After years of declining voter turnout in most non-presidential elections, the 2010 mid-term hit an all time record low (excluding a few elections during WWI and WWII). The 2010 elections would determine who controlled Congress and many state legislatures whose job it was to draw new districts in 2011. Voter turnout in the 2010 Congressional primary elections fell to an all time low of just under 10%. Turnout went back up in 2012 for the presidential election. But, after the re-election of President Obama, 2014 Mid-Term turnout fell again and even broke the record lows set in 2010.
Interestingly enough, the 2018 midterm turnout hit 50%, setting a record for the highest turnout in nearly 100 years. But, here is the problem. Most people still do not vote on a regular basis. Turnout averages about 60% in major presidential elections, 42% in Congressional Mid-Terms, 30% in state elections, and 20% in local city and county elections. Voter turnout currently averages below 20% in most primary elections that often determine who will eventually hold office in more partisan districts.
Our informal studies consistently point to a pervasive problem of lack of awareness of local, state, and Congressional officials and what they are up to. Rather, we see constant MEDIA coverage of Presidents and Presidential politics. 90% of Americans can name the President, but fewer than 10% of voting age Americans can name a single state, local, or federal representative. It is not our fault. We are being conditioned by major profit-driven corporate MEDIA outlets to focus on what makes them more money.
GOV360 is a non-profit 501(c)(3), non-partisan educational research organization dedicated to reaching out directly to non-voters of all ages, to better understand why there is not more active participation in government, particularly on a local level.
GOV360 was formed in September 2009 by a small group of concerned citizens (both voters and non-voters) who shared in the belief that the root cause behind the failure of participatory, representative government is lack of participation. In 2010, the initial board was formed, and
GOV360 was incorporated and granted 501(c)(3) status by the IRS. The following year, GOV360 was awarded a small start-up grant and non-profit benefits from Google and Facebook.
Lawrence Gaughan, MA, Founder/CEO/Executive Director
Lawrence Gaughan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Gaughan) founded GOV360 and has served as CEO of the organization since 2010. Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, the home of founding fathers James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, Lawrence grew up in a bi-partisan household. His mother, a Republican, was a classics scholar and his father, a lifelong Democrat, is an attorney and mediator. Lawrence earned his theater degree from the University of Montana, eventually going on to become a writer/producer/director/actor. Lawrence is a proud long-time Screen Actors Guild member. He has also worked in non-profit and political fundraising, political consulting, and in corporate media research. Lawrence earned his Master’s degree in Social Change from Pepperdine University. He was a candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District in 2014.
Henry D. McHenry Jr, PhD, RN, Executive Board Secretary
An independent academic, English teacher, and exercise instructor, Henry McHenry grew up in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1950s and early 1960s, graduated from Yale in its first coeducational class, and has taught for years in the Upward Bound program and as a substitute in the Albemarle County schools. He holds the PhD in English Language, Literature and Pedagogy from the University of Virginia, and is the author of From Cognition to Being: Prolegomena for Teachers. A resident of the Charlottesville, VA area since 1989, he started an exercise company in 1997 (“Family Fitness Partners”), and now leads athletic conditioning and other classes at Carver Recreation Center. For the last fifteen years he has taught Shakespeare for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Holly Mosher, Board Member
Holly Mosher is an award-winning filmmaker who brings socially-conscious films to the public. Holly graduated with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2004 she made her directorial debut with the documentary, Hummingbird. Afterwards, she produced two films on the pharmaceutical industry: Side Effects, starring Katherine Heigl, and Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety. She co-produced Maybe Baby and then went on to executive produce Vanishing of the Bees, FREE FOR ALL! about election issues and Pay 2 Play about money in politics. She also directed, Bonsai People – The Vision of Muhammad Yunus. In addition to her work as a filmaker, Holly serves on the operating board of the Southwest regional chapter of the Social Entrerprise Alliance.
Loren Intolubbe-Chmil, PhD, Board Member
Dr. Loren Intollubbe-Chmil is an educator, author, and researcher, who served as a director of the League of Women Voters (Charlottesville Regional Branch). Loren works with the Eastern/Southern Africa and Virginia Networks and Associations (ESAVANA) Consortium, which offers global research, education, and outreach opportunities for a range of participants. She has co-authored an article in review for publication which describes the transformative learning experiences of undergraduate participants in an intense study abroad program that travels to southern Africa. Loren has worked for many years in community-based organizations and as part of community-university partnerships, dedicating much of her life’s work to representative, participatory engagement.
Kevin Sidenstricker, Retired Commander, US Navy, Board Member
Kevin was born in Joplin, Missouri. After attending high school in Webb City, Missouri, he graduated from DeVry Institute of Technology with a BS in Computer Information Systems. Following 4 1/2 years of being enlisted in the Navy, working on the F-14 avionics, he earned a commission as a Naval Officer and began flight school. Earning his “Wings of Gold” in Pensacola, Florida, he was selected to fighter aviation, deploying from aircraft carriers and bases all over the world, through the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Aegean Seas; and into the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. He flew for two years out of Japan and, at one point, spent a year in Brussels speaking French while attending the Belgian Royal Defense College. He retired from the Navy and earned his MBA at George Mason University. Kevin worked as a Project/Program Manager with various contractors in the IT/Defense industry for four years. He is currently engaged in a third career as an actor, narrator, and voice-over performer in television, film, and on stage.
Steve Gelder, Board Member
Steve Gelder is host of the award-winning political podcast “Independent Thinking” and an accomplished filmmaker and actor whose films have screened at over 60 festivals, picking up numerous awards. Originally from North Dakota, now living in Los Angeles, Steve is a life-long Independent voter and became a political activist with Occupy LA. The result of his activism and efforts to get the Movement’s message out was his podcast, launched in 2011, downloaded more than a quarter of a million times in 2012 and nominated for Best Podcast in the 2012 LA Weekly Web Awards. Steve has interviewed a founder of the Tea Party, members of the Occupy Movement, former Reagan administration officials, five Presidential candidates, Nobel prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, comedians, musicians, actors, and everyday people. Steve can be heard weekdays on NewDissidentRadio.com, and his podcast is available on iTunes and Stitcher.com.
Originally from Billings Montana, Teddy Roe worked in Washington D.C. for 25 years as a staffer in the U.S. Congress and the Executive branch. He spent a decade on the Floor of the U.S. Senate as Assistant to the Majority Leader, another 5 years as Legislative Director to a U.S. Senator and 2 years as staff director of a House of Representatives subcommittee. He also spent 5 years as a government liaison officer for the FIFA World Cup of soccer, and he worked in the newspaper business as a reporter and editorial writer, winning two national editorial awards. During his time in Washington, Teddy worked intimately on matters affecting Latin America and the former Soviet Union. With a particular interest in foreign policy, Teddy devoted his career to working on a variety of causes such as promoting the basic tenets of democracy, especially government transparency, and trying to open the governing process to maximize citizen participation. He returned to his beloved home state of Montana where he is enjoying his retirement.
Michael Parenti is an American political scientist, writer, and historian. Born in New York, Michael Parenti earned his PhD in political science from Yale University and has taught at several universities. He is the author of twenty three books. His works have been translated into at least eighteen languages. Parenti lectures frequently throughout the United States and abroad. http://www.michaelparenti.org/
Dr. Heldman is the Chair of the Politics Department at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She specializes in the presidency and systems of power in U.S. politics. Her research has been featured in the top journals, and she is a commentator for FOX News, MSNBC, Fox Business News, CNBC, RT America, and Al Jazeera English. She is also a regular contributor to Ms. Blog and Sociological Images. Dr. Heldman co-edited, Rethinking Madame President: Are We Ready for a Woman in the White House?(2007). She is active in rebuilding efforts in New Orleans where she co-founded the New Orleans Women’s Shelter and is currently working to open the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum. http://carolineheldman.wordpress.com/
Thomas Shadyac is an American comedian, director, screenwriter, producer and occasional actor. Shadyac is widely known for writing and directing the films Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, and the documentary, I Am. Born in Virginia, Tom attended the University of Virginia (pre-law) and went on to earn his Master’s degree in film at UCLA. He is an adjunct professor of communication and teaches screenwriting at Pepperdine University’s Seaver College in Malibu, CA
Emanuel Pleitez has worked in the private sector in investments and as a consultant for a tech company. In the public sector, Emanuel was a member of the Obama administration’s Treasury department transition team. Born in South Los Angeles and raised in the Eastside neighborhood of El Sereno he is the son of Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants. A Stanford graduate, Emanuel has run for office twice. He ran for Congress at the age of 26, placing a close third to State Senator, Gil Cedillo, and the eventual winner, Judy Chu. He was also a candidate in the March 2013 primary for mayor of Los Angeles.
Stein Kretsinger is a serial entrepreneur and investor with over 15 years of experience successfully growing online marketing and consumer credit businesses. Presently the Director of Project Development at Elder Research Inc., Mr. Kretsinger has also served as the CEO of Loan Page, an internet-based mortgage marketing company, and as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Battery Venture. Mr. Kretsinger was a founding executive of advertising.com, one of the largest online media networks, and a business manager at Capital One, where he used credit scoring to book over two million accounts presently valued at $160 million. Additionally, Stein serves on the Board for Retail Relay and UniQlick. He holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Independent Software Consultant
Kingsley B. Jones
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Jennifer Hugus (Volunteer Social Media Manager)