We aim to garner voter and candidate pledges in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and all five U.S. territories, and across party lines, counties, and demographics using in-person lectures, web-based teaching, door-to-door and street canvassing, and social and traditional media. We plan to stand-up an effective organizational apparatus in Vermont by 2015 and secure pledges from 15% of Vermont voters and candidates by 2016, 30% by 2018, and to maintain at least 30% thereafter.
We plan to progressively extend the strategic educational goals, ideology, and programmatic framework of the Vermont Political Revolution across state lines. Our initial goal is to stand-up effective sister organizational apparatuses in at least 2 neighboring states by 2015, 8 additional states by 2016, and the remaining states, DC, and territories by 2018 and implement programmatic education and active learning techniques progressively securing pledges from voters and candidates. However, electorate and candidate education and the active learning tactical goal of garnering voter and candidate pledges begin throughout the nation in 2014 even before the standing up of formal organization apparatuses, although with lower expected throughput.
Collaborating with other non-profit, non-partisan campaign finance reform efforts is an integral mechanism of change to accomplish programmatic goals. Organizational development and sustainment is critical for long term success. As such, we incorporated as a non-profit public benefit corporation in the state of Vermont, applied for and secured organizational status recognition under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and established an effective board of directors. We are recruiting energized volunteers with appropriate skill sets, and aiming to raise sufficient funds to hire a professional staff to support the movement’s goals, all according to the Vermont Political Revolution Corporation Bylaws.
Please note (important)
Vermont Political Revolution is a non-profit public benefit corporation which aims to operate exclusively for educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code.
The Vermont Political Revolution was granted 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on 18 December 2014. As such, donors can deduct contributions under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 170. Tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers, and gifts can also be provided under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522. The Vermont Political Revolution Corporation's EIN is 47-2054870.
Vermont Political Revolution is not organized and shall not be operated for the private gain of any person. The property of the corporation is irrevocably dedicated to its educational and charitable purposes and no part of the receipts, or net earnings of the corporation shall be used for any activities other than its mission. Vermont Political Revolution will always retain control over the contributed funds and will provide the relative information regarding its activities on its website: www.vermontpoliticalrevolution.org (to be launched shortly).