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This fall, Veterans for Political Innovation (VPI) has begun executing an aggressive national launch strategy. Laser-focused on the goal of building a national movement of veterans and supporters advocating for three, targeted election innovations, VPI’s four-person national leadership team:

9/15

Hosted a veteran roundtable dinner at the Veterans Chamber of Commerce in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with 10+ veterans attending

  • Identified three VPI Task Force Wisconsin leaders who volunteered to help build and grow VPI’s mission to pass Final-Five Voting in Wisconsin

  • Built momentum with key “grass blades” community stakeholders.

9/22

Hosted a series of Colorado Meetings – VPI’s COO met with:

  • Tyler Fisher from Unite America (along with Sol Lieberman and Aaron Menenberg, co-Executive Directors for IPI),

  • Amber McReynolds, the Chair of the National Vote at Home Institute and

  • Three outstanding veteran leaders who volunteered to serve as the first VPI “State Leaders” building VPI’s presence in Colorado.

10/13

Executed a Launch Event in Madison, Wisconsin attended by over 50 people

  • Spent the day lobbying and moved a number of key state legislators from no awareness of Final-Five Voting to curious; and one or two to supporters.

  • Built cross-partisan rapport with legislators who attended the launch event and energy / momentum around Final-Five Voting.

10/29

Hosted a Saint Louis veteran roundtable lunch

  • Led by VPI’s national leadership team (Todd, Dan & Eric) with over 20 veterans in attendance.

  • Most attendees learned about Final-Five Voting for the very first time.  

  • Used a conversational approach to get feedback, build credibility and buy-in.

11/06

11/06:  Helped organize and support VPI Task Force Wisconsin marching in the  Milwaukee Veterans Parade for Final-Five Voting:

  • VPI’s HQ team provided a custom-made parade banner, along with swag and compelling handouts

  • Team of 6-8 volunteers handed out over 200 brochures with information regarding Final-Five Voting

11/09

Participated in a National Zoom Event with over 200 attendees

  • Hosted by John Opdycke (Open Primaries) and Sol Lieberman (IPI)

  • VPI’s guest panel included CEO Todd Connor, Board President, Yinka Faleti and board member Charlynda Scales.

  • Great dialogue and energy around Final-Five Voting, and VPI’s leadership in the political innovation space, sparked many follow-up conversations.

11/09 - 11/10

Attended and led meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada11/9, COO attended the Southern Nevada Veterans Chamber of Commerce launch event with over 100 people; lots of great conversations with Nevada veterans11/10, COO met with potential Task Force Nevada Leaders for lunch to answer questions and concerns regarding the potential Final-Five Voting campaign

  • Eric also met with Sondra Cosgrove and Doug Goodman (Army veteran), two of Nevada’s “original” reform pioneers and leaders.

11/18 - 12/14

Led the first and second “All-Hands” Zoom for all of VPI’s Key Volunteers / State Leaders

  • VPI’s CEO led an energetic and thought-provoking conversation with volunteer leaders representing 13 different states.

  • These monthly calls will serve as a rallying point for all key volunteers to set goals and share accomplishments and lessons learned from the previous month.

12/14

VPI Task Force Wisconsin Leader, Kevin Miller, testifies in front of a Wisconsin Senate Committee in support of the pending “Final-Five Voting” Bill (SB-250)

Other Noteworthy Events and Milestones:

  • 8/11, VPI’s COO attended a Bunker Labs networking event in Madison, Wisconsin where he was a guest speaker and highlighted Final-Five Voting.

  • 9/30, VPI submitted a grant proposal, for two specific interventions, to the Strengthening Democracy Challenge sponsored by Stanford University.

  • 10/5, VPI’s COO participated in the Bunker Labs “Office Hours” program a national livestream program   hosted by veteran “Iron” Mike Steadman.

  • 10/29, VPI received its first tranche of funding ($50,000) from the Dr. Bronner’s Family Foundation

  • 11/15, VPI submitted a multi-year grant proposal to the Tawani Foundation and Pritzker Military Museum & Library

  • 11/29, VPI leadership met with Unite America’s Executive Director and submitted a multi-year grant proposal

  • December:  grant proposals initiated and/or submitted to:  one individual donor, The Good Party, Arnold Ventures, Better Elections Missouri

  • Since VPI’s public launch in October, over 50 veterans have completed the VPI volunteer intake form via the website, representing over 20 different states

Conclusion:

In approximately four months, the Veterans for Political Innovation national, four-person leadership team has executed an ambitious, national launch strategy.  Concurrently, VPI has built an outstanding, interactive website with excellent volunteer resources; made dozens of compelling posts on LinkedIn and other platforms; released four high quality blog posts to hundreds of people on the VPI mailing list; participated in numerous strategic planning meetings with national and state-based reform and campaign partners, and grown a national volunteer base, with a personal onboarding process, leading to the onboarding of outstanding veteran leaders in over 20 different states.