Building and Sharing Political Power
At Indivisible Bend, we spend a lot of time strategizing about building and sharing power. This work requires a radical re-imagining of political power structures. Simply replacing Republican elected officials with Democratic ones isn't enough (though it's a start). We believe it's important to widen the playing field and to make running for office more accessible. This is part of the reason we advocate for policies like campaign finance reform and rank choice voting. It is also the reason we approach endorsements the way we do.
During the primary election this May, we voters have some critically important choices to make. There are multiple Democratic candidates running for the Governor's Office, for US House of Representatives in our new district (ORD5), and for State House Seat 53.
You will have probably noticed that some organizations come out early with endorsements. In primary races, early endorsements are important for candidates because they help candidates establish early momentum and thus discourage challengers from entering the race. The more candidates there are in a primary the more time and resources each one has to spend before they even get to the point of challenging opponents from the other party and achieving the ultimate goal of being elected to office.
The early endorsement process, while politically expedient, doesn't build shared power; it concentrates power, making it harder for new folks to enter politics. One of the reasons we support rank choice voting is that it would allow candidates from the same party to run on their merits rather than their connections, and all candidates, even second and third runners-up, would have had a chance to make their case to voters based on policy. This sets them up to run again in future races, which builds power.
For these reasons, Indivisible Bend has not typically made endorsements in primary races. Instead, we try to provide opportunities for you to get to know the candidates. What are their policies? Who are they as individuals? What is their vision for our region? We do this through meet-and-greets, online forums, candidate questionnaires, and other avenues. We want you to have a chance to interact with candidates and support the one who best aligns with your values.
Of course, not everyone has the time to dig deep into the candidates on the ballot. For those voters, endorsements can be really valuable when it comes time to vote because trusted organizations like the Oregon League of Conservation Voters or Moms Demand Action have vetted candidates based on the issues that matter most to their members.
As always we encourage you to find ways to engage with the political process.
Our lives really do depend on staying committed to and working toward shared power and a progressive future.