Stories From Independent Voters: The changing mind of independents

Today's stories from independents include stories from Mike Escobar, Linda Garcia, Amanda Freitas and Sage C. If you'd like to share your own thoughts and be featured in a future Wednesday release, click here to share your story.

I want you to meet Mike.

Like you and me, Mike Escobar is an independent voter. He's also a decorated Marine Corps veteran with a fantastic reason for being politically independent.

The veteran thing matters: roughly half of all veterans identify as political independents, which means millions of veterans can't vote in primaries.

Let me say that again: veterans can't vote in the elections that impact their communities.

We'll come back to that.

This week in our Wednesday stories segment, Mike Escobar's political independence, the stories three of you shared with LetUsVote in the last two days, and a very cool opportunity tomorrow.

If you want to be featured next Wednesday, smash the pink button:

Share: Why Are You an Independent Voter?

Okay, I've been talking up Mike for a while now. Truth is, I edited his video this morning, and I wasn't sure which clip to pull for a quick video to feature on YouTube and Instagram. He just kept making sense. So we'll start with this quick 39-second clip, but you should expect to see much more of Mike's interview in the coming weeks.

Click below to watch:

"My mind is subject to change." 

-Mike Escobar

And isn't that what defines us independent voters? We believe people change. We believe that our ideas will be better tomorrow than they are today, and that who we become is based on the work we put in to understanding, learning and growing.

We see ourselves as a project of continued improvement - not an unchanging drone in a partisan hive.

Independents reserve the right to change their mind.

On Monday, I asked you to share your story to independent voting. Many people did, First name or "Friend". And many people echoed exactly what Mike just beautifully explained in 39 seconds.

Here are three of my favorites:

"My story is plain and simple, I do not want to be affiliated with either party. I prefer freedom of my own choice concerning who I vote for."

-Linda Garcia

"It’s simple wisdom: to choose one side is to be against another. I embrace the idea of the views and skills of a diverse people complementing each other for a greater, collective cause."

-Sage C.

"I chose to be independent during a time when I was figuring out my own beliefs and who I wanted to be. I felt like it wasn’t the right time to pick a side. I came to love being independent because I believe there needs to be more parties in this country and less loyalty to one side."

-Amanda Freitas

How beautiful is that? If the company you keep defines who you are, people like Amanda, Sage, Linda and Mike are the people I know I want to spend my time with.

Those are just three of a dozen stories we've heard in the past three days. And here's a fun secret: you can see every story this community has written (and maybe write one yourself) by clicking right here.

Okay, time to share something pretty fun.

Tomorrow, our collaborators at Open Primaries (the national group that supports independent voters through election reform) are hosting their monthly Virtual Discussion.

Here's the cool part: their guest is Dan Osborn, an independent running for US Senate in Nebraska. According to FiveThirtyEight, this guy is polling at around 40%, which means he has a serious chance of winning.

Anyway, the conversation is tomorrow at 5pm ET/2pm PT. If you'd like to check it out, click here to RSVP:

RSVP: Independent Candidate Dan Osborn

Okay, that's it for this week's story segment. We're well on our way to 10,000 supporters and 500 stories by Memorial Day. Remember to share yours.

If you support what we're doing here at LetUsVote, please know that a any contribution - big or small helps us keep up the work of building a unique and totally new community for independent voters. It would mean the world if you can contribute.

Thank you for being you.


Will Conway