Jacqueline Salit is a respected political innovator and advocate for the rights of independent voters—now 43 percent of the American electorate. The President of IndependentVoting.org (IV), a nonprofit strategy center and organizing hub, she has built the largest network of independent leaders and activists in the country. Her network is a sought after coalition partner in pursuit of political and structural reform. Salit hosts regular national conference calls with hundreds of activist independents nationwide. Her firsthand account of this growing and influential voting bloc, Independents Rising: Outsider Movements, Third Parties and the Struggle for a Post-Partisan America, was published in 2012 by Palgrave Macmillan.
An architect of ground breaking independent presidential runs in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Salit played a key role in the 1988 campaign of Lenora Fulani, which challenged numerous legal and political barriers facing independents and African Americans, and was a frontline figure in shaping a new coalition with Ross Perot and the Perot movement which led to the founding of the Reform Party in 1997. Within the Reform Party, Salit brought together left, right and center Americans under its non-ideological independent tent.
In 2008, Salit’s network of independent voters galvanized support for Barack Obama in the open Democratic primaries, key to Obama’s primary win over Hillary Clinton.
Salit managed Michael Bloomberg’s three campaigns for New York City Mayor on the Independence Party (IP) line, playing a crucial role in delivering the IP’s margin-of-victory-vote in 2001 and 2009, and the exodus of 47% of African American voters from the Democratic Party to support Bloomberg in 2005. Bloomberg and Salit partnered in 2003 in an effort to bring a nonpartisan election system to New York City. A second effort, in 2010, never came to the ballot.
Over the years, Salit and IV have supported ballot initiatives for nonpartisan primaries as well as legal and political defense of open primaries in Idaho, Hawaii, South Carolina, New Jersey, California, Oregon and Arizona.
Salit has hosted five national conferences bringing together independents, political reform leaders and community organizers from across the country. The next conference is scheduled for March 2017.
Salit’s political commentaries have appeared in: USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post, New York Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Daily Beast, Legal Times, Buffalo News, Union Leader, Albany Times Union, and New York Newsday. She’s been a featured commentator on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, CBC, PBS, FOX and CSPAN.
Salit is a native of New York City and now resides in Greenwich Village.