Closing Our Doors Indefinitely
It is with deep regret to announce Politics Reborn will be suspending all activity indefinitely starting November 9th, 2018. Like many of you, we are greatly disappointed that we had to make this decision. We do apologize for not giving you this notice at an earlier point in time. However, we delayed this announcement out of the genuine belief that necessary funding would come in to maintain this organization. Unfortunately, several figures who have proven to be reliable in the past were unable to help provide additional support.
This organization was largely dependent on the wealth I was lucky enough to inherit. I put every dollar I had in my bank account into this organization and I learned the hard way that reforming this system on a large scale would cost much more than I ever would have imagined. The truth of the matter is one seat in the New York State Senate costs more than all the money Politics Reborn ever had on hand. With that being said, it is quite remarkable that we were able to achieve so much with such limited resources.
The vision we had was a unique one, and the projects we developed were both innovative, and impactful. We rejected city and state funding. We said no to receiving funds from foundations or wealthy investors. And most importantly, we refused to “play the game.” We spoke out about injustice, even when it might have alienated us from potential allies. We supported candidates who weren’t always the most likely to win, but they were candidates who displayed the values we cared about.
We ran primaries against incumbents we weren’t supposed to, and discussed the insidious ways in which our system operates. And there was nothing more inspiring than to see so many people have faith in this organization because they had faith in the people involved in it. We invested heavily in building a long-term ground game, and one-on-one interaction with potential supporters and volunteers. We demonstrated the merit in devoting significantly more resources to organizers and dramatically reducing the energy devoted to political consultants and marketing.
We amplified the importance of the county committee; what was once a secret to political insiders became more known, accessible, and transparent to the public. We won nine out of eleven seats on the Board of Reps with our Reform Stamford slate. We made a district leader race against one of the most powerful congresspeople competitive. We cultivated and empowered community organizers of all ages, and initiated projects that still have the potential to transform politics such as Find Me A Canvasser Algorithm, Tell Your Story, the Countrywide Voter File and the NYC Co-Op Database. We decided to take a path many other organizations and individuals do not dare to take.
Many will insist that the path we took was a destructive one; they will say that no organization can be sustainable with the model we had embraced. There may be a lot of truth in this critique but our counterargument will always be just as valid— the world is not sustainable with the current model other organizations have adopted. Politics Reborn tried something others are reluctant to try and we didn’t do it because we wanted to take such a route. We took this route because we felt we had to. More specifically, we took this route because we knew the system was fundamentally broken.
Lastly, I would like to say that the end of this organization does not mean the end of our work. We will each continue to do the work that is needed to make the world a better place. And this is something I can’t emphasize enough. I have seen parts of the political process that many others are not aware of and I can tell you firsthand that the system is so much more dysfunctional than many of us even realize.
I do not say this to upset you or scare you but to remind you that each of us has an obligation to help fix it. The system will not repair itself. Too many bad people are involved in politics and not enough good people are. Hence, it is vital that we stay engaged and involved with our communities for the rest of our lives.
P.S. Please note that any and all donations can still help us maintain core features that I would like to hold on to just in case some opportunity comes along that allows us to reboot this organization (our website, our database, etc.).
P.P.S. Slides from last week's presentation can be found here. Please be aware that I have included two additional slides at the end of the presentation and made certain previous slides include more details. Audio of the presentation can be found here.