Of By For

Of By For

Of By For is a movement to build democracy—real democracy that shuts out corrupt special interests, heals our partisan divide, and puts the people front and center.

At its heart is a shift from circus elections to civic lotteries. Rather than corrupt politicians making backroom deals, civic lotteries bring together everyday people from all walks of life have honest conversations, find common ground, and make wise decisions for our communities and our country.

Find out more below and sign up to join us…

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The problem: elections are a game

America was visionary in its ideals, but it’s never lived up to government of, by, and for the people. Our political system is rigged and everyday Americans are mostly cheated or ignored. Worst of all, it’s turning us against each other, with growing hatred that’s spilling out into violence and could very well boil over.

Reform efforts won’t succeed because the foxes are in charge of the henhouse. And even if it was possible to straighten out the crooked rules and the corruption, electoral politics would continue to depress and divide us because it’s all a big, dirty game. It plays out pretty much the same way around the world. As long as power is won by winning votes, politicians will make empty promises, parties will cheat and manipulate, and we the people will be played like pawns. This electoral game has us speeding off a cliff. We either push for a real democracy we can all embrace, or we brace for impact.

 

The promise: real democracy through lotteries

We’ve been told we live in a democracy, and that democracy’s messy. But
we don’t buy it. We don’t need to be toyed with in this soul-sucking
game. We can have real democracy, not through elections but through
lotteries.

Imagine everyday people from all walks of life investigating issues with the support of experts, following their conscience, and finding common ground. No campaigns. No games. No bullshit.

This is the promise of citizen lotteries. They were central to the concept of democracy in ancient Athens, and they are now making a comeback. Here in the US and around the world, lotteries are being used to form Citizens’ Assemblies, Deliberative Polls, and similar groups that investigate issues, interview experts, and weigh in on important policy decisions.

And these processes work. The people take their responsibility seriously, become well informed, and arrive at sound decisions on even the most complex and controversial issues. Moreover, whereas electoral politics bring out the worst in everyone involved, these processes bring out the best. They work so well, in fact, that they are often commissioned by public officials to sort out some of the toughest issues.

Citizens' Assembly commissioned by the British Parliament

So what’s the catch? Unfortunately, the citizens selected in these processes are almost always limited to making recommendations, which politicians and parties can placate or ignore. Real transformation requires that we go beyond these inspiring but limited examples, and start replacing elections and politicians with lotteries and citizens.

 

The plan: build a mass movement

The Of By For Movement will advance citizen lotteries as a way to end the game and heal the deepening divide in our country. We know this change will be opposed by corrupt politicians, parties, and special interests, resisting any attempt to release their grip on power and right the ship. Because of this, we will follow the examples of other movements around the world that have successfully and peacefully ended colonial rule and toppled dictators. We will combine grassroots organizing, strategic initiatives, mass noncooperation, and civil disobedience to bring about change.

Americans across the country and from all walks will stop going through the motions and pretending everything’s OK. We will courageously step forward and assert our inalienable right to govern ourselves. And together, we will herald in a real democracy that heals our divide, meets the pressing issues of our time, and finally lives up to the promise of America.

Join Us

Are you in? The soul and future of our country is at stake.
Join us, and together let’s build real democracy.

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