Richard Zekaria, New York: Flying the Independent Plane

by GwenMandell on February 3, 2015


Richard Zekaria manages a national polling operation at’s national center in New York, which has spoken to hundreds of independents nationwide.

Since I have been involved with and the Independent movement, I have felt as if I have been given a tour of the cockpit of a plane while in flight. Seeing how things get done in our political system. Now, I see that the movement for structural reform is greater than that. It requires an amalgamation of ideas and perspectives to come together in this desire to end the partisanship that has broken our government. It requires us to become the pilots and to learn how best to fly the plane. The National Conference is a gathering of such pilots and I am so excited to share ideas and concerns with other people determined to fix the dysfunction of our government.


Joe Pickering, Maine: Hope is Gathering Strength

by GwenMandell on February 3, 2015


Joe Pickering with Nancy Ross and myself at the 2013 conference


Joe Pickering of Bangor Maine: 

I was looking for hope in America. I found it at the 2013 Conference of Independent Voters.  There were citizens from all over our country who  together shared their vision for voter freedom at every level of our American election system.Since, then, Hope has gathered strength  nationwide.  The 2015 Conference will inspire more  Americans to bring America into a future of free elections for all.




Representing Utah

by GwenMandell on February 3, 2015


PJ Steiner and Randy Miller from Utah with John Opdycke at the 2013 Conference

My experience at the 2013 National Conference was phenomenal! The camaraderie I feel with those in the movement and the motivation to keep going truly solidified at the conference. I’m so excited to reunite with all of my friends in March! – PJ Steiner, Utah


Greg Dorsey is the founder of the Unaffiliated Movement of America, and a champion of nonpartisan political reform.  He resides in Baltimore, Maryland, where he teaches the martial arts and music.

MD.greg.dorsey“Hello, my name is Greg Dorsey, I am from Baltimore Maryland, what is your name and where are you from”?-  It will be my pleasure to ask you this question on March 14th during the National Conference of Independents in NYC, and I will be very delighted to make your acquaintance.  It is imperative that we, the Independent movement of America, have these opportunities to shake each other’s hand and look each other straight in the eye.  This level of acquaintance and intimacy will allow us to procure long-lasting relationships for a long-lasting effort and cause.  Even though over 40% of Americans self-identify as Independent from either major party, only a fraction of these individuals are truly “activated” and willing to become part of the “real” Independent movement.  So, it will be extremely gratifying to make your acquaintance, shake your hand, look you in the eye and leave NYC knowing that I have a new family; a new family that extends out in different directions across the country; a new family of motivated Independent American constituents that are truly activated and ready to go back to their home towns and lead by example.  For there is no “I” in “We the People”, and we will only be effective and tenacious if we are together and not apart, so indeed, I am looking forward to attending my first National Conference of Independents on March 14th in NYC.  Till then, my friends.”


Natesha Oliver is the founder of Missouri Independents Stand Together(MIST) and a native of Kansas City, Missouri.  

“I am looking forward to the conference because I am excited to meet and be in the midst of serious political minds that are pushing for real change in this MO.Natesha.Oliver.8.5country.”


Steve Richardson, Virginia: More independent than ever

by GwenMandell on January 27, 2015

SteveRat2013ACAThis will be my fifth consecutive national conference since I discovered almost ten years ago.  While every event has presented opportunities to make new friends, visit with other activists, celebrate progress, and gain additional insights, the first one was most special.  I felt very welcome and was impressed by the dedication of our New York City volunteer hosts to making the experience not just enjoyable but meaningful – as an expression of our commitment to democratic election reforms across the nation.  The biennial gathering serves to cement the bonds we’ve already created and inspires activity in the months and years to come.  Please join us this March.  You’ll return home more independent than ever and yet understanding you’re an important participant in a historic movement!

Steve Richardson
Virginia Independent Voters Association (VIVA)


From Catana Barnes the chairperson of Independent Voters of Nevada and a leader of’s national election reform committee:

Catana.Barnes.2011Conference“2015 will mark my third attendance at the Bi-Annual National Conference of Independents, and I am more excited to attend this year’s conference than I was the first time. There was an uplifting energy at the 2013 National Conference that I am looking forward to building on. I also look forward to sharing this experience with the newcomers and those who have been part of the independent movement for years.”




Meet Hassan Giordano, leader of Independent Movement of Maryland (also known as IMPAC) and his team at the national conference of independents this Saturday

Coming off their exhilarating win in Baltimore last year at the polls, the Independent Movement of Maryland has taken their fight to Annapolis – seeking approval to have independent and third party voters appointed to statewide boards and commissions. ….

…The group of registered independents – and independent-minded Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Green Party voters – now seeks state approval to be included in the decision making process on some of the state’s most vitally important boards and commissions.

“It feels good to win, and have a great majority of voters support the cause we were so passionate about,” says incoming Vice-Chairman of the group, Joe Berry. “But there’s not much time to bask in the glory of our victory, as we are now trying to capitalize off of that momentum by pushing the bill through a democratically controlled legislature.”

Read the full story in The Examiner article here 



Declarations of Independence from Greensboro, N.C.

by GwenMandell on February 6, 2013

From: Omar H. Ali
Just over half a century ago, Greensboro, North Carolina, was the site of the famous Woolworth’s sit-in. The bold action helped to ignite a movement across the South in a matter of days, leading to the dismantling of Jim Crow half a decade later. Today there are new voices and impulses for the inclusion of all Americans in our political system–a challenge to the second-class status of independents in the law. The movement-in-the-making is slower in its manifestation, yet equally potent. Below are three young Greensboro residents who are declaring their independence. They will be joining a dozen other delegates from the state at the national conference of independents in New York City on February 16th. Here’s what they have to say:


The two major political parties have no intention of truly benefiting the people and I want to see change now! There is a new and powerful force that is creating new opportunities. That force is the independent political movement. The national conference of independents will give me a chance to meet other passionate independents from around the country who are ready to push forward. I know that being at the conference will help keep me grounded and focused on contributing all I can to make the independent movement stronger.
Gabrielle Hughes 


 I’m a firm believer that the change this country needs will never come from a political party. The social problems we face are directly and indirectly the result of a consistently failing political system which can only be corrected by open-minded creative free thinkers. By attending this conference I hope to learn more about the independent movement’s activities nationwide, what needs to be done, and the political process as a whole. I look forward to networking within a community in which I can identify with.
Joseph A. Savoy


Being an independent: To be a voice, to have a voice, to go against the grain, to be that difference.
To make a difference …
Amikka Smith


I am truly motivated and excited to be attending this year’s Conference of Independents. The timing couldn’t be better. We, the people, are ready for action. Action that will put an end to the hyper-partisanship that has continued to grow in recent years leading to unprecedented gridlock at all levels of our political system. It is unconscionable to think that the “greatest nation on earth” is wasting precious time that could be spent advancing critical reform in areas including 21st century education strategies, legal and effective immigration (in a nation of immigrants) and affordable health care focused on keeping all people healthy. I believe independents will be at the forefront of policy changes needed to usher in a more cooperative and community-oriented spirit in public policy. We know that we must be persistent, relentless and strong to realize success. I look forward to meeting like-minded independent advocates from across the country on February 16th to promote the critical shift needed for a new era of cooperation.