About Us

The sponsor of the National Initiative for Democracy is The Democracy Foundation. In addition to the board of directors, a number of volunteers are working to advance various aspects of NI4D. Contact us if you would like to join the team.

Grant, Michael

I was born in 1963 in the Washington DC area.  Graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Computer Science.  I was never interested in politics.  I voted and believed that was the best I could do.  I remember when I was was in grade school a teacher describing Direct Democracy as a form of government.  I never thought it was possible until I met Senator Mike Gravel.

Around about 2000 my step-father, David Parrish, started working with Mike on NI4D.  In 2003, David lost his battle with cancer.  I stepped in and took over the technical side of NI4D in early 2003.  First I created the votep2.us website, then I took care of the original ni4d.us website that was written by Mike Gravel and David.  Working with Mike Gravel, we spent several years trying to figure out how to popularize NI4D.  In 2005, I became involved in Mike Gravel’s campaign for president.  I was both the webmaster for his websites and his chief technical officer of the campaign.  After the wind down of the campaign, Joshua Pritikin and I rebuilt the website as it is today.

I am currently working on the software and hardware behind the scene of NI4D.  Also working on ways to popularize it, on the voter certification process, and trying to find ways to fund this monumental effort.

Pritikin, Joshua

I was born in 1973 in California. In college, I studied math, computer science, and psychology. Growing up, I was never interested in politics. It all seemed so artificial and scripted, but I never appreciated the extent of the problem until Senator Mike Gravel ran for president in 2008. Listening to Senator Gravel, Nader, and friends get their message out gave me a sense of the potential of this country.

I practice Sahaja Meditation, and I recognize that all people ought to have equal political rights before the law. However, expression of this fundamental human equality will never manifest as an integral component of America until inequities between law makers and law abiders can be reconciled. My mentor, Nirmala Srivastava, fought hard for the political independence of India from the British. She reasoned that spirituality could not find adequate expression in an injust political state. Therefore, the passage of NI4D (or some similar proposal) is of great urgency to me.

During the summer of 2008, I rewrote the NI4D website with assistance from Michael Grant. I added content from the 2002 Democracy Symposium which was formerly only available on audio CDs and attempted to reconstruct the reasoning which lead to the final draft of NI4D. With assistance from Michael Grant, I integrated an email handling system to permit more timely and professional handling of email.

Ravitz, Evan

I was a happy-go-lucky not-so-tight-rope artist just getting started on Boulder’s Pearl St. Mall when the City started shutting us down, though we were the biggest free entertainment attraction in the Rockies and Midwest. They did so against a petition of 4000 fans and contrary to Boulder and Constitutional law. (My pro bono lawyer & I have the proof.) My first bitter experience of "government against the people."

That experience made me homeless 1982-4. I started going to Mexico winters to perform my show. (photo at http://evanravitz.com) I loved it and Guatemala even better. We employees of the Circus Bar brought the first non-marimba entertainment to some indigenous towns on Lake Atitlan. I started building a little house on a Mayan artist friend’s land, intending to stay. But then 3 other Mayan friends were killed by the Guatemalan Army with U.S.-supplied M-16s, one due to union activities. Two were little girls. I abandoned my house and returned to Boulder, depressed. I learned from Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States that by 1975, Harris and other polls showed "65% of Americans oppose military aid abroad because they feel it allows dictatorships to maintain control over their population." I realized if that had been a vote, not just polls, that my friends would still be alive.

In 1989 I started what would become Boulder’s 1993 Voting by Phone ballot initiative, which would have saved lots of trees & gas. I saw it as enabling technology for easier, better and national ballot initiatives. We made CBS Evening News, the Wall. St. Journal, etc. In 1993, we were defeated 59-41%, due to a hostile City Council and in the wake of problematic Colorado Amendments 1 & 2.

In 1995 I started http://Vote.org and in 2000 devoted it to Sen. Mike Gravel’s 30-year project, the National Initiative for Democracy, the best hope for government BY the people. Now my longtime friend and new Congressman Jared Polis promises he will introduce a bill later this year for National ballot initiatives, only the 3rd time in U.S. history. See http://spryeye.blogspot.com/2008/12/my-congressman-jared-polis-on-record…