by Alexa Cooley
Katie Fahey, the founder and Executive Director of Voters Not Politicians, spoke before an enthusiastic audience at the PEG Speaker Series on Sunday. In 2018, Michigan voters and Voters Not Politicians made history by passing a redistricting reform amendment with 61% of the vote to end gerrymandering. Katie shared with us the struggles and triumphs that come with the building of a grassroots movement. Reaching 315,654 voters in 180 days to get the Constitutional amendment on the ballot in Michigan was a huge challenge. Their efforts involved recruiting thousands of volunteers across the state to go door-to-door and holding town halls in their own communities. They held VNP town halls anywhere they could manage, and ended up holding a town hall in every single county in Michigan!
This talk taught us that no idea is too big to tackle and that every person has something to offer you, whether it is volunteering an hour a week or using their obscure hobby as a woodcrafter to craft hundreds of specialized clipboards for your volunteers (a real story from Katie!). The most unlikely people can be your saving grace, especially when the odds are stacked against you. Katie and VNP valued the voices of the citizens of Michigan, Democrat or Republican, who believed that “Voters should choose politicians, not the other way around.” VNP has inspired Americans all over the country to take action on gerrymandering in their state, and it all started with a simple Facebook post, which has transformed into an extremely successful movement. Katie has certainly inspired us too. Couldn’t make it on Sunday? Check out the video! Want to get involved? Come to one of the upcoming town halls shown below!
Voters Not Politicians Democracy Reform Town Halls
Join Voters Not Politicians at a Democracy Reform Town Hall to learn more about Michigan’s new redistricting process and how you can participate. The group will also discuss other critical democracy reform issues to strengthen the democratic process through citizen action.
- Tuesday, March 26. DAV Chapter Hall, 30905 Plymouth Rd, Livonia. 7 pm
- Thursday, March 28. Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave, Dearborn. 6:30 pm
- Sunday, March 31.Ypsilanti Senior Center, 1015 N Congress St, Ypsilanti. 2 pm
Photo gallery from Sunday, March 17, 2019: