In Episode 23,we are joined by Chip and Laynette Evans. After successful high tech careers in Silicon Valley, Chip and Laynette moved to Northern Nevada in 2004. Currently, Laynette is a career coach and Chip advises technology start-up ventures. But what they also brought to Northern Nevada is their experience in progressive politics from their work in California. Here they have participated in Democratic party leadership including volunteer training, working as campaign staff as well as members of the NV state party central committee. Chip was also elected as the Democratic nominee for Nevada’s Second Congressional District in 2016 and the party’s nominee for Washoe County Assessor in 2018.
As a result, they both have experienced, firsthand, the change in party politics from one based on engagement and persuasion, to one focusing on turning out each party’s political base of voters during the election. As we all have experienced, this change has had a significant, and one could argue quite negative, impact on the quality of our political discourse.
So, after the 2016 election, Chip and Laynette, along with a handful of progressive activists, founded Indivisible Northern Nevada. From their website, Indivisible is a nonpartisan, volunteer organization focused on advancing humanitarian values through applying consistent, informed and ongoing pressure, primarily on our members of Congress.
With their team of progressive activists at Indivisible Northern Nevada Chapter, Chip and Laynette developed a new program known as the Issue Voters Project, to encourage like-minded voters who are neither registered Democrats nor Republicans. What is amazing is that this non-party block of voters is gaining voters faster than either of the two major parties. Over the last 2 election cycles, the Issue Voters Project has had phenomenal results, and is now being shared nationally with other Indivisible groups. The process they use and the results that they are getting give us good insight into how we can build dynamic competence in our larger communities and even in our families.