Put Ultimate Goals Over Specific Mechanisms to Achieve Broad Popular Support – Lessons from Progressive Ballot Initiative Reformers (Part Six)

By: Sunday January 23, 2011 8:30 am

In 1976, environmentalists in the “Western Bloc” strategically worked to put anti-nuclear power ballot initiatives on the ballot in several states. They succeeded in getting anti-nuclear power measures on the ballot in Arizona, California, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The measures failed in all the states by wide margins except in Missouri, where it passed overwhelmingly.


Low-Cost Grassroots Activism, Innovation, and Ed Koupal – Lessons from Progressive Ballot Initiative Reformers (Part Two)

By: Sunday December 19, 2010 8:30 am

After World War II, the use of citizen initiatives dropped dramatically as booming populations made gathering sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot a more daunting task. During the ’50s and ’60s statewide ballot initiatives became rare, and much like today, many of the initiatives that did appear were thanks to big corporate spending. This all changed in the early ’70s, thanks in large part to the California couple Edwin and Joyce Koupal and their People’s Lobby.

People in Power Have No Reason to Change the System That Put Them There – Lessons from Progressive Ballot Initiative Reformers (Part One)

By: Sunday December 12, 2010 8:30 am

For turn of the century Progressives, Populists and good government reformers, securing the right of direct democracy was often a top goal. Individuals such as Samuel Gompers, Robert La Follette, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Jennings Bryan all advocated for direct democracy through ballot initiatives and referendums. Because of efforts by Progressives, Populists, women’s suffrage advocates, Socialists, government reform advocates and organized labor, the right to direct democracy was secured in almost all Western states.

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