Democracy Reform Interviews

Katie Fahey, Founder/Executive Director of The People, regularly interviews colleagues in the world of democracy reform for the opinion section of The Fulcrum.


The Fahey Q&A with Zoraya Hightower, hoping to revive ranked elections in Vermont’s main city

The Fulcrum | February 22, 2021

Ranked-choice is just a better way of voting and has benefits wherever it’s implemented. For Burlington specifically, it would mean obtaining more consensus and working together more effectively in that three-party system.

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The Fahey Q&A with Daela Taeoalii-Tipton, who pushed for Virginia’s new mapmaking rules

The Fulcrum | December 7, 2020

Instead of the politicians in power picking their voters every 10 years — as has always been done in Virginia — eight legislators and eight citizens, balanced by party, will draw districts in a completely transparent way. For the first time, there will be public meetings and hearings so citizens can be informed on the drawing of fair maps.

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The Fahey Q&A with two Florida teens eager to someday vote in open primaries

The Fulcrum | Oct. 26, 2020

Following a long day of remote learning, two high school students — 17-year old Elena Ashburn of Broward and 16-year-old Dariel Cruz Rodriguez of Orlando — shared their experiences as founders of Students for Open Primaries. The group is campaigning for adoption of a ballot measure that could remake politics in the most populous purple state — by opening Florida’s legislative and other state primaries to all voters, regardless of party, and advancing the top two vote-getters, also regardless of party, to the general election. Our conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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The Fahey Q&A with Shauna Hamilton, who’s working for more voter choice in Massachusetts

The Fulcrum | September 28, 2020

The current system has led to a lack of choice for voters, a lack of competition in elections and crippling political division. Ranked elections give voters more power, stripping power away from special interests and big-money donors.

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The Fahey Q&A with Sonia Riley and David Valente, bridging distance and differences in a pandemic

The Fulcrum | July 20, 2020

There are states like Oklahoma where we would have to get 100,000 signatures to get someone on the ballot, and you can’t get signatures in this environment. We’re finding innovative ways to get the message out, like Facebook and Zoom.

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The Fahey Q&A with Kate Titus, finding creative ways to get a reform on Oregon’s ballot

The Fulcrum | June 18, 2020

Once we do pass this, we’ll have a more transparent process where districts are more reflective and responsive…There’s no perfect way to draw lines, but an independent and community-driven process is better than one driven by political parties and legislators, who have conflicts of interest.

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The Fahey Q&A with Jamie Lyons-Eddy, grassroots field marshal with lessons for organizing in a pandemic

The Fulcrum | March 23, 2020

When I think of campaign powerhouses and those who can succeed against all odds, I immediately conjure up Jamie Lyons-Eddy. She was a co-founder of Voters Not Politicians and drove our signature-gathering and voter outreach operations as state field director. Jamie now helps lead the organization as director of campaigns and programs. We had an extremely timely conversation about strategies for advancing grassroots reform efforts during the coronavirus outbreak, the critical role women leadership plays, and Voters Not Politicians’ continued work in Michigan.

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The Fahey Q&A with Steve Hough, who’s working to open Florida primaries to all

The Fulcrum | February 18, 2020

Steve Hough is a retired accountant and an independent voter who had never been active in politics until eight years ago, when he became a volunteer with Independent Voting. In 2017, he became the director of Florida Fair and Open Primaries.

I recently participated on a panel with him at a national gathering sponsored by Open Primaries and All Voters Vote to understand what primary reform would mean for Floridians. Our recent conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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The Fahey Q&A with Don Lee, advocate of equal representation”

The Fulcrum | January 13, 2020

Don Lee leads the Grand Rapids Democracy Initiative, which is advocating to expand the size of the city council in Michigan’s second largest city in order to give more neighborhoods and demographics a voice. He’s the chair of the Eastown Community Association and has been an adjunct lecturer at Aquinas College, my alma mater. When he reached out to me this summer about his group, we were excited to help them work towards a more representative democracy in a place we both have called home.

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The Fahey Q&A: Lisa Nash on leading a new movement in the first primary state

The Fulcrum | Dec. 16, 2019

Lisa Nash, a Democrat who lost a close state House race last year, and former Republican state Rep. Terry Wolf are the dynamic force behind The People’s incredible New Hampshire leadership team. They just pulled off a three-day, five-city statewide kickoff tour where we heard from some incredible Granite Staters of all stripes.

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The Fahey Q&A: How Cindi Copeland is searching for political humanity in Virginia

The Fulcrum | Nov. 18, 2019

Cindi Z.S. Copeland has gone from someone who never voted to someone who spends her free time meeting in libraries, coffee shops and at dinner tables to unite Virginians of all political stripes around improving civic life.

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Katie Fahey: Making government more responsive is a task for Americans

The Fulcrum | Oct. 10, 2019

In a new monthly column on The Fulcrum, Katie Fahey talks about Civic Duty. In the coming months, she will introduce you to some of the men and women from across the country whose powerful stories of civic engagement are bettering their communities and repairing America’s torn social fabric.

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Meet the reformer: 10 questions with Katie Fahey

The Fulcrum | July 9, 2019

Katie Fahey is not a fan of politics, but that hasn’t stopped her from scoring one of the biggest political upsets in recent years.

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New group wants to revive ‘the people’ as the focus of American democracy

The Fulcrum | May 20, 2019

“We the people.” Most Americans recognize the phrase as the opening of the Constitution. But for a nascent group of democracy reformers, the phrase means even more.

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