Development of the Name: The National Initiative For Democracy and Its Organizational Sponsor

The NI4D Precis of the Development of National Initiative will clarify that the names of the National Initiative has a two track history. First with respect to it’s name and second as to it’s organizational, i,e. corporate history.

In terms of its name, National Initiative when first proposed by Mike Gravel was called “The California Initiative.” Mike chose this name simply because he first proposed it when a resident of California. Mike early on figured the proposal would first be brought forward and enacted in California as a state initiative and then move from state to state across the nation until it morphed into a national enactment. When questioned as to the appropriateness of the name, Mike solicited a better name. Blanche Whittey—who gave the first $3,000 in support of Mike’s effort–promptly responded: “Why not call it Philadelphia II? This would underscore that Mike’s proposal advances constitutional democracy as laid out in Philadelphia, PA in 1787 in the drafting of the U. S. Constitution and the latter being “Philadelphia I.”

After “Philadelphia II” was filed as an initiative petition in California and in Missouri in 1994 and in Washington State in 1995—and was forced to sue in Missouri and Washington for access to the ballot–Mike decided not to pursue a state-by-state strategy to national enactment by The People and changed the name to “ United States Initiative.” Finally during the period of re-crafting between 1996 to 2002, the name was changed to “The National Initiative for Democracy.” For short: National Initiative.

In terms of the project’s organizational structure, the project was first incorporated with the name of “One World” as the sponsor of National Initiative. This name was chosen since Mike first introduced it as a member of a California chapter of The World Federalist Association (WFA), where he found support in WFA as it is an organization seeking the rule of law in a local to global governance context. However, this name immediately became a point of contention for religious right fundamentalists who saw in it “one world government”—a symbol of the work of the devil.

The corporate sponsor was then renamed as “Direct Democracy” (DD). This too created a problem because many saw in this name a project to replace representative democracy and not as an adjunct or further check and balance to representative democracy. Thus in the course of the final re-crafting of the proposal between 1996 and 2002, the organizational sponsor of National Initiative was named: “The Democracy Foundation” (TDF).

With respect to the Internal Revenue Service, TDF is a 501-(C)-3 non-profit corporation. DD, though currently relatively dormant, is also a 501 ( C ) 3 non-profit legal entity. P-II, is a 501 ( C ) – 4 non-profit legal entity. P-II is designed to be a PAC as the vehicle commissioned by The National Initiative for Democracy to conduct the impartial election.

To round out the picture, TDF is the formal sponsor of National Initiative and P-II is designated by The National Initiative for Democracy to conduct the impartial election.

Donald H. Kemner, Secretary
June 10, 2008