Last week, Independent voters in Colorado met in Glenwood Springs to talk about their goals, strategy, and support for Independent candidates in Colorado. I had the pleasure of meeting many of them and learning from them. Although this was only their second meeting, I felt the energy and positivity in the room. At the beginning of the meeting, my colleague Zach and I presented SAM to them and took their questions. Many were concerned about the current political landscape, and rightly so. One of the most common topics raised was campaign finance reform. Many voters across Colorado (and the United States) are concerned about the role money has and continues to play in our government.

The event was organized by Randy Fricke, a citizen of Glenwood Springs who has run for office in the past. (Note, I was impressed by Randy’s ability to get a group together on a snowy Thursday night.) At their second meeting, the group was still energized and ready to brainstorm a mission statement and goals moving forward. At SAM, we are looking to support people like Randy, who want to change their government at the state and local leveland are leading by listening to the different opinions of those in their communities.

Since independent voters lean different ways and have many different backgrounds, it is extremely likely that they will disagree on certain issues. However, this did not affect this group’s ability to discuss reforming our political system. I was inspired by the fact that everyone was able to see beyond specific issues and work towards the bigger picture. In today’s political landscape this type of civil discourse is rarely seen on television or in the media, but it is happening all over the country. In Kansas, Colorado, and New York, SAM is witnessing people of all different ideological backgrounds come together under one common thread: breaking down the two-party system.

At SAM, we are trying to figure out how to give a voice to many Independent voters (Republican and Democrat voters as well!), so it was fantastic to see Colorado independent voters in action. We look forward to keeping in contact with this group and groups like it across the nation. The meeting in Glenwood Springs last week was a great example of American citizens taking their future into their own hands. At SAM, we hope to empower individuals all over the country to have these discussions and fight for fair governance in every community.