The Foundation for Independent Voter Education: FIVE
Who We Are
The Foundation for Independent Voter Education (FIVE) is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to restoring the importance of open dialogue in our democracy.
FIVE strives to:
- strengthen independent-minded citizen engagement in politics,
- educate key stakeholders within our political system to the importance of constructive compromise, and
- to do so in a way that is unfiltered by the partisanship that often drives larger public dialogue.
What We Do
FIVE is committed to the belief that democracy functions best when the most people participate. Unfortunately, today’s political climate discourages such a participatory democracy and alienates independent-minded voters, who feel out of touch with the extreme partisanship of today’s politics. The news currently being presented by traditional media outlets only furthers to alienate independent-minded voters by presenting only right-wing and/or left-wing perspectives to truly complex, multifaceted political issues.
FIVE created the Independent Voter Network (IVN) to be a new kind of news network. IVN provides unfiltered political news and policy analysis across the political spectrum. IVN has a unique, multi-site platform that allows independent contributors from all sectors of industry and all walks of life to publish their own stories, which then reach a large, national and international audience. IVN also provides a forum for users to engage in political dialogue and rational commentary, in hopes of elevating the level of our public discourse.
The Other Side Documentary
FIVE partnered with independent film-maker Joe McGovern to produce “The Other Side: A Liberal Democrat Explores Conservative America”.
In times of extreme partisanship, Joe demonstrates the value of talking to one another, as opposed to talking against one another. And he does it in a way that is lighthearted, engaging, and informative. FIVE provided technical support, outreach, and funding for the production and we could not be more proud of the final product Joe has put together.
Visit the website to watch the full documentary.
Noel Egnatios is a San Diego, California-based attorney focusing on intellectual property counseling and litigation. She worked at Cooley LLP in San Diego for five years, and later worked and traveled abroad in the Middle East region. Today, she serves as Vice President and General Counsel for DivX LLC, a long-time San Diego institution for cutting-edge digital video software and technology development. Noel was awarded the Wiley W. Manuel Award for pro bono legal services by the California State Bar in 2008, 2009, and 2010, and “Best of the Bar” from the San Diego Business Journal in 2014. She has served as a board member of the Independent Voter Project since 2013.
From 1982 through 2003, Senator Peace served in the California State Capitol as a member of the State Assembly, a State Senator and as the State’s Director of Finance. In 2010, as Co-chair of the California Independent Voter Project, Mr. Peace wrote the Constitutional Amendment subsequently passed by voters to require California to abolish its semi-closed partisan primary system in favor of open nonpartisan primary elections.
As a legislator, Senator Peace was known as the person the Legislature turned to on particularly difficult and complex issues. He was credited with presiding over forums described as “bipartisan”, “exhaustive” and “open to a full airing of views.” He authored a number of high-profile pieces of legislation including the creation of California’s Infrastructure Bank and the nation’s first Office of Privacy Protection.
Mr. Peace also served as Chairman of the Board Authentify, Inc., the Chicago based firm which pioneered dual authentication security for online financial transactions until it was sold to a consortium of American banks.
In 1977, Mr. Peace co-wrote and produced the parody cult classic Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Mr. Peace was also the Executive Producer of Fox Children’s Network’s Attack of the Killer Tomatoes animated television series.
Dan Schnur is a Professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications, the University of California – Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy. Previously, Dan worked on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns as one of California’s leading political strategists. He served as the national Director of Communications for the 2000 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator John McCain and was the chief media spokesman for California Governor Pete Wilson.
In 2010, Dan was appointed Chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), where he implemented groundbreaking campaign finance disclosure requirements. Dan also was a founder and cochairman of the Voices of Reform project, the bi-partisan statewide effort whose work laid the foundation for California’s landmark redistricting reform. After completing his FPPC term, Dan registered as a No Party Preference voter and in 2014, ran for statewide office as a non-partisan candidate for California Secretary of State.
Regina is a San Diego, California based attorney with over 23 years of professional experience as a political, government, and non-profit leader. She is currently the Senior Vice President, Business Development with Information Management Resources, Incorporated (IMRI), an information technology and engineering company headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California.
Regina previously served as Chief of Staff to the Honorable Jerome E. Horton, Chairman of the California State Board of Equalization, and Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She recently received the Distinguished Government Service Award from the California Legislative Black Caucus.
Floyd is currently the President and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) in Washington, D.C. He retired as National Executive Director/CEO of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in June of 2012. He is a past mayor of the City of Pleasanton, California, and a past California State Assemblyman. He has done extensive work in venture capital work and with international business, primarily with Japanese companies. He taught Economics at Chabot College in Hayward, California, for ten years.
Stephen is a California resident and lifelong activist in the areas of child protection and crime prevention. He is currently the director of Governmental Affairs for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA). Prior to this, he worked within the California Youth Authority for 26 years as a youth correctional officer. He also served as a jet mechanic and plane captain in United States Marine Corp. Stephen currently serves as vice chair for Protect, a national non-profit dedicated to protect children from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, is the President and founding member of Minorities In Law Enforcement 4 Kids (Mile4kids), is a board member of Child Abuse Prevention Center (CAPC) and is a founding member of the Governor’s Cup Foundation.
An East Coast native, Dan Howle is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he majored in history and political science.
Mr. Howle’s professional career began in 1974 when he accepted a position with Assemblyman Lou Papan in the California State Assembly. In 1976, Dan joined the staff of the Speaker’s Office of Majority Consultants in the State Assembly. As a Senior Consultant, Dan provided training and development for newly elected legislators and staff. From 1979 to 1981 Mr. Howle held the position of Chief Consultant to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.
Dan left state government service and moved to the private sector in 1981 when he became Manager of State Government Relations for the AMFAC Corporation. His responsibilities included government relations in five western states.
Dan returned to public affairs in 1991 as Executive Director of the Urban County Caucus. He left that position in 1994 to become Vice President for the Tobacco Institute where he remained until late 1999. His transition back to public service was completed when he became Chief of Staff to California State Senator Steve Peace.
Dan recently retired after 16 years as Director of State Government Relations for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, Eli Lilly and Company. He has accepted the position of Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of the Independent Voter Project. In addition, Mr. Howle serves on the Boards of the California Governor’s Cup Foundation, the Foundation for Independent Voter Education, and the National Association of Non-partisan Reformers.
FIVE is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to promoting independent voter education and restoring the importance of open dialogue in our democracy.
FIVE operates as a result of the generosity of its donors. If you would like to contribute, please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.
We look forward to your comments, questions, and suggestions. Please fill out the form below to let us know what’s on your mind.