Everyone agrees that the political system is broken.

While there is no silver bullet, we believe that inclusive, meaningful debates are a critical part of the solution. Voters are thirsting for more thoughtful, substantive, and forward-looking political discourse. By oversimplifying complex ideas and policies into false binary choices, our current system does a disservice to all of us. Now more than ever, we need to open up the system to new ideas, fresh voices, and better choices. 

Open the Debates will shine a bright light on the fundamental and widely-held principles that exclusionary debates violate:

  • Our democratic republic is healthiest with a well-informed electorate
  • Voters deserve to learn about all of the choices on their ballot

We will use the small number of local and statewide elections in 2019 as a proving ground for our strategies. We will organize to bring grassroots pressure to bear on the people and institutions that work together to justify, excuse, implement, and promote closed debates. We will organize broadly to change the narrative about what's possible in the fight to fix a broken political system.

The time is ripe to open up the political debates of our nation at every level of government. We hope you'll join with us and support the fight to end the travesty of closed debates.


Since 2012, a small group of citizens across the political spectrum who felt marginalized by exclusionary debates has been using social media to challenge the duopoly control of these important public interest forums. We each had petitions on Change.org that were gaining traction, but we decided to pool together our efforts to create a unified, non-partisan and cross-partisan voice, and have been coordinating ever since as Open the Debates, without spending a dime.

Now we are taking the fight for open debates to the next level. We are confident that with the right organizing, we can win some victories, build momentum, and grow our support to over 100,000 people in 2019 and one million strong in 2020—becoming a force that can no longer be ignored.


The money raised here will go directly into the startup costs for getting Open the Debates off the ground as an effective national organizing vehicle on this critical issue, including the hiring of a full-time director. We hope to raise a total of $25,000 by April, 2019 through crowdfunding and major gifts, and another $75,000 by August, 2019.


Great news! Thanks to a generous donor, all donations through this Crowdpac will be doubled, up to $10,000!! Help us smash through our $10,000 goal by donating & sharing widely!


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    “You can't spoil a system that's rotten to its core. But you can fix it. #OpenTheDebates to #MoreVoicesBetterChoices!”

January 31, 2019

This is our moment. The time to #OpenTheDebates is NOW.

This is an unprecedented moment in American politics. The old rules no longer apply, and the new rules are as yet unwritten. Never before have we seen such a ruckus about a potential independent campaign this far out from a presidential election.

Most of all, the American people are fed up with a fundamentally broken political system. The time for solutions is now. The time for meaningful, constructive, and inclusive debate is now.

While we hold no illusions about forcing open the 2020 presidential debates to all candidates on enough ballots to win, we think this could be the election cycle that does it. We are gearing up to build a national grassroots force that can change the political conversation and the political realities on the ground.

We’re focusing where we are confident we can win some smaller victories and build momentum for the bigger battles ahead. There are 3 gubernatorial elections in 2019, in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and we will work to ensure that any general election debates are open to all ballot-qualified candidates.

But we welcome the jolt of independent-minded energy into the 2020 presidential election cycle, and we will ride the wave as far as it will take us.

Best of all, thanks to a matching gift from a generous donor, the next $10,000 we raise on this Crowdpac campaign will be matched, dollar for dollar!

Now you can make an investment in a healthy and vibrant democracy, and double your impact today! The time to #OpenTheDebates to #MoreVoicesBetterChoices is NOW!

January 9, 2019

25% of the way!

THANK YOU to the 20 generous donors who have helped us reach the important milestone of 25% of our crowdfunding goal.

WITH YOUR SUPPORT we will seize this unprecedented opportunity to remake our political system so that it truly represents We, the People. 

We need more voices and better choices in the political discourse, now more than ever. 

We're happy to share that our first article published at the Independent Voter Network, and the associated graphics, have gotten a lot of traction. We're reframing the story about this broken system and the common sense fixes that are at hand and gaining steam.

Please share the article and the graphics that help make the case that it's time, past time, to #OpenTheDebates to #MoreVoicesBetterChoices.

And thank you for getting in on the ground floor of this growing push for fair and informative debates.

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