Our America Initiative: Our Niche
Our America Initiative is a 501c(4) libertarian policy advocacy organization that implements projects to advance a libertarian society. Projects to redirect culture in the direction of liberty include a lawsuit that our attorney Bruce Fein characterized as one of the “most important of his career” - to respond to consumer demand for more choices in the Presidential debates; Lobby Days to coalesce the widest range of special interest groups seeking reductions in government coercion; and tours to educate the public in events about the benefits of liberty.
Litigation: The Most Important Lawsuit of Our Time
Our America Initiative’s (OAI) biggest issue is the lawsuit to stop the Debate Commission from using arbitrary criteria to protect the commission’s members - the Republicans and Democrats - from competition in the debates. The specific criteria proving so effective in denying choices to voters is the requirement for other candidates to achieve fifteen percent in polling in order to qualify for the debate stage. A more fair criterion would entail qualification on enough state ballots to theoretically earn 50% of the Electoral Votes for victory. Failure to conclude the lawsuit before November wouldn’t diminish the significance of the lawsuit, since future elections still would benefit from fair debate invitation criteria
Coalition Advocacy: Expanding the Base of Liberty
With our founder Governor Gary Johnson having scored high with the Cato Institute on fiscal matters, while also higher with the ACLU than any other presidential candidate in 2012, OAI has credibility with progressive groups as well as conservative. Not only can OAI take libertarian advocacy risks more beholden groups cannot, our wide-ranging spectrum of issues affords coalitions with the largest list of groups, particularly as part of state Lobby Days. In Virginia, for example, OAI has for several years in a row categorized bills according to confiscatory taxation, smothering regulation, over-criminalization, affect on choice in education and health, and the extent to which legislative proposals open the government to scrutiny. Coalescing with various groups introduces their members to who we are as libertarians, thus expanding the base for liberty. Expanding the base helps with future libertarian efforts. Relying on volunteer advocates to select the bills, organize the legislature visits, track the bills under scrutiny and use social media to inspire supporters over the course of legislative sessions to email, call or visit politicians to vote the right way, with monthly donations we could build a reserve to pay some of the volunteers with potential, or hire professionals to pass or defeat more of these bills under review. We have spoken with specific trades suffering regulatory overkill, and would like to meet with all the myriad business and professional associations about OAI assistance in deregulating for a more free consumer market.
Events and Tours: Registering Voters and Educating on Liberty
To influence the 2016 election OAI is organizing a national tour of college campuses to register voters and educate about liberty - so votes stem from an informed position. With entertainment, effective speakers, marketing to fill seats, viral videos and specific tasks, OAI’s events will inspire not just students but also local professionals to see the election as an opportunity to promote liberty and make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place.
Blog and News Service: Expanding the Debate and Covering the Uncovered
OAI hosts a popular blog, Live Free Blog, that gets a thousand “hits” a month, and has the potential to influence policy based on our project activism. Also we host Libertarian News, a forum not only to aggregate the daily assaults on liberty, but also a place for rising journalist activists to post content, including video reports on hearings, events, protests and rallies.
Find what we're advocating in your state and ask our officers there how you can help. Volunteer to help organize a Lobby Day each year in your state to push good bills for liberty and defeat bad ones. Reach out to groups trying to cut govt coercion or restore liberty, to see how OAI could help them. Join OAI's Facebook group to post the results of your outreach.
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