Election Participation Guide: Your Vote Matters! Register, Vote, Work The Polls, Get Out The Vote.
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Thu 15

February 15 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm EST

The Problem With Politics Isn’t What You Think It Is. And Neither Is the Solution

Network for Responsible Public Policy

Location: Online

Learn what is at the root cause of our political dysfunction (an anti-competitive system) and the solutions.  During this webinar, we will learn about:

  •   How the existing electoral systems deliberately contribute to gridlock and dysfunction.
  •   Why competition plays a crucial role in holding elected officials accountable for delivering results.
  •   How proposed solutions differ.
  •   The promising governing results are already being seen.


Richard Barton is a professor of Public Administration and International Affairs. His research focuses on election systems, legislative institutions and American political economy. His peer-reviewed publications include “A Primary Threat: How Ideological Primary Challengers Exacerbate Polarization in Bill Sponsorship” and “Upending the New Deal Regulatory Regime: Democratic Party Position Change on Financial Regulation.” He authored the white paper reports “California’s Top-Two Primary: The Effects on Electoral Politics and Governance” and “Louisiana’s Long-Term Election Experiment: How Eliminating Partisan Primaries Improved Governance and Reduced.” His op-eds have been published by over 50 different outlets including the Washington Post and CNN. He is a Democracy Fellow with the Unite America Institute, where he conducts research and thought leadership on the effects of primaries and alternative electoral institutions on governance He earned a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University.

Katherine M. Gehl is the founder of The Institute for Political Innovation (IPI), a nonpartisan nonprofit founded in 2020 to catalyze modern political change in America. Katherine is the originator of Politics Industry Theory, and author of “The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy,” which she co-authored with Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter.  Katherine is a veteran of the public and private sectors. The former president and CEO of Gehl Foods, a $250-million high-tech food-manufacturing company based in Wisconsin, she increased the equity value of the company by nearly 19x over seven years before selling the company in 2015. In the public sector, Katherine served on the Board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution. She is on several nonprofit boards and is an active philanthropist. She is also the honorary co-chair of the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers, and the co-founder of Democracy Found.

Kevin Johnson, the moderator, is the Executive Director of Election Reformers Network, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to modernizing U.S. democratic institutions threatened by polarization. Kevin leads ERN’s programs in impartial election administration, independent redistricting, and voting rules. Mr. Johnson is also a member of the Carter Center’s Election Expert Study Team, which supports Carter Center programs in the U.S. Mr. Johnson’s election reform experience includes seven years overseas with the National Democratic Institute, ten years on the Board of Common Cause Massachusetts, and advisory positions with American Promise, Rank the Vote, and Voter Choice Massachusetts. Mr. Johnson has authored more than two dozen election-related opinion pieces in outlets including The Washington Post, The Hill, Governing, and The Daily Beast, along with longer reports on topics such as partisan election administration and gerrymandering.  Mr. Johnson has an MBA from Wharton and a BA from Yale.