The OUR America Initiative is a 501(c)(4) political advocacy committee and may receive unlimited donations from both individual and corporate donors. Contributions and gifts to Our America Initiative are not deductible for Federal income tax purposes. Our America Initiative has a no refunds policy.
October 2014 - Our America Initiative is a cosponsor of Let Bama Vote, a project to give to Alabama a right enjoyed in more than half of all other states: the right of citizens to place on the ballot both Initiatives to change the law without involving the legislature and the Referendum to accept or reject laws passed by the legislature. When politicians fail to run government in a way responsive to voter preferences, having the ability to use the ballot to change or reject proposals is critical to protecting constitutional rights. Our America Initiative supporters can click here to find their state representatives and senators to send an email "asking for support of Representative Mike Ball's bill to allow the Initiative and Referendum option for citizens." In your email feel free to use information from this editorial. One can click here also to find your local paper, and submit a "letter to the editor"; other ways to help include making a flyer out of the project to hand out at meetings, or posting via various social online media. With the input of our Advisory Council on Civil Liberties - and your donation now - we can empower voters through more of our fifty state affiliates.
October, 2014 - Our America Initiative opposes Amendment 2, the "Capitol Improvement Trust Fund," which would increase by $50 million the authorization to issue "General Obligation" Bonds to boost the Alabama Trust Fund, all to upgrade National Guard facilities. While giving soldiers quality equipment is important, so are many other government services - but it's also important to prioritize spending on behalf of the over-taxed citizen. The use of the trust fund also is problematic, since the funds there now - from oil and gas taxes - are spent on local government. The Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) fears the money going now to them would be diverted from important local services, and believes upgrading National Guard facilities does not constitute the type of emergency justifying tapping the trust fund. With your donation now and the input of Our America Initiative's Advisory Council on Government Spending, we hope to expand budget reduction advocacy through more of our fifty state affiliates. (Editor's note: On November 4th this ballot initiative passed).
October, 2014 - Our America Initiative supports Amendment 4, "Alabama Board of Education Increase," which would require a two-thirds vote to approve any unfunded mandate that would require local boards of education to spend more than $50,000 in local funds without payment of those funds by the state. In 1999 Alabama passed a law protecting all local governments except school boards from unfunded mandates, so Amendment 4 would extend this protection to local school decisions. We are pleased to be in agreement with the "Yes on 4" Campaign, which is described in this column. With your donation now and the input of Our America Initiative's Advisory Councils on Educational Choices and Government Spending, we hope to expand education and budget reform advocacy through more of our fifty state affiliates. (Editor's note: On November 4th this ballot initiative passed).
October, 2014 - Our America Initiative supports Amendment 5, "Right to Hunt and Fish," which would affirm the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife while respecting reasonable conservation to protect wildlife. Seventeen states have passed such constitutional protections for hunting because groups like the National Rifle Association are concerned hunting as a wildlife management tool is in jeopardy from government-led wildlife population control schemes, as well as efforts to ban or overly restrict hunting, or restrict firearms or ammunition. With your donation now and the input of Our America Initiative's Advisory Council on Civil Liberties, we hope to expand civil libertarian advocacy through more of our fifty state affiliates. (Editor's note: On November 4th this ballot initiative passed).
December, 2014 - Our America Initiative supports ABLE (Alabama for Ballot Access Law Equality), a coalition of groups and individuals seeking an end to unfair signature requirements for candidates running outside the establishment parties. This year Alabama was one of only five states in which voters could choose only between Democrats and Republicans for statewide office. Third party presidential candidates could appear on the ballot only as "independents", forbidden from choosing their preferred party label such as Green or Libertarian. Failure to earn 20% of the vote requires the gathering for the next election of signatures equal to 3% of the vote for Governor - that's around 40,000 valid signatures statewide, around 6,000 valid signatures for a Congressional race, and around 400 valid signatures for a State House district. This signature threshold is the second highest in the country for statewide office. The good news is over half the states have eased ballot access over the past few decades. Nearby states including Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida have some of the easiest ballot access laws in the country. With 60% of voters wanting a third party, it's clear why Republicans and Democrats are facing opposition to maintaining their barriers against election competition. Unfortunately, with a lawsuit recently dismissed alleging how burdensome Alabama's signature requirements are, we urge Alabamans to email their senator and representative to pass Senator Ward's pending bill to halve the signature requirements to 1.5% of the gubernatorial vote. And we hope everyone donates to Our America Initiative's national lawsuit to open the debates to all viable candidates.