My longtime friend and new Congressman Jared Polis did more than anyone to turn Colorado from Republican to Democrat. He did this not just by funding Dem campaigns, but by sponsoring two ballot initiatives that brought out Dem voters: Amendment 23 raised K-12 school funding and Amendment 41 forbids lobbyists from giving legislators "gifts." He also helped with Amendment 37, the nation's first renewable energy mandate for electric utilities, and others.
Yesterday, Jared explained on Boulder-Denver KGNU why he will introduce a bill for NATIONAL ballot initiatives. You can listen by starting the video above.
Jared will be one of the youngest Congress members and perhaps the wealthiest and most philanthropic. In spite of his brilliance, he appreciates what Will Rogers said: "You know everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects...It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble. It's the things we know that just ain't so." (Think of the financial "wizards"!) So he listens to everyone, and wants the NATION to utilize the "Wisdom of Crowds" (title of a best-seller) via ballot initiatives.
Jared is the first male elected to Congress as openly gay. In spite of recent anti-gay ballot initiatives, he sees that initiatives get issues "on the table" for consideration, which relentlessly drives away ignorance. See Newsweek poll shows surge of support for gay marriage. Or this analyis showing gay marriage opponents "losing ground at a rate of slightly less than 2 points per year."
The media mostly dwell on problematic ballot initiatives, presumably to please the politicians they want access to. Politicians, those who buy their votes and the lobbyists between oppose initiatives. Here's a wrapup of 2008 results from Kristina Wilfore of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center
Jared doesn't really think Congress will empower voters ;) Congress has refused to share legislative power since 1907 when Rep. Elmer Fulton introduced Resolution 44. But Jared hopes to start a conversation. Meanwhile...
Famed former Senator Mike Gravel offers the National Initiative for Democracy, the most evolved project for better and national ballot initiatives. Just as citizens had to ratify the Constitution at the Conventions because the 13 Legislatures refused to share THEIR power, now registered U.S. voters can now vote to ratify the National Initiative. Please tell your friends: "Vote at Vote.org to take the 'mock' out of democracy!"
Neither Rep. Elmer Fulton nor Sen. Mike Gravel nor even Rep. Jared Polis can make this happen. YOU have to. Please! Vote!
"The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government." -George Washington