Putting The People Back In PoliticsOctober 8, 2012
By John Reinan,
For the past five months, Fast Horse has been working with a Twin Cities-based nonprofit on an ambitious goal: Return the voice of real people to politics. Jefferson Action just took a big step toward doing just that.
After more than a year of planning, Jefferson Action’s Reclaim November, Ohio! project brought together 45 ordinary Ohioans to assess the candidates in the 16th District, one of the nation’s hottest congressional races. Meeting for a total of 10 days spread over two months, the group’s efforts culminated in a much-anticipated appearance on Saturday by the two candidates, who engaged the group in a lively and intense discussion of the key economic issues facing Ohio.
Media interest was high, with attendance from all the key outlets in Akron, Canton and Cleveland, along with Ohio Public Radio and National Public Radio. What they saw was the kind of discussion that’s virtually unheard of in today’s political world, where candidates typically field softball questions from handpicked audiences.
After the candidates finished, the panelists assessed their performance and issued a voters guide to help inform the people of the 16th District. Jefferson Action hopes to put its Citizens Election Forum process to work even more widely in the coming years.
We’re proud to work with Jefferson Action on this effort, which has the potential to change how politics is practiced in America.