Session Type(s): Panel, Virtual Only Session, Streamed Session
Starts: Wednesday, Jun. 28 1:00 PM (Central)
Ends: Wednesday, Jun. 28 2:00 PM (Central)
In many places across the U.S., we have a big turnout problem in odd year local elections. Fatigued voters simply aren’t showing up to cast ballots, resulting in important local positions like mayor getting chosen by a smaller, older, whiter, and wealthier electorate. We know elections are fairer and more meaningful when they include as many of us as possible. That’s why a growing movement has been working to switch America’s localities to even year elections. With a simple timing change, we can both dramatically raise and diversify voter turnout in local elections. Join us for a discussion highlighting the 13 of 13 successful even-year ballot measures that passed in 2022 and strategies for bringing even-year elections to more localities.
Andrew Villeneuve is the founder of the Northwest Progressive Institute and its sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He serves in leadership roles in both organizations. NPI, founded in 2003, has an advocacy focus, powered by research, whereas NPF, formed in 2018, has an educational focus. NPI is organized as a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization; NPF is organized as a 501(c)(3) charity.
Andrew has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. He is also a cybersecurity expert, veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.
In recent years, besides leading NPI, Andrew has served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2012 for Barack Obama, an organizing fellow for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in 2013, and a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention for Bernie Sanders.
Chelsea Castellano currently serves as the Colorado Program Director at America Votes, where her work is focused on advancing progressive policies, candidates, and protecting every Coloradan’s right to vote. Prior to her work at America votes, she spent eight years developing climate policy and programming at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Chelsea co-leads Bedrooms Are For People, an organization that aims to reform Boulder’s exclusionary housing laws and make it legal for all people to share housing. She also co-led the People for Voter Turnout ballot initiative campaign in 2022, which successfully moved Boulder’s off-cycle elections to even years in order to increase voter turnout and promote equal representation in local elections.
Kathay Feng is the Executive Director of California Common Cause (CCC), which championed and won major reforms to put the power to redistrict in citizen hands, create Online Voter Registration, and adopt Same Day Registration in California. Under her leadership, CCC exposed $14 million in out-of-state dark money in the 2012 Election and is now advocating for stronger sunshine and disclosure laws. CCC has also anchored California’s Election Protection efforts, passed resolutions throughout the state to support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, and strengthened Los Angeles City’s public campaign finance system. Kathay is President of the LA County Human Relations Commission and serves on the LA 2020 Commission. She is a graduate of Cornell University and UCLA School of Law.
Zoltan Hajnal is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. A scholar of racial and ethnic politics, urban politics, immigration, and political behavior, Dr. Hajnal is the author of several award-winning books, has published in the top political science journals, and has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and a range of other media outlets. He is actively involved in voting rights litigation and local election law reform.
Hi! I’m an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago. My research lies at the intersections of political representation and public policy, focusing on racial, ethnic, and class-based inequalities. Two questions motivate my research: how can we better protect marginalized communities from violence and incarceration? And, how can we improve marginalized communities’ political representation?
My dissertation studies differential legislative responses to mass shootings (Why Parkland, not Pulse?). I find evidence that mass shootings lead to state-level gun policy change when victims are primarily white and affluent but not when victims are racial and ethnic minorities or low-income. My other research projects explore topics ranging from the impact of police killings on proximal voter turnout to the way election laws shape the electorate and representation. My research is published in American Political Science Review, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and the Oxford Handbook of Political Participation.
I am a proud graduate of Los Angeles Valley College. I received my BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley and my MA and PhD in Political Science from UC San Diego. On my free time, you might find me on a soccer field or a ski lift. Certified video game and board game geek.