Whether through standing up to wealthy special interests, protecting the environment, raising the salaries of low wage workers, or protecting the rights of minority populations, progressive groups had a lot to celebrate at the ballot box in 2004. The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center is proud to recognize the achievements of the progressive community's most influential and cutting-edge ballot initiatives. Although traditionally a tool of right-wing interests, progressives are starting to reclaim ballot measures for their own devices and 2004 exemplified the best of this trend. Recipients of the Ballie Awards represent some of the best strategic visions that our community has to offer.For more information visit: http://www.ballot.org/ballies.html
Most Under-rated Campaign:
Although most initiative campaigns that grabbed the spotlight this year were state-wide in their scope, there was one local campaign that seized our attention for the honor of most under-rated campaign. Citizens to Restore Fairness repealed a decades-old anti-gay law in the city of Cincinnati by 54% despite being outspent by $500,000. In a year dominated by fervor and anxiety over anti-gay marriage ballot measures, this little known local measure was the sole victor of the positive gay rights campaigns in 2004. Proponents ran a two-year long grassroots campaign that mobilized over 3,000 volunteers and thousands of donors, and built a broad coalition of business, civil and religious groups. Citizens to Restore Fairness raised $847,000 while their opponents spent $1.3 million, thereby proving that in politics you can't always win by throwing money at a problem.
Yes, it does seem odd that things other than baby news are getting posted, but I wanted to share with you another award that my previous campaign has just won. The Ballot Initiative strategy Center has awarded Citizens to Restore Fairness the first ever Ballie for Most Underrated Campaign: